Midsummer gardens don’t have to be murder

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Being in the garden is great at this time of year – the days are longer and warmer and you can really enjoy your outside living space as somewhere to relax and unwind.

Research shows that being in the garden for just a few minutes can be good for your health, be it your physical well-being or your mental one.

Planting scent in the garden is also an excellent way of improving your sense of well-being and making your outside space feel even more special.

One of the most popular and established plants that gives off a glorious aroma is the rose, a constant and important scent throughout history that is calming and can help ease stress.

Roses are a great addition to any garden environment, large or small, contemporary or traditional, with varieties for planting in flower beds, borders and planters.

The Blue Peter gardener, Chris Collins, thinks no garden is complete without a rose or two.

“The English garden is incomplete without one or possibly many roses and they just give and give with the minimum of fuss,” he says.

There is a rose for every garden situation, from Hybrid Teas to miniatures, climbers to floribundas. Roses can be used for all aspects of the garden and can be grown in containers.

They are easy to look after, but should be watered on a regular basis, particularly if in pots.

Gardening myth of the month is that watering during periods of full sun causes scorching on leaves.

There are many good reasons to avoid watering plants in the sun, but sunburn is not one of them.

The diffused rays of the sun are not powerful enough to cause burning.

In general, the best time to water most garden plants is early in the morning when it won’t evaporate so quickly and can also potentially reduce the risk of leaf diseases that often occur in overly moist situations.

The evening is also a good time.

However, watering midday will not harm your plants.

When it comes to watering lawns, Mother Nature usually provides enough water through rainfall for grass to grow strong.

However, there are times when rainfall needs to be supplemented, such as with newly-planted lawns or extended periods of heat and drought.

With watering comes mowing so here are a couple of dos and don’ts – mow once a week in the summer, don’t mow when grass is wet or during a drought and raise the mower blades when mowing in very hot weather.

What do do this month

Lawn care aside, it’s a busy time in the garden, with many tasks to occupy any gardener, and Midsummer’s Day to give you the maximum daylight hours – so here’s a list of the top jobs for this month from the Royal Horticultural Society and National Garden Gift Vouchers ...

1. Hoe borders regularly to keep down weeds

2. Be water-wise, especially in drought-affected areas

3. Pinch out sideshoots on tomatoes

4. Harvest lettuce, radish, other salads and early potatoes

5. Position summer hanging baskets and containers outside

6. Cut lawns at least once a week

7. Plant out summer bedding

8. Stake tall or floppy plants

9. Prune many spring-flowering shrubs

10. Shade greenhouses to keep them cool and prevent scorch

National Garden Gift Vouchers can be bought and redeemed at over 2,000 outlets in the UK, with more than 90,000 garden plants and products on offer. Visit www.thevouchergarden.co.uk to see the outlets that sell and accept them. You can become a fan and buy vouchers on facebook www.facebook.com/GardenGiftVouchers or follow on twitter @GardenGiftVouch or via the blog at www.vouchergardenblog.com