Handsome hyperciums are great for the heights of summer
Most keen gardeners will be familiar with hypericum Hidcote, a classic garden variety which is reliable, rewarding and easy to grow, and named after a famous National Trust garden.
This hardy evergreen shrub produces its beautiful yellow flowers, which resemble those of a giant buttercup, throughout the summer and into early autumn.
It’s also worth seeking out other hypericums, as they too make excellent garden plants.
We can now add to this list, for floristry, as in recent years much breeding has taken place to produce hypericums with attractive fruits, for both garden value, but especially as a cut flower for bouquets and flower arrangements.
These include the ‘magical’ series, the ‘flair’ series, Rowallane and Sunburst.
The shrubby hypericums need very little pruning, a light trim in March to remove any dead or damaged growth is usually enough.
They will thrive in a sunny spot in any soil, so long as it doesn’t get waterlogged.
Yellow associates well with blues, so blue flowered plants which flower at the same time as the shrubby hypericums, like geranium Rozanne, echinops Taplow Blue, catmints and sea hollies are worth considering.
If you prefer to continue in the hot colour vein, then red, orange or yellow dahlias, crocosmias or day lilies can be combined with the yellow flowers of the hypericum.
For the rock garden, or front of a border H. olympicum combines green-blue foliage with golden yellow flowers, while the Rose of Sharon, H.calycinum, is widely used as a weed suppressing ground cover.
Container-grown hypericums can be planted into prepared soil and keep them well watered if the weather is hot.
A thorough soaking to the base of the plant in the evening will make best use of water.
A mulch around the plant with bark chippings or mushroom compost will also help conserve moisture in the soil.
It is high summer and herbaceous perennials, summer bedding, containers and hanging baskets are looking good.
Continue tying in the developing stems of climbers such as roses, clematis and honeysuckles.
Sweet peas are in full flower and dahlias are starting to flower.
As soon as their blooms fade, cut them off as this will encourage the plant to produce more flowers.
Similarly, remove the faded blooms from plants in containers and hanging baskets.
Keep these well watered in hot, dry, sunny weather.
Plants will also benefit from a weekly feed with a fertiliser high in potassium and a tomato fertiliser is ideal.
As soon as the flowers on mock orange (philadelphus) have faded, prune the flowered shoots back to a healthy, ideally outward facing bud.
This will encourage the plant to produce shoots which will bear next year’s flowers.
Continue sowing quick-maturing salad crops such as loose leaf lettuce and rocket, while Chinese cabbage can be sown towards the end of the month.