July is the time of year when (with any luck) the garden is in full bloom and you can sit back and relax in the sunshine and admire the view of your beautiful garden. But for those of us who just can't sit still in the garden, there are flowers we can be planning now for next summer.
Here are just a few ideas for flowers to sow or propagate in July for next year.
Sprinkle aquilegia directly on the soil in the garden throughout the summer, or plant them in seed trays indoors. If slow to germinate they may need a period of stratification - tricking them into thinking they’ve been through a cold spell to spark the seeds into action. Cover the seed tray with polythene and put it in the fridge for 2-3 weeks, then place in the greenhouse or a windowsill. Remove polythene when they start to germinate.
Spring/summer sown aquilegia should be ready to plant out in autumn for flowering the following spring.
I have just sown some aquilegia that I collected from my parents garden in 2019 - it's a long shot but I hope they grow 🤞.
Scatter the seeds thinly in a tray of moist seed or cutting compost
Press them down firmly but don’t cover - they need light to germinate, so don’t cover them up.
Keep them outdoors with some shelter, in an unheated greenhouse or indoors. They should take 2-3 weeks to germinate.
Forget me not
Forget me not flowers grow easily and freely from seed. You can scatter them directly in the garden or sow them in seed trays for planting out in the autumn. They should then flower the following spring.
If you haven’t already planted Lupin seeds in the garden you can do it now. The seed heads should be dry and brown on the plant by now - the perfect time to harvest them.
The RHS recommends giving each seed a small nick with a knife and then soaking for 24 hours before planting because they have a thick skin.
They should germinate 10-14 days after planting.
Now is a great time to take cuttings of your favourite penstemons for next year. Look for a stem with no flowers or buds, and cut a piece measuring about 5 inches. Cut just underneath a pair of leaves. Remove these leaves and all other leaves except the topmost ones, dip them in some rooting mixture (powder or gel) and put them in soil around the edges of your pot. Keep moist but not too wet.
Remember that when growing plants from seed you can't guarantee they will be exactly the same colour as the parent plant - some variations may occur. To get a true match to the parent plant cuttings are better than seeds.
What seeds are you planting in July?