Our gardening expert Victoria Truman has these tips for getting a gorgeous garden this July

1. Cut back lupins and delphiniums that have finished flowering to encourage a second flush later in the season.
2. Continue to deadhead the flower border on a regular basis as this will also encourage more flowers later on. Don’t forget to feed all the flower borders and containers every two weeks and water well in dry weather. Containers may need watering as much as twice a day in very hot weather.
3. Keep up with the weeding otherwise the weeds will take moisture and nutrients meant for your flowers.
4. Keep mowing regularly unless there
is a drought. Set the mower blade slightly higher than before so that
if it becomes very hot the grass will
not dry out so much.
5. Only water any recently sown grass or new turf. If an existing lawn does go brown it will recover after the first rains.
6. Cut wild flower meadows to 8cm after they have seeded; remove clippings to keep fertility low.
7. Divide crowded groups of bearded iris once they have finished flowering.
8. Don’t deadhead roses that produce hips as these will be a valuable food source later on in the season.
9. Collect ripe seed from forget-me-nots and foxgloves and sow in pots or scatter in shady areas.
10. Use leftover tea and coffee grounds to acidify the soil of acid-loving plants such as azaleas, rhododendrons, camellias, gardenias and even blueberries. A light sprinkling of about one-quarter of an inch applied once a month will keep the pH of the soil on the acidic side.

Take time out to sit in your garden and enjoy!


Concentrating on making the most of your outdoor space which can increase your square footage by creating a social family outdoor area bringing the living room, dining room and kitchen outside, where you can eat, drink and entertain friends. Clients are asking for a more distinctive outside room designed garden to allow for more useable space throughout the year – outdoor kitchens, fire pits, dining and sofa sets are top of most clients wish-lists. Landscape lighting is an effective way of prolonging your time outside especially in the autumn months, outside lighting can create the right ambience around these outdoor seating areas, using a combination of uprights as well as lights installed on outdoor structures to illuminate the area effectively. Pin spotlights in and amongst the planting areas can add interest and drama. These well thought out areas are seen as an investment, a bit like adding a ground floor extension to your house.


You can’t place a sculpture anywhere – it needs to evoke a feeling or emotion of belief when placed. Simple, large contemporary forms work well whether it be a series of large pots or large topiary shapes, and sets up a contrast with informal planting. Using repetitive forms is one of the simplest tricks to make a garden feel harmonious. The best shapes are simple and big, complemented by planting. Hedging and topiary can achieve a similar effect.