“The hum of bees is the voice of the garden.“
~ lizabeth Lawrence
In July the sun shined for a few weeks mid-month, and although brief, what a scorcher it was. Will this sun return in August? It is said to be the last month of sun in summer, but some may say that August is also the one month when gardeners get to go on holiday with no worries! However, why would we want to go away when August is the prime month for relaxing in our gardens, for pottering and for enjoying the results of hard work from earlier in the year?
August sees our kitchens filling with fruit and veg harvested from the garden. Many a memorable evening can be made by simply sharing homegrown food eaten outdoors on a warm evening with the air perfumed by strategically placed scented plants. Homegrown vegetables are best eaten fresh, but most years will see a glut in something that has particularly enjoyed the growing conditions provided. Seasonal abundance means jams, pickles and chutneys; preserves stretch the bounty of a productive summer into those long winter months when summer seems so very far away.
It is also the month for cutting armfuls of flowers to brighten the house, and we have a helpful guide in our August Newsletter with top tips on how to do so! Lawnmowers have been mostly idle lately whilst lawns have turned crisp and brown but fear not. Come the autumn rains the brown wasteland will once again become lush and green.
Our August Newsletter is packed full of top tips for the month, including seeds to sow now, fantastic offers, winter bedding to order, our guide to cut flower arrangements and how to keep the kids busy in the garden over the school holidays.
- Order autumn and spring flowering bulbs. Autumn varieties also need to be planted this month.
- Continue deadheading all faded blooms. Even if the plants won’t flower again, deadheading saves them wasting energy on producing unwanted seed-heads.
- Birds will have finished nesting by now so hedges can be tidied up and trimmed.
- Some hardy annuals can be sown direct in their flowering positions meaning early flowers next spring/summer.
- Parsley and other herbs sown now will mean you have a fresh supply for the winter.
- Pinch out the tips of climbing beans and runner beans when they reach the top of their supports. This focuses energy on producing good crops of beans.
- Root any strawberry plant runners into pots by securing them down in contact with the soil. The foliage should be removed just above the crown of each plant, clearing away any debris or dead leaves.
- Set your lawn mower blades a little higher in hot dry weather to avoid browning.
- This is an ideal time to clean out any empty water-butts so that any dirt that may be trapped at the bottom is removed.
- If plants being grown in patio pots are not doing as well as expected, this could be caused by either ants nesting in them or vine weevil. Preventative action should be taken and in the case of ants the pots could be stood, above the water level in large saucers of water, and in the case of vine weevil treat the compost with a biological pest control.
Fancy more? As much as our June newsletter is full of handy info, check out our Monthly Garden Advice for more tips, tricks and jobs to do each month!
Our Suttons Autumn Catalogue has Landed!
Our Autumn Catalogue includes spring-flowering bulbs, winter bedding, shrubs, and perennials as well as a selection of veg, fruit, and equipment for when the months get cooler. If you haven’t received your free copy by the first week or so of August, order your FREE copy right here!
August Flowers to Sow
Wondering which flowers to sow in August? For colourful pot plants indoors, sow the seeds of cactus, cyclamen and coleus. Outdoors, sow feverfew, field cornflower, calendula, myosotis, siberian wallflower, cyclamen hederifolium and potentilla.
A delicate and pretty calendula that really has got us talking. The flowers are stunning and look great planted alongside traditional deep orange types. Ideal for cutting, dry the petals and use in home crafts, scents and even cooking! Use the petals to decorate cupcakes and salads. It’s super easy to grow, quick to flower and blooms right up until first frosts! Flowers June-September. Height 40-50cm (16-20″). HA – Hardy annual.
New Flower Seed – August Newsletter
Our new Californian Poppy seeds are a brand new flower that looks just like a rose! This variety is taller than most other types (40cm) like it, making them a standout and striking addition to every garden and patio they grow in. Lady Marmalade grows masses of semi-double blooms in golden yellow shades with orange centres, and although they are rather dainty looking, they are very hardy and ideal for poor, dry soils.
August Veg to Sow
Wondering which vegetables to sow in August? Sowing vegetables in August is all about fast-growing salads, plus planning ahead of the veg in your autumn and winter dinners. It’s time to start sowing cabbages, chard, salad mixes, radishes and turnips.
A blend of colours with different tastes. Easy to grow and colourful in salads. Harvest April-October. Sow thinly into raked, warm, moist soil at a depth of 13mm (½”) in rows about 23cm (9″) apart. Germination 4-7 days. Thin seedlings as necessary. Sow small batches in succession every fortnight throughout the season.
- Blend of colours with different tastes
- Easy to grow
- Colourful in salads
Large bulbs are often used for exhibition. To ensure colour, shape and finish sow in January under glass at 18-21°C (65-70°F). Can also be sown outdoors in March and April. Not recommended for long storage. Bulb onion variety.
To store – lift and allow to dry in full sun, and hang in ropes in cool airy conditions. (24 weeks maturity.)
Small, unusual ‘beaked’ fruits, ideal for sauces and salads, with fruity, aromatic flavours and a mild heat. This red-skinned type is quite a find – much rarer than the standard yellow-skinned type, it’s the perfect pepper to pickle!
- Unusual, bright red ‘beaked’ fruits
- Ideal for pickling and salads
- Very mild and extremely fruity
New Veg Seed – August Newsletter
Fantastic new colour in French Breakfast types…PURPLE! Long, slender roots which graduate to white at the tip, perfect to grow their red cousins. Crisp is fleshed with a good, peppery flavour, easier to slice than round varieties. Can be used for snacking or garnish; even added to stir fry.
Offers this Month – August Newsletter
Whether you’re looking for bumper bedding packs, tasty fruit and veg or garden furniture to sit back and enjoy your outdoor space, we have an offer for you that you can check out straight from our August Newsletter. You’ll find the best offers from our catalogues, alongside last-minute deals and exciting seasonal sales.
Social Posts of the Month #MySuttonsJourney
We like to feature our gardening community in our monthly newsletter and reflect on some of the social posts you have shared with us every month. This month’s gardening antiques included heritage carrots on the dinner menu, some picking of cobra beans, garden projects for the summer holiday are being planned, indoor sweet pea arrangements are in full swing and a little gardener is as happy as can be!
Below are our top 5 social posts of the previous month and if you would like the chance to be featured in next month’s newsletter, simply tag us and use the hashtag #MySuttonsJourney.
Follow us on our social media pages and if you tag us with our hashtag, you could be featured in our next monthly newsletter!
Schools Out for the Summer! Where to Begin Gardening with the Kids
As the summer holidays commence gardening with children is a great way to introduce them to nature and for them to interact and learn about the environment around them. During the holidays it can also be a fun-free way of entertaining them too! Here are our top tips on how to encourage your children to garden and make those little fingers green.
Children can often see gardening as a boring chore that is something only Mum, Dad or Grandparents do. By including them from the outset with the planning, kids will feel more involved in the process and all the more eager to roll up their sleeves and get their hands dirty (although from my experience this is generally not a problem) when it’s time to start the planting.
Ask your children to pick out what flowers and plants they like the look of when you browse through catalogues or when you are at the garden centre and what the colour scheme should be. Growing their favourite fruits or vegetables so that they can see where their food comes from and the journey from ground to plate is always a good start too!
Easy Flowers & Veg to Grow with Kids
Top Tips for Encourage Children to Garden
- Give the children Their Own Plot – If space in your garden permits gives the kids their own patch of ground to tend. This can range from a raised bed, a part of a bed or border or just a couple of containers or planters.
- Let Them Do It Themselves – Give children the freedom to look after their own plot. If they are just watching what you are doing boredom will quickly set in.
- Make It Fun – Have growing competitions to see who can grow the tallest sunflower or the biggest pumpkin. Go on a nature hunt around the garden to search for insects and where they hide. Keep count of the number of ladybugs, butterflies, caterpillars and other wildlife you come across and make a chart.
Our Guide to Cut Flower Arrangements
There’s something special about bringing the outside in and filling vases, pots and jars with cut flowers you’ve grown yourself. You may have a designated cutting patch or grow plants destined for the house in pots, on the veg patch or amongst shrubs, it doesn’t matter. A simple jar filled with sweet peas from the allotment will add colour and of course fragrance to any home.
How to Pick Your Flowers
- Do not pick flowers in the heat of the day as they will wilt. Pick last thing at night or first thing in the morning.
- Do not try to arrange your flowers straight away. To increase vase life – cut and plunge straight into a bucket of tepid water and allow them to recover for a few hours or overnight.
- Find a shady spot for them to rest. Do not leave them in direct sun even though they are in water.
- Remove the leaves from the bottom half of the stem as you pick, you do not want any leaves left below water level as these will rot when transferred to the vase. If there are fewer leaves there is less demand on the stem and the flower is less likely to flop.
- When you pick annuals and biennials, don’t cut them down to the ground. To encourage more flowers, take out the leading shoot, cutting just above a side branch with a bud. Remember that you can cut the stem as long as you like but always make sure that you leave buds below the cut.
How to Create Your Own Arrangement
Step 1: Cut your flowers and pick your mix. We recommend choosing a variety of colours, textures and some with a lovely scent to enjoy indoors!
Step 2: Begin building your bouquet by placing one central flower in your hand. Then place a few stems of your chosen ‘Filler’ around the flower, making sure the stems cross.
Step 3: Next, surround your filler with a few ‘Thrillers’. Make sure you turn the bouquet as you work, this makes sure it looks even. Continue to add ‘Fillers’ and ‘Thrillers’.
Step 4: Once you have the bouquet the size you want, add your ‘Spillers’ around the edge of the bouquet. Make sure they aren’t too squashed together, they should make the bouquet look more natural and flowing.
Step 5: Cut all the stems to the same length and bind them where all the stems cross. Make sure to wrap the twine around 2-3 times and tie in a knot.
Step 6: Ta-dah, thats it, a simple summer bouquet!
Place the arrangement in the vase of your choice and enjoy!
It’s Time for Winter Bedding!
Who says your garden can’t look spectacular all year round? Autumn and winter bedding plants make it easy to create displays that keep your garden brimming with interest after summer – and with a huge range of shades available, you don’t have to compromise on colour!
Popular Autumn and Winter Bedding Plants
Pansies – An iconic plant with varying colour combinations in its flowers, the Pansy is a popular choice for a late-winter bedding plant. Grow Pansies where they’ll get around 6 hours of sun per day, and plant them in rich, well-draining soil. These plants are very cold hardy and will begin to slow when temperatures rise in spring. Why not pair them with some decorative pots for double the interest? One of the most popular winter-flowering plants
Primula – Primulas come in many shapes and colours, though the most popular winter and spring type is Polyanthus. These plants prefer moist, fertile soil and are tolerant of semi-shade areas. They’re hardy as well as resilient and will benefit from deadheading to keep them flowering throughout the season.
Bellis – These plants are more commonly known as Daisies, but they’re a far cry from the Daisies that grow on your lawn. Bellis feature large, almost pom-pom-like flowers in a range of shades, and are suitable for use in planters and containers, borders or as ground cover. They like being in full sun and prefer moist but well-draining soil.
Wallflowers – Although the word ‘wallflower’ might be used to describe someone who is shy, the Wallflower plant is far from it! Bursting out in colourful blooms in yellows, oranges, reds and purples, Wallflowers bring sheer joy to a spring border. They’re also scented, which means that they’re a joy for both the eyes and the nose!
Browse Our Winter Bedding Range
Allotment Tips – August Newsletter
Do you or someone you know own an allotment and want to find out helpful hints and tips each month? Lee Senior is an experienced horticultural writer, RHS Yorkshire in Bloom judge and horticultural consultant, who writes a monthly entree on allotment tips each month for Suttons blog.
Our August Newsletter discusses some gardening topics, but Lee tackles everything from what’s happening on the plot right now, from fruit and veg to greenhouse maintenance and jobs in the shed!
We hope our August Newsletter inspires your summer garden displays and gives you plenty of jobs to get busy in the garden with this month! The end of July has seen scorching weather, let’s hope it sticks for August.
Join the Suttons community today and take us with you on your gardening journey – #MySuttonsJourney
In addition to our August Newsletter, browse our latest blog posts for gardening advice, how-to guides and insights into new products.