Outdoor diary July’s checklist
+ Gardens are just as much about editing as planting – a shrub may grow wider than you planned or a tree might block out light. To move shrubs and trees, dig a wide circle around the plant so you leave plenty of soil around the roots, and keep the root ball well wrapped until it’s ready to go back into the ground. + Once you’ve planted cineraria, you’ll always have them as their seeds spread easily. However, that’s a small price to pay for the colour of their blooms in winter – divine shades of purple, mauve and pink. They flower for several weeks and work well under trees and in other shady spots. Don’t worry if they do stray into areas they shouldn’t as cineraria are easy to pull out.
+ Spring is not far away and those hard-working bees will need plenty of food. Sow seed for spring flowers in trays indoors and they’ll be ready for planting out when the weather warms up. Easy annuals to sow from seed include aquilegia, alyssum, calendula, cornflower, cosmos, delphinium, lobelia and sweet peas. Fill up pots, planters, window boxes and hanging baskets to brighten up decks, porches and balconies. + Indoor plants in heated rooms are vulnerable to sap-sucking insects such as scale (brown or yellow) and mealy bug (tiny white insects with a waxy coating). Rather than resorting to sprays, try removing them with an old toothbrush and soapy water.