June is when most gardens look their best. Take time to enjoy them. If you’re like me that is all but impossible, as you always spot the things that need doing. If you can’t just sit, then grab a cup of tea, walk round the garden, and just look. 

Tea drunk – start gardening. Those perennials that flowered early can be cut back. Oriental poppies, lupins and delphiniums will give you a fresh flush of foliage and, if you’re very lucky, a second flowering. 

Multiply what you already have. Houseplants such as aloes and other succulents produce babies (technically offsets). These can be planted up in a free-draining compost. Softwood cuttings can taken from the young growth of deciduous shrubs such as fuchsias and hydrangeas. You-tube has a multitude of videos showing you how.

In the veg garden you can sow courgettes, marrows and pumpkins. They like plenty of organic matter in the soil and, once they get going, they take-up a lot of room. I’m now trying some climbing varieties to free up ground space. French and runner beans can be sown directly where they are to grow. Unless you’re growing dwarf varieties you’ll need to put in supports. Keep going with successional sowing of lettuce and salad leaves. Autumn and winter brassicas, such as kale, Savoy cabbage and the odd-looking kohl rabi can also be sown now. Tomatoes will need regular feeding.

You’re spoilt for choice with National Garden Scheme openings this month. There are openings every weekend, and on many weekdays too. Hestercombe (4 June) and Kilver Court (12 June) are very large gardens that are well worth a visit. In Frome, on 16 June, there are 7 town gardens opening. These village openings are always interesting; it would be great if we could do something similar in Churchill and Langford! Full details of all NGS openings are available on the NGS website, or download the app.

A reminder, the Churchill and Langford minibus will be running to Hanham Court on 9 June. If space remains the fare is £5, and the garden entry fee £8. In July we’ll be going to Babbs Farm, near Highbridge, on the 14th. The fare is £4 and the garden entry fee £8. Tea and cake is on offer. For bookings email or call me; john.simmons3462@gmail.com, 07855-944049. First-come, first-served.