Wait a second, is that ... July? Peeking around the corner with a strange mix of summery haze and spring showers, it's fair to say that -- on first impressions -- this is a July which lacks conviction. It might be nice. It might not. It will, on average, probably be okay.
But one thing's for sure: it'll be a whole lot MORE okay if you get your gardening right. Because even if, as Shakespeare wrote, summer's lease hath all too short a date, that lease cannot help but be i,proved by the sight of some bright and active summer flowers peeking through your flowerbeds.
So what should a keen amateur gardener be keeping an eye out for this July? Well, if you're fortunate enough to have a little glasshouse or conservatory, this is a great chance to give those plants some time in the warmer weather outdoors. If you've got fruit trees in your garden, it's also important that you prune them now -- plums, cherries and peaches will be vulnerable to parasites if they don't get a good ol' trimming right about now.
July is your garden's "first peak" -- meaning your garden is probably already looking fan-diddly-tabulous. But if you want that "second peak" to ever materialise, you're going to need to strike now! Deadhead excess from sweetpeas and repeat-flowering roses to increase the chances of that happening. And lastly, as with any time of year, watch out for weeds! They love the sun just as much as your flowers do -- so get in there with a good sharp hoe and make sure your flowerbeds are flowers (and pretty weeds) only.