The Joys of June
The departure of our typical winter/spring is cause for rejoicing within the gardening community. I feel fairly safe in stating that the danger of frost has past, not to return until autumn (talk about going out on a limb!). As garden compatriots all over the North Shore celebrate the waning days of spring and anticipate long summer days, their attention turns to the planting and cultivation of tender annuals, vegetables and herbs.
Flower seeds - Last chance to sow any of the fast-germinating annual flowers like cosmos, bachelor buttons and zinnias. Such a late sowing will produce strong mid to late-season color. Try succession sowing with sunflowers, every two weeks. This way, you’ll have them in various stages of bud, bloom and seed heads, right up until frost; otherwise, they all go to seed at once and the sunflower show comes to a sudden halt, before most of us are ready for that final curtain call. Is there anything more cheerful than the big smiling face of a sunflower? Plant some morning glory seeds at the base of each plant and enjoy!
Vegetable seeds - Sow a second crop of carrots, beets, radishes and lettuce. By reseeding short-season crops every few weeks, you’ll enjoy extended harvests. Even bush beans can be re-sown two or three times during the season. For fall crops of broccoli, cabbage, and Brussels sprouts, start seeds anytime now. You’ll be ready to transplant them, after harvesting the spring crops.
Herb seeds - With these warm soil temperatures, you should have success with parsley and basil, but most herbs require an early start and should be readily available in pots or flats.
Garden Rooms - By now, I’m sure you’re familiar with the term “garden rooms.” This is simply a way of dividing the home landscape into a series of outdoor living spaces. Although these areas, or “rooms,” may serve distinctly different purposes, there needs to be a “flow” between these spaces, along with gentle transitions. You may decide upon a unifying theme, such as country informality or classically formal; however, the delightful fact remains that it needn’t be just one thing or the other. It is entirely appropriate to indulge yourself by pursuing several favorite design schemes, within the landscape, and rooms make it possible. For the rest of the story, drop by and ask for our Corliss Culture Sheet, “Creating & Remodeling Outdoor Rooms.”
Pleasant Pursuits - Plant a shade tree, plant raspberries and strawberries, plant a backyard orchard with manageable dwarf and semi-dwarf fruit trees (limited availability on certain fruiting plants at this point), incorporate ornamental grasses for visual and audible interest and start an herb garden. Establish a backyard wildlife sanctuary, including water, nesting and natural food sources, and prepare to be amazed by nature. Plant sunflowers and cosmos for goldfinches, butterfly bushes for Monarchs, bee balm for honeybees, revel in the flavor of homegrown produce, show a child how to grow food, eat your sun-warmed strawberries in the garden, throw a garden party... in short, indulge in the many joys of June!
Written by Deb Lambert for Corliss Bros. Garden Center, Ipswich, MA