Landscaper Tom Erikson stood beside one of the fox gloves. Since he measures at six feet tall, people can get a sense of the height of this popular perennial. (Pam Erikson/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

GREEN THUMB LANGLEY: Time to cut, add water, and enjoy

Garden columnist Pam Erikson talks about what’s doing will in the garden this month

Last month we talked about hostas, and while they are still one of the stars of any garden at this time of year, June brings more colour and excitement than the month before.

By now, your annual plantings (begonias, petunias, impatiens, geraniums, etc.) will be starting to grow as our nights are now warmer – just be sure to keep them watered when we go into the hot stretches that are once again forecast for this month.

If your petunias are getting leggy, never stress about cutting them back – they will grow even thicker if you do.

The other plant that benefits from a ‘June Prune’ are the sedums.

In addition to the old perennial favourite Autumn Joy, there are now a myriad of wonderful varieties to choose from – including those with foliage that is deep purple-black.

But they all enjoy the same conditions, and that includes cutting them back this month in order for them to bush out even more.

READ RECENT COLUMN: Gardener’s in hosta heaven

I normally cut about a third of the foliage back, even if they have bloom heads. Where you cut, the plant will branch out and will develop even more bloom heads resulting in a thicker, happier plant.

Peonies are just finishing in our garden and this year they were spectacular – due in part to near-perfect weather conditions for them.

Roses are blooming, along with the tall elegance of the foxgloves; verbascums, delphiniums, and lilies are just starting; and the hardy geraniums are in full bloom.

I like to cut mine back after blooming and let the new fresh foliage come back in again for a more tidy look in the perennial border.

As we go into the warmer months of the year, this can be stressful on plants.

Try not to dig and move anything until fall (unless you absolutely have to); but if you do, remember to trim back the tops so that the roots don’t stress.

Keep an eye on the moisture in your containers, and gardens, during the very hot heat waves – one day of not watering a hanging basket can make it very sad.

Every year we try to plant more and more drought-tolerant plants due to both the extended heat and the desire to conserve water.

Sedums, heucheras, lilies, and daylilies are all amazing plants for water-wise gardening. My rain barrels are all full right now and I use from there as much as possible in order to let them fill up again next time it rains.

The vegetable gardens are all coming along nicely and I believe quite a few things have been harvested already.

The weeding should now be under control, all plants fed, and it’s time to enjoy the fruits of your labour.

– Pam Erikson is owner of Erikson’s Daylily Gardens and Perennials

and president of the Langley Garden Club


Jan van leeuwen peony (Pam Erikson/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

Verbascu dark eyes (Pam Erikson/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

A massive bloom on the Coral Sunset peony. (Pam Erikson/Special to the Langley Advance Times)

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