Weekly Blogs

Gardening Tips and Advice

Welcome to “Gardening Tips and Advice” on Boyletoday.com, the official Ardcarne Garden Centre gardening column. Every Wednesday, the experts in your local Ardcarne Garden Centre will provide relevant and topical items of interest exclusively here on Boyletoday.com to help you get the best from your garden.

Job of the week: Prune Clematis montana

Early-flowering clematis don’t need annual pruning, but after a few years they can get unruly and overgrown. If yours is getting out of hand, cut back after flowering. Trace back individual shoots and prune to the base. They’re robust plants and recover quickly from hard pruning: finish off with a liquid feed and a mulch to see them through the rest of the year.


  • Sow plants for spring colour such as polyanthus and pansies

  • Plant out new plants before the summer heats up too much

  • Sow hardy annuals outside to flower later in the summer

Fruit & veg:

  •  Plant out tender vegetables such as tomatoes and runner beans

  • Harvest basil regularly to keep it producing lots of fresh new growth

  • Protect cabbage plants against root fly with collars around the base


  •  Pinch out tomato sideshoots between thumb and forefinger

  • Damp down the floor regularly to keep temperatures down

  • Pot on bedding plants bought as plugs till they’re ready to plant out

Around the garden:

  • Mow the lawn and trim edges once a week if possible – and at least fortnightly

  • Spray weeds on gravel paths and drives.

Focus on Scented Plants …

The Scented Garden

Summer sunshine really transforms the garden into a melting pot of fragrances, adding greatly to the enjoyment when relaxing on a warm summer’s evening. When buying plants it’s always worth asking yourself do they have any fragrance. Even if the plant doesn’t have scented flowers perhaps the leaves may be aromatic, such as those on rosemary or thyme and offer a treat whenever brushed against or rubbed.


There are of course classic plants for fragrance and roses are top of the list for capturing the pure essence of summer with their sweet perfume. Nuzzle your nose into the velvety coral red blooms of ‘Fragrant Cloud’ or the old-fashioned pink ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ and you’ll be guaranteed to go back for another sniff. Spare a few blooms for a vase indoors to fully indulge in all their individual nuances.


With some plants you don’t even need to get near their flowers, as their fragrance wafts about the garden. This is especially true of philadelphus, a shrub commonly known as mock orange, which has white flowers that are virtually drenched in an exotic, orange blossom perfume. Honeysuckles offer the same free flowing fragrance, especially on balmy summer evenings. Lonicera japonica ‘Halliana’ is a particularly good honeysuckle as it remains evergreen in winter and is incredibly useful at disguising old sheds or softening large expanses of bare wall.


A scented climber we find more and more popular here at Ardcarne Plantsplus Garden Centre is the Star Jasmine, otherwise known as the rather tongue twisting Trachelsopermum jasminoides. Given a warm wall and a bit of trellis for support, its evergreen shoots will quickly make a dark green covering, sprinkled with starry white flowers in late summer. As the name suggests these flowers have a delicious jasmine perfume.


Lavenders are invaluable summer flowering shrubs with both scented flowers and foliage. It’s virtually irresistible to walk past a lavender in flower without reaching out to rub one of the aromatic blue flower heads. Incidentally, the English lavenders such as ‘Hidcote’ and ‘Munstead’ are much longer lived plants in the garden than the French lavenders (Lavandula stoechas) and you’ll get many more years out of all lavenders by pruning them back after flowering. Lavender is often sold as a herb and you’ll find that most other herbs are scented too, especially sage, thyme and mint.


Lilies are renowned for their scent, but strangely enough not all are scented. If it’s a good fragrance you are after then the regal lily, Lilium regale, or varieties such as ‘Stargazer’ and ‘Mona Lisa’ won’t disappoint. These can be planted in the border or kept in pots, which gives you the chance of placing them within easy sniffing distance.


One scented plant that is sure to get the mouth watering is the chocolate cosmos, Cosmos atrosanguineum. This herbaceous plant has dark maroon flowers with a scent just like hot chocolate. It’s always a talking point in flower – and it’s low in calories!


For more information contact:

Ardcarne Garden Centre

Boyle, Tel: 07196 67091

Roscommon Town: Tel: 09066 27700

Email: [email protected]



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