Most of the really pressing chores should be done by now in the northern garden, so you can take time out to enjoy your garden. I realize that this is a difficult thing to do, for every year I say to myself, “Slow down, take it easy; don’t be a slave to the garden and landscape.” But every year it’s the same old story: In common with about fifty million other gardeners, I always bite off more than I can chew. I have only a little time to really look at and enjoy the late spring beauty of Oriental poppies, delphinium, lilium and the rest of the June flowering perennials.
Planting water-lilies: It is not too late to plant hardy water lilies, and in most places it is not too early to set out the tropical kinds. Usually by June 15, in the vicinity of New York City, the weather is settled and warm.
The treatment of water-lilies depends on the size of the pool: if it is a small one, say about 7 x 10 feet, and you want to grow several kinds of water-lilies in it, avoid using rich soil and large containers. If you provide these favorable conditions, the water lilies will grow so big that you won’t be able to see the water for the water-lilies.
In a small pool landscape, if the water-lilies are grown in ordinary garden soil and placed in containers 6 x 14 inches, there will be room for two tropical varieties or three or four hardy kinds. Waterlilies have the admirable faculty of cutting their coat according to the cloth; they will look healthy but be smaller if they are kept on the verge of starvation.
Other planting to do in June: Gladiolus, dahlias and bedding plants such as begonia, pelargonium (geranium) and lantana can be planted now. In the vegetable garden celery can be planted and, if the garden is a small one, follow-up crops can be planted in the spaces vacated by early maturing crops such as spinach, lettuce and radish. Incidentally, one of the best of all crops to replace spinach is bush limas or bush snap beans.
Removing seed pods: One of the pleasant chores, which can be done at odd times or when you want a change from hard work, is the removing of immature seed pods from mountain-laurel, rhododendron and lilac. This task has a double purpose: that of neatening the plants and also conserving their energy for future growth.
Thinning fruit trees: After the June drop of fruits of apple, plum and peach – the trees may still bear more fruit than they can carry to maturity; the excess should be removed. Leave apples and peaches spaced 6 to 8 inches apart, plums spaced 3 to 4 inches apart.
Other chores to be done in the landscape: Spray the roses. Sow seeds of biennials. Shear the deciduous hedges.
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