Summer at last

Dan Newby, MD of Dreamscape Gardens thinks we need to learn to relax and enjoy our gardens

As we finally welcome summer, it’s now the time to sit back and admire our handiwork in the garden. Hopefully, pats on the back all round are in order! There’s such a lot to do to in the garden in spring, to bring it back to life after winter’s slumbers: planting, feeding, pruning, weeding and mulching. If you’re really organised, you’ll be taking cuttings from new growth on shrubs and perennials for next year too! So once June arrives and you see the fruits of all that labour (metaphorically as well as literally in this case) it really is time to sit back, enjoy and lap up the compliments from friends and neighbours. Who could fail to be impressed by the bold Oriental poppies (Papaver orientalis) or the more delicate, gentile Astrantia. Certain hardy geraniums begin their long flowering season in May, filling so many gaps that they’re considered invaluable at this time of year. London Pride (Saxifraga x urbium) provides a foot-high froth of pale-pink or white flowers above crimped green rosettes. I could go on….!  After all, that’s why we do it isn’t it? To have something beautiful, calming, exciting or soothing to surround ourselves with. It’s a well-known fact that the act of gardening, the labour, the planning, the nurturing, is good for our mental health but I also believe that spending time, appreciating your work and enjoying its beauty is also hugely beneficial. So, enjoy your garden – you deserve it. But don’t stop planning and plotting for next year – there’s always something different and new to try!