Top June Gardening Tips from a Gardening Gold Medal Winner

Category Garden Published 8th June 2017 by Phil Mann

Top June Gardening Tips from a Gardening Gold Medal Winner

Congratulations to Woolcott and Smith for winning not only a Gold Medal but also the BBC People’s Choice Award from the world-renowned Royal Horticultural Society's Chelsea Flower Show.

This is Adam and Jon's fourth gold medal at Chelsea and also the third time they have won the People's Choice Award. Adam Woolcott and Jonathan Smith aka 'Woolcott and Smith Garden Design', are known for their nostalgic wildflower gardens built using reclaimed materials to create reflective spaces that you can almost feel as well as see.

Adam Says:

"What an incredible couple of weeks! I'm delighted to announce that a garden that my partner (Jon) and I created at the RHS Chelsea Flower Show has won not only a coveted gold medal but also the BBC People's Choice Award for Best Artisan Garden in Show. A phenomenal achievement and we're over the moon.

Jon and I were approached by leading international equine charity 'World Horse Welfare' to design a garden to commemorate their 90 year anniversary. 'The World Horse Welfare Garden', was a traditional wild-flower garden that highlighted the story of one particular horse called 'Clippy' who was rescued from appalling conditions and re-homed and rehabilitated and is now living a healthy and secure life in one of the charity's rescue centres. The garden featured a neglected, derelict stable in one part of the garden surrounded by barbed wire and plants that are potentially dangerous to horses such as ragwort, yew and nightshade. The garden then opened up to a more welcoming area for horses with a lush meadow and colourful wildflowers, many of which are beneficial to horses such as comfrey, mint, chamomile and dandelion. Central to the garden was a real life sculpture of a horse, made entirely of reclaimed horseshoes. The sculpture, especially commissioned for the Show, included horseshoes from The Queen, Princess Anne (President of World Horse Welfare), champion Olympic horses such as 'Valegro' and 'Big Star' and also from supporters of the charity.

The garden was very much the story of darkness into light, with the emotive feel of so called invisible horses being rescued and rehabilitated and ultimately having better lives. When 'Clippy' was found he was incredibly dehydrated and struggling to stay alive. Today he is a picture of health and even managed a visit to see us at Chelsea. A story with a happy ending. The garden will be relocated to one of World Horse Welfare's rescue centres in Somerset and the horse sculpture auctioned to raise money for the charity so that they can continue to help horses for many years to come.

Winning the People's Choice Award means a lot more to us than winning the gold. It is reassuring that a traditional garden with a very strong message still has a very important place at the world's most prestigious gardening Show. The fact that our garden was the favourite Artisan garden of all the people that came to the Show, saw it online or saw it on television is quite humbling. It's nice to know it really struck a chord with so many real gardeners. I love creating these nostalgic gardens and to be able to share my passion for plants and animal welfare is awesome.

I'm delighted to be back at Ideal World this weekend to bring you some great products to get you as inspired about gardening as I am. I've got two amazing self-propelled mowers to bring to you, with great grass collection systems and various height adjustments, ideal for your small to medium sized gardens and even bigger spaces. There's an amazing multi-tool with an incredible easy start feature and offering up to 6 different functions including hedge trimming, tree pruning an grass trimming as well as an extension pole to deal with those hard to reach areas. There's also a brilliant range of tools for you to get your garden looking like a Chelsea Flower Show Garden. We've had plenty of rain, the grass is growing, time to get back outside and get gardening!"

He's even given us some great tips to improve your garden this June:

  1. Pull up your dead daffodil, tulip and bluebell foliage now that they have died down enough.
  2. Now is a good time to plant up your hanging baskets and containers if you haven't already done so. Remember that they will need watering twice a day and feeding once a fortnight. If you can it's a good idea to use special hanging basket compost as it tends to have water retaining granules to reduce the need for watering.
  3. Now that the birds have flown their nests now is a good time to get your hedges cut and trimmed. We always try to resist the temptation to do it earlier so we don't disturb them.
  4. It's also a good time of year to trim your box hedging into shape. Traditionally, people say derby day is the time to do it. Make sure you choose a cloudy day so that the tender shoots don't get scorched by the sun.
  5. Prune back forsythia, lilacs and choisyas now that they have finished flowering. You can also trim back kerria, and towards the end of the month ceanothus and spirea arguta.
  6. Keep an eye out for pests.
  7. As blooms start to fade towards the end of the month keep dead heading (roses, scabious etc.) to prolong flowering.
  8. Cut back oriental poppies once they have finished flowering, they will produce new green growth which will look more attractive than dying leaves. Also cut geranium phaem and geranium sylvaticum right back; They will re-shoot in no time and you will get some more flowers if you are lucky. You can do the same with brunneras.
  9. Continue to sow out your veg including tomatoes, runner beans, sweetcorn and courgettes. If grown in pots remember to keep them well watered especially runner beans. Thin out earlier sowings so they have plenty of room to develop.
  10. Some early potatoes should be ready for lifting this month. Wait until the first flowers start to open and then do a test dig to see if they are ready.
  11. Support larger herbaceous perennials such as paeonies, so that they don't flop when in rains. I use hawthorn or hazel twigs as they look more natural than plastic or bamboo canes.
  12. Feed tomatoes and bedding plants once a week with tomato feed to keep them happy.
  13. It's a good time of year to take softwood cuttings on shrubs such as hydrangea, deutzia, philadelphus and spirea.
  14. Keep mowing your lawn regularly, at least 5-7 days (or less), if you want it to look neat and you can cut a bit lower now. Remember to get the sprinkler out if it starts to dry out.
  15. Keep on top of the weeds.
  16. If you do have gaps in your border fill them with colourful bedding plants think geraniums, dianthus and petunias for sun and busy lizzies and begonias for shade.

We hope that keeps you busy. Make sure to check back for great gardening deals and more tips and tricks here at Ideal World.

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