We love roses, in pots, in tubs and in borders; growing up arches, trellis and against walls, we love them all, whatever the colour or form. And there can be no better month to enjoy our roses than July. With colour and scent they really are amazing plants. We have been thinking about how to make them more special and love the idea of underplanting them with purple sage, so the roses would be growing through a low cloud of sage. Perfect.

This week we are deadheading our roses and removing any flowers that have been damaged by the rain. We are also checking our plants over for greenfly or mildew to keep them healthy.

We are also enjoying long lazy evenings sat out in the garden with a cup of herb tea picked fresh from the garden; 3 or 4 Lemon Verbena leaves in hot water make a refreshing tisane, or herbal tea, that is both fresh and fragrant, with a hint of sherbet lemon!

As the Runner Beans reach the top of the frame in the vegetable garden we are pinching out the growth to encourage them to bush out and so be more productive lower down the plant.

We also in full harvest mode with almost daily pickings of courgettes and the jam pan has been called into use with Gooseberries, Redcurrants, Blackcurrant and Strawberries all cropping very strongly this year.

Our Lavender is in full flower at the moment and so we have cut several bunches to dry and enjoy later in the year. (We just tie up the bunches with raffia and hang them upside down in a cool airy place.)

This is also a month to take cuttings of favourite plants. Hydrangeas and many other shrubs can be propagated this month as the soft spring growth starts to ripen or go woody. Simply remove a 4” long piece of growth that goes down to the woodier part of the stem, take off the lower leaves, dip into rooting powder (or liquid) and Bob’s your Uncle!

Finally we are relaxing, enjoying the bees working the flowers, and while to the untrained eye it might look as if we are snoozing in the summer sun, we are in fact planning what plants we are going to edit, or move around in the autumn…

Happy gardening…