We questioned Maria Morales Sainz from The Wild Patio about what we should be getting up to from a gardening perspective at this time of year.
What should we be planting now?
Now that the frosts are over it is time to be planting out tender perennials and annuals. These are the plants that fill the Summer border with colour: dahlias, cosmos, nicotianas and sunflowers.
How often should I be watering my new plants?
Newly planted plants need frequent watering to help them get established in the borders. A good rule of thumb is to check the soil around them and make sure that it is always moist.
Not waterlogged, just moist.
Should I prune my roses now?
Definitely not! The right time to prune roses is just before they start to come out of dormancy. For Ealing that is around February-March, depending on how cold and long the winter was that year. When roses are actively growing their canes are full of sap, so we should only deadhead them and not do any hard pruning.
How can I prevent my plants from wilting in the late afternoon sun?
Watering deeply early in the morning should help plants stay hydrated throughout the day, and applying mulch around the roots should help to stop water evaporation. But as our Summers are getting warmer due to climate change we might need to adapt our gardening habits to that, and plants that were typically used in full sun, might now do better in dappled shade if they keep wilting.
What are the best plants from Summer gardening?
Two of my favourite plants for Summer borders are Verbena bonariensis and Salvia microphylla: they both flower all Summer long all the way until the end of autumn, they cope well with the heat and pollinators absolutely love them.