The first flush of roses are mainly over now and they should be producing buds for their second flowering and the perennial plants that came after them may be past their best but there are many jobs that you can do now to tidy up the garden and extend the flowering season. You can do all of these now unless you intend to collect the seeds for growing next year.
Repeat flowering roses should have their spent blooms cut back to just above the next leaf joint, this is where the new growth and next flowers come from, we do this weekly so that all of the energy goes into producing new flowers and not rose hips. It is also a good time to add a little rose feed so that the next flowers are as beautiful as the first. For roses that only flower once we recommend not removing the spent flowers and allowing the roses to produce beautiful hips which will look stunning when frosted in the Winter and provide food for birds. Now is also a good time to tie-in climbing roses whilst the stems are still pliable, please note never tie in the last 6 inches of the stems as this will inhibit growth. Also check standard roses, removing any shoots coming out below the graft and any from under the ground as these are from the root stock and will take all of the energy which you want to go to the grafted rose at the top.
Phlox is a stunning plant but as the flower heads fade they can look a little scruffy. However, you can get them to flower again by cutting off the spent flower heads just below the flowers but above the next flower buds. Be careful though as the new buds are quite close to the spent flower heads.
These majestic plants can produce a second set of flowers in late Summer if you cut the stems down to the ground and give them a good feed. They should flower in late August to September although the flowers will not be as tall as the first blooms.
Lupins have mainly finished flowering now but if you cut off the spend flowers at the next leaf joint this will promote new flower buds to develop.
Wysteria will benefit from pruning back to 7 leaf joints from last years growth, this will be hard wood and this years will be green and supple.
Deadheading all perennials that have finished flowering will promote new growth and some flowers, all of which will extend your flowering season. Provide supports for any drooping plants. We also recommend walking around your garden and taking some photographs and cast a critical eye over all your planting areas and make notes of plants that need moving or dividing in the Winter if they have outgrown their spot. A good exercise is to take photographs of your garden throughout the year so that you can see where you can improve interest all year round, they are great to look at in the depths of Winter when you can’t get outside. A garden should always be a work in progress and evolve over many years. Don’t forget to take time to sit and enjoy your beautiful garden that you and nature have created together.