In the garden
Seasonal ideas for your outdoor space
spikes of colour
Flowering from June, purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria, provides valuable nectar for long-tongued insects such as elephant hawk-moths and red-tailed bumblebees. Suited to wet and boggy conditions in the garden, this striking wildflower sends up multiple tall stems from a single root stock. Each bears many bright pink flowers and long green leaves, which grow up the stems in opposite pairs.
fire pit warmth
From a workshop in the Welsh Borders, Timothy Addison Ross and his team hand-crafted this steel fire pit from 3mm thick steel. Rubbed over with oil once complete, it will eventually oxidise to a deep autumn red colour. Designed for use with wood to provide warmth for outdoor gatherings, it is available in 60, 70, 83, 90 and 120cm diameters. The latter is constructed of 4mm steel.
Low maintenance and producing scores of blooms, dahlias are a stalwart of the summer garden. Planting tubers out from early May protects from all but the latest of frosts. A well-drained spot in full sun is chosen to help plants thrive. When preparing the soil, plenty of organic matter is dug in to provide fertile growth conditions. Tubers are planted 4-6in (10-15cm) deep, spaced approximately 30in (75cm) apart depending on their expected final size. Once the bushy plants have developed, they are staked for support as required. Pinching out shoots encourages a bushy habit. A thorough watering is required each week. A high potash liquid feed every fortnight supports plants once flowers have appeared.
Plain Jane fire pit from £175, www.firepitsuk.co.uk