rose petals to scrambled eggs, serve rose tea and rose butter on your
croissants or muffins. Doesn't that sound grand? For flavored sugar, put
one sweet smelling rose in a two-quart jar of sugar. Also put lavender
flowers in a two-quart jar of sugar along with a vanilla bean in it to
use when baking cookies, or for sweetening tea. Go out into the garden
in the early morning and pick a dew-covered rose and rub the petals and
dew all over your face. There is a legend that any woman who washes her
face in the dew of Midsummer's Day will grow lovelier in the passing year.
Midsummer's day is June 24th, so mark that on your calendar.
Here is a recipe for lemonade (well, it WAS in an article on JUNE GARDENING!):
Boil two cups of sugar and one cup of water with the rinds of three lemons
cut into thin strips for five minutes. Let the syrup cool and add the
juice of eight freshly squeezed lemons. Strain and store in the fridge.
Use two tablespoons of syrup for every glass of ice water. I think that
sounds wonderful! And I am going to do it!
With gardens looking beautiful already, don't sit in a comfy chair reading
a book! Get out there and attack those weeds, those deadheads, and those
untidy edges of your beds. Gardening is good exercise for us! Good for
the body and good for the spirit.
Add some perennial
plants to your borders this month. Try a dwarf butterfly bush. I have
two normal sized ones and they have to be pruned heavily and pinched as
they grow or they get too big. Petite Indigo has dark, lilac blue flower
spikes and Petite Plum has reddish-purple flowers with an orange eye in
each floret. Annuals that will stand up to heat and drought conditions
are nicotiana, portulaca, zinnia, celosia and vinca. I have found that
I can beat the drought somewhat by adding a half teaspoonful of those
polymers that "grab water" to each planting hole. It did wonders (I think
that's what it was) for the pansies on the Moncada side this winter. I
think it keeps moisture right at the roots of the plant so that the trees
don't get it!
The best time
to divide any perennial is just after it blooms. This gives it an entire
cycle to get well again and make new blossoms. Rhododendrons, lilacs and
perennials should be deadheaded after blooming. And they should be fertilized
right now. Check for pests and other problems and treat as needed. Lawns
should be kept at 2 or 2 1/2 inches. If you mow often you should leave
the clippings in place to provide nitrogen. Cut more than 1/3 of the height
of the grass and the clippings will smother it.
You can plant
seeds of fast-growing annuals like marigolds, zinnias, and cosmos directly
in the garden. I just love the variety of marigolds that are almost pure
white and I plant the seeds every year. I have yet to get a flowering
plant. The come up and disappear. Hmmmm?
Plant summer flowering
bulbs such as cannas, gladiolas and dahlias, tuberous begonias, and also
the nonflowering ones such as caladiums. The tuberous begonias and the
caladiums are for the shady spots.
except for spring flowering plants should be finished by now. Though you
should always prune any diseased, dead, weak or crossing branches as soon
as you notice them. The early spring flowering shrubs may be pruned severely
now without sacrificing next years' blooms. Prune viburnum now. Prune
spirea, forsythia and lilacs at the ground. Prune about 1/3 of the old
canes and leave new ones to grow. This is the way to have a lovely graceful
shrub. Azaleas and rhododendrons may also be pruned severely right now,
and not much later! And you will still have blooms next spring. Fertilize
roses after peak bloom. Fertilize what is left of your spring flowering
bulbs, though you should have done it immediately after they bloomed.
And you may fertilize annuals right along, at any time during the summer.
I have heard that manure tea and fish emulsion are like candy to plants,
but I haven't used that yet. Be sure to keep your fall blooming perennials
such as chrysanthemums pinched down to about six inches until the middle
of July. Pinch them often.
If you have any
hemlocks they should be sprayed now for wooly adelgid. And now is the
time to pull off those bagworms from arborvitae.
Keep your beds
weeded by doing little bits at a time. I am trying Preen for the first
time this year. It is supposed to keep any weed seeds (or any other seeds
for that matter) from germinating. I have such high hopes. Be sure to
keep a lookout for any objects in your garden or yard that might be harboring
standing water. Drain these areas for mosquito control. Change birdbath
water every few days, and clean birdbaths with a blast of water and scrub
them weekly. Place your houseplants in a shady spot outside.
It is too bad
we do not have the right sun for many roses! Here are some things you
can do with them. Most of us will have to borrow them from sunny-gardened
friends, or buy them at the grocery store or a florist.
Now here are some
other less appetizing recipes for June! To keep aphids and other pests
off your plants: In a food processor put one onion, two medium cloves
of garlic and 2 cups of warm water. Blend on high and strain out pulp.
Pour liquid into a spray bottle and spritz both sides of the leaves of
affected plants. Yuck. To prevent slugs from entering your garden, line
the perimeter with copper tubing (this is expensive). The chemical in
the tubing discourages slugs from crossing over into the garden. If you
have a small area and a large penny collection, lining the bed with pennies
works well too. And your children and guests children can eat them. To
repel spider mites, blend 3 jalapeno (hot green) peppers and two or three
cloves of garlic and 3/4 teaspoons of liquid soap in 3 cups of water.
I would leave the soap out until after the blending and just mix it in.
This stuff will hurt you eyes, so be careful, and also wash your hands
after using. Cornell University recommends a spray of 3 teaspoons of baking
soda combined with 2 1/2 tablespoons of summer-weight horticultural oil
in one gallon of water to prevent black spot on roses. This is in case
any of you can grow roses in the shade.