“Never cast a clout till May is out” is a saying that goes back to the 15 th century. Our definition of this old saying is not to put away our winter clothing until the end of May and there is definitely some truth in this as May can be a chilly month and we all look forward to a warmer June. A more extensive meaning to this is that in the 15 th century it was traditional to put Hawthorne (also known as Mayflower) at the door of the house of your beloved. It was also unlucky to marry in May so the intended would wait until June as this was also a time for people to have their yearly baths. So the lovers would not cast off their clothing until the end of May and the Mayflower had gone over.

June marks the beginning of summer and the longest day or Midsummers Day. Everything is lush with colour and heady with scents of cut grass, blossom and the possible whiff of a distant barbeque.

As long as morning frosts are behind us, now is the time to put out bedding plants and hanging baskets. Make sure you have shade for the conservatory or green house as temperatures soar and plants can become scorched. Make sure you continue to water regularly throughout the summer even in wet weather as baskets and pots dry out very quickly. Save small plastic drinks bottles, fill with water, put your thumb over the top to stop water escaping and plunge it into the pot or basket. You can also add a liquid feed to the bottle. This is ideal for when you can’t be there in person to water them. This doesn’t mean you can be complacent and not water this is just an extra or for holidays.

If you have kept on top of all the pests and diseases then it will be easier for you now but it’s not too late to start. Good garden hygiene is a must and saves you time and energy. Hopefully you have maintained and kept all your equipment clean and in working order.

This is a good time to renew your old bark mulch as this helps to retain moisture in the soil and helps to keep the weeds down. Make sure you water the soil first before laying the mulch.

Dig out any dead or disappointing shrubs that have not done so well and replace with something different. It could be the soil wasn’t right for that plant. Ask at the local garden centre for advice for which plants do better in our lovely local sandy soil.

Water, dead head, and tie back are the key to a successful month in June. Spray for aphids and disease in the evening when it is cooler but after you have watered. Let’s hope summer is going to be a long one.