Summer gardening tips
Get green fingers with ESPC and Lempsink garden design.
Catch Lisa Lempsink in our ESPC showroom on Friday 24th August, Wednesday 5th September and Saturday 15th September 11am-3pm where she will be giving herb garden tutorials in the ESPC show room as well as giving out some special freebies!
About Lisa Lempsink
Lisa Lempsink gave up her job in the corporate world to embark on a major career change in August 2006. Having always loved plants and gardens, she enrolled at the Scottish Agricultural College, King's Buildings, in Edinburgh to do a 2 year full-time HND Garden Design.
Lisa got involved with ESPC a few years ago when she signed up to be one of the experts in our Edinburgh showroom; giving free advice to anyone that wants it, on any aspect of their garden, whatever it may be. We now have Lisa sharing some valuable tips in our ESPC garden feature!
For more tips from Lisa, visit her website or take a look at our audio slideshow below where she explains how to 'problem solve' in gardens.
Flowering plants and small urban gardens
When you have limited space for planting, as in many urban gardens, you want to choose what I would call 'good doers'.
By that I mean plants that flower over a long period and may have, say, three seasons of interest. It could be that they flower in summer but then in autumn produce berries followed by lovely seed heads through the winter. Many look great with frost on them. Some of my favourites are the different colours of Heuchera that are available. You can have everything from lime green through to bright pink to a deep purple-black.
Others that I'd recommend are Geranium 'Jolly Bee', Tiarella 'Morning Star', Geum 'Mrs J. Bradshaw' and many of the Astrantia, Achillea and Penstemons that are available.
Summer space fillers
If you have a bigger garden, you can afford to have not only the 'good-doers' but some other shorter flowering plants like the lovely choice of Peonies on offer. You can include all the plants that you would have in a small urban garden but in addition there are a wide choice lovely shrub;s one of my favourites being Hydrangea 'Annabelle'.
With Roses enjoying something of a renaissance in recent times, Floribunda Roses are lovely and flower for months on end - check out Rosa 'Dearest and Rosa 'Margaret Merril' if you want to try roses in your garden.
Another firm favourite of mine are Sedums. They will provide year- round structure in your borders and flower from August through to October. Sedum 'Autumn Joy' turns a lovely dusky pink as autumn turns into winter and looks great with frost glistening on the seed heads.
Allium 'Globemaster' flowers in the early part of the summer and Anemone 'Honorine Jobert' flowers in the latter part of the summer; both have delighted clients of mine and when you see them in a border it isn't hard to understand why.
If you have a long border that you're thinking of revamping then consider these. If you 'weave' the Alliums through the border then you will create a real 'show- stopper' with the globe-shaped flower heads, tending to contrast nicely with the other plant shapes in the border. Anemone 'Honorine Jobert', with fresh green foliage and pure white flowers makes for a lovely fresh look and contrasts well with many other flowers available at that time of year.
Protecting new plants from the rain
The rain and the general fluctuations in temperature that we have had so far this year have really given plants a hard time.
You can, however, prevent some weather damage by thinking about plant selection for your garden. If you live in an area that is experiencing particularly bad flooding you may like to think about investing in some of these flood-tolerant plants: Liquidamber styraciflua, Lythrum salicaria, Cornus sanguinea, Deschampsia cespitosa or Iris pseudacorus.
In many cases there is not much you can do in the way of prevention. Ensuring plants are healthy and not stressed will go some way in minimising weather damage. If damage does occur, in most cases, plants will grow out of it although in extreme conditions you may have to prune out the damage. Pay particular attention to feeding and watering plants after damaging weather though.