Gardening jobs for June, courtesy of Doncaster's own Yorkshire Flower Faffer

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A very good blooming June ‘Hello’ to you all!

The year is certainly speeding ahead, yet it still seems like we are never getting a break with the weather.

The little snippets of glorious sun we occasionally get sees us all heading out in our sun hats and sandals, dusting down the barbecue and rushing to the shops to get supplies in, only to be pulling out the raincoats and wellies a day later.

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As I write this the rain is pouring down again and the birds seem to be the only thing enjoying the great outdoors on the freshly mown lawn that we just managed to cut before…yes you guessed it, the rain started again!

Gardens should be starting to bloom - but the rain has caused problems for many so far this year.Gardens should be starting to bloom - but the rain has caused problems for many so far this year.
Gardens should be starting to bloom - but the rain has caused problems for many so far this year.

My garden and flower farm, although looking lush and green with the wet, is only starting to pop with a few bits of colour here and there, seedlings both veg and floral are slow to grow and I am wondering whether the growing year is ever really going to get started.

The slugs and snails though are absolutely loving life with all this wetness and anything I do put into the ground has to be backed up with a forcefield of slug protection.

As an organic and pesticide free grower this means, copper tape, sheep fleece, beer traps and last resort..head torch and bucket at dusk!

Anyway, back to June!

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There's plenty to keep you busy in the garden this June.There's plenty to keep you busy in the garden this June.
There's plenty to keep you busy in the garden this June.

A time when we should start to see the garden get into its summer swing.

I am about to lift, dry and store all my tulip bulbs which have put on a spectacular display this year.

If you are leaving them in the ground then snap off the seed pod and allow the stem to die back naturally, this allows all the energy to go back into the bulb and they will be as glorious next year.

If you have had them in pots, again snap off the seed pod and store them away somewhere to die back naturally and you can bring them back out to bloom again next year.

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Yorkshire Flower Faffer Sally Robinson is always busy at this time of year.Yorkshire Flower Faffer Sally Robinson is always busy at this time of year.
Yorkshire Flower Faffer Sally Robinson is always busy at this time of year.

Supporting your tall plants now is a lot easier and always a good idea before they get to full height, flowers such hollyhocks and delphiniums will benefit and then be less likely to fall if we get high winds.

Tying in new stems of climbers such as clematis and rambling roses is also helpful this month to avoid them getting too out of control and unmanageable.

I now continue to give all my plants and vegetables a liquid feed every couple of weeks during the growing season, this is always for me an organic feed.

If you read last month's edition, I wrote about making your own nettle feed which I use regularly but you can also buy great organic feed now from your local garden centre and even the supermarket.

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You can use a vast array of techniques to keep slugs off your flowers.You can use a vast array of techniques to keep slugs off your flowers.
You can use a vast array of techniques to keep slugs off your flowers.

If pests are becoming a problem, then why not try making up a garlic spray formula like our dear old Queen Elizabeth used in her gardens (and I am sure the kings' minions do too).

Chop some garlic bulbs in half and boil up in a pan until soft, pop the lid on and allow to cool (I leave mine overnight to steep) then I sieve the liquid and squish the garlic with the back of a spoon or fork to get all the juice out and then put into a glass bottle to store in the fridge.

Every few days I decant approx 50ml into my 5-litre watering can and apply to my plants with a watering can with a rose attachment. I can’t say this has completely stopped the slug and snail attacks, but it is somewhat less prolific than last year and seems to be working on the aphids on my roses.

Whilst the annual flowers down on the flower farm are taking their time to get into their groove, the perennials on my flower farm are forging on.

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I have already harvested lots of the beautiful Aquilegia ‘Nora Barlow’ a bit of a showstopper and another favourite of mine Astrantia, with its star like flower that seems to bloom from now, well into Autumn.

*FUN FACT ABOUT ASTRANTIA - That star shape made an impression in the Middle Ages: in old folk tales the flowers are referred to as 'stars that have fallen to Earth'. We don't know whether you're able to make a wish on them but it won't hurt to try! Astrantia's symbolic meaning is strong brave protector.

Tick off all your gardening jobs for June.Tick off all your gardening jobs for June.
Tick off all your gardening jobs for June.

I have also just set up a brand new, long no dig bed purely for dahlia tubers. I have some new varieties going in this year as well as the old favourites such as the spectacular ‘Café-au-Lait’ a huge delicious, creamy vanilla bloom that is a favourite for weddings.

June is probably one of my busiest months on the flower farm as I am still sowing, planting out seedlings, staking up plants and thinking about and running workshops in my studio.

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June 3-9 is also British Flowers Week and is extremely important to me as a member of an organisation called Flowers from the Farm who are also in charge of hosting this event this year to help promote the awareness of British Seasonal flowers. Most people are not aware of where the flowers they buy in florist shops and supermarkets are travelling from and the impact the production and air miles these imports are having on the climate.

Our job is not to dictate but to raise the profile of British grown flowers and how easy it is to get hold of them locally.

I will be holding guided tours and hand tie workshops on my own flower farm during this week and would love to see you here where I can explain more, you can book yourself a place here

I have also been trying out a product from a British company that makes the most amazing rose food called Uncle Tom’s, I have invested a lot of money in purchasing some beautiful David Austin Roses over the years and try to look after them the best I can.

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I must say after using this product for the first time I could literally see it working after just a few hours, the foliage the next day was looking lush and green, and the blooms have already been quite prolific.

I also love the fact this is made by a British company too and you can purchase it HERE

Are you interested in growing your own cut flower patch?

If so, I would highly recommend this amazing book by Erin Benzakein, she is an American grower but is highly knowledgeable and has an outstanding flower farm and expert knowledge.

I found this book extremely useful in my early days. Erin has also just released some of her amazing seeds over to the UK and I managed to bag some zinnias and celosia – I am now nurturing them better than I did my own children as they were SUPER expensive! You can pick up a copy HERE

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(Please note that all links for products will take you to Amazon affiliate pages where if you make a purchase, I will earn a small commission, thank you for your support)

And finally

Your Parting poem to celebrate June

June's Picture

by Annette Wynne

Let me paint June's picture—first I take some gold,Fill the picture full of sun, all that it can hold;Save some for the butterflies, darting all around,And some more for buttercups here upon the ground;Take a lot of baby-blue—this—to make the sky,With a lot of downy white—soft clouds floating by;Cover all the ground with green, hang it from the trees,Sprinkle it with shiny white, neatly as you please;So—a million daisies spring up everywhere,Surely you can see now what is in the air!Here's a thread of silver—that's a little brookTo hide in dainty places where only children look.

Next, comes something—guess—it growsAmong green hedges—it's the rose!Brown for a bird to sing a song,Brown for a road to walk along.

Then add some happy children to the fields and flowers and skies,And so you have June's picture here before your eyes.

Enjoy the warmer days

Sally

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  • Sally Robinson, (AKA The Yorkshire Flower Faffer) Born and bred in Doncaster and owner of Field Good Flowers, a British Seasonal Flower Grower in Hatfield.

Sally is an avid lover of nature, gardening, writing and art and is a mum to three rescue dogs, always passionate about sharing her love and knowledge of all that mentioned with you and others willing to listen.

You can follow her journey here

Or email her at [email protected]

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