Your July Garden

As we reach the middle of summer, our minds often turn to taking a break, whether this is in our own back garden or further afield.

July is a month to give plenty of TLC to your garden to keep it at its peak and make sure if you are going away, that it’s kept in good condition for your return. Read our guide to July gardening activities to find out what to do this month, plants to enjoy, how to support wildlife and helpful gardening tips from our Hillier experts to keep your garden at its best.

What to Enjoy Now

Echinacea purpurea ‘Alba’

Gardening is as much about appreciating the beautiful now as planning and planting for the future. Enjoy these plants in your garden and home this month:

Flowering Now

  • Climbers: summer-flowering clematis varieties, Hydrangea petiolaris, jasmine, passiflora
  • Summer-flowering shrubs: abelia, abutilon, calycanthus, cotinus, deutzia, genista, hibiscus, Hydrangea macrophylla, Hydrangea paniculata, potentilla
  • Lavender varieties: Lavandula stoechas (French lavender) and Lavandula angustifolia (English lavender)
  • Perennials: acanthus, achillea, astrantia, campanula, Centaurea cyanus (cornflower), delphinium, dahlias, dianthus, echinacea, gaura, gazania, geranium, gerbera, gypsophila, helenium, iris, leucanthemum, lily varieties, marguerite, marigolds, nepeta, Papaver orientalis, ranunculus, rudbeckia, salvia, scabiosa, stocks, sunflowers, sweet peas, tiarella, verbascum
  • Roses
  • Summer bedding plants
  • Alpines: Lithodora ‘Heavenly Blue’, saxifrage, phlox

Great for Foliage and Structure

  • Cordyline, cynara, fatsia, hostas, heucheras, phormium, physocarpus, sambucus and tiarellas
  • Ornamental grasses: miscanthus, stipa
  • Ferns: Athyrium, dryopteris, matteucia, osmunda, polystichum


  • Flowering now: Begonias, kalanchoe, orchids, roses
  • Great for foliage: Adiantum (and other ferns), alocasia, chlorophytum, cordyline, ficus, kentia, monstera, schefflera, cacti and succulents

What to Plant Now

Plants like crocosmia bring a welcome burst of colour at the back end of summer

While maintaining your garden is the priority in July, there are also a number of plants that can be added now for instant and future impact.

Planting for Instant Impact

If you want immediate colour, foliage and scale in your garden, you can always find larger plants or those in bloom right now at Hillier Garden Centres for instant impact. 

Simply browse the ‘flowering now’ list above. Many of these plants will be available from the Garden Centre for immediate enjoyment and, once planted, should continue to develop year after year. Just remember to water them frequently while they establish, especially over the hot, dry summer months.

What to Plant for Future Interest

  • Early autumn-flowering perennials: Japanese anemone, aster, rudbeckia, sedum
  • Alpines – 1-litre plants allow for a cost-effective garden update
  • Later-flowering shrubs, such as hardy Fuchsias and Hydrangea paniculata varieties
  • There is still time to plant up hanging baskets for extra summer colour

Grow Your Own

Courgettes should be ready to harvest this month

In July, in the vegetable garden, there are still a number of crops that can be sown along with a growing harvest to pick. This is the month to stay on top of your weeding, watering and feeding routine.

Sow Outdoors

  • Sow beetroot, brussels sprouts, carrots, chicory, leeks for winter, lettuce, radishes, spring cabbage, sprouting broccoli, turnips
  • This is the last month to sow French beans and runner beans

Hillier tip: These climbers will need support to grow up and a wigwam is a simple and attractive solution. Simply place three to four bamboo canes into the ground and tie together at the top. Sow the seeds around each cane at the base – you will only need a single seed at the base of each cane for climbing runner and French beans.

Harvest Now

  • Many herbs improve in growth the more they are used – so be sure to pick and flavour your cooking!

Hillier tip: If you are looking for new recipe ideas, browse our recipe collection from our Hillier Development Chef

  • Harvest broad beans, broccoli, carrots, celery, courgettes, cucumber, French beans, kale, mangetout, peas, potatoes (second earlies and salad), rocket, spinach

Hillier tip: See the planting and harvesting times for many of our most loved vegetable and salad plants in our Seed Sowing Calendar.

Other Grow Your Own Activities

  • Be vigilant with weeding! Little and often is the key
  • Pests such as slugs and vine weevils may be problematic at this time of year. Make sure you have your desired pest control method in place

Hillier tip: Don’t forget to net any brassicas to stop Cabbage White butterflies laying eggs

  • Water – lower frequency and higher volume is best
  • Help deter pests in your vegetable plot by ‘companion planting’

Hillier tip: Planting marigolds in your vegetable patch can deter whitefly and also attract ladybirds, which will help to control aphids. They also emit a substance from the roots that deters nematode worms in the soil. Plant nasturtiums alongside your brassicas to attract cabbage white butterflies away from your precious greens. Plant pungent vegetables, such as onions, garlic or chives next to your carrots to deter carrot fly. Find more ideas in our Guide to Companion Planting

  • Add a little more support to any plants that are leaning
  • When your strawberry plants have finished, prune old foliage, weed and give the area a good mulch
  • Prune cherry or plum trees now

What to Do in the Garden

As we enter the heart of summer, there are enjoyable care and maintenance activities to do in the garden in July along with rest and appreciation.

Plants to Prune

  • Deadhead faded flowers from almost all of your garden plants to encourage a second flush

Hillier tip: As the first flush of flowers fade on herbaceous plants, cut the flower stems back and feed. This will encourage new flower growth to develop. Depending on how early or late they bloomed in the year, this may include delphiniums (trim only), geraniums, lupins (deadhead), alchemilla and erysimum (light trim). 

  • Deadhead roses frequently as the first flush fades to encourage repeat flowering

Hillier tip: When deadheading roses, cut down to the next outward facing bud and always cut shoots at a side angle. That ensures that water runs over the cut and down the stem

Plants to Feed

  • Feed roses with special rose feed with high potash as they grow. This will encourage a stronger, healthier flower. Mulch around them after feeding.

Hillier tip: High potash feeds are also ideal for tomatoes and fruit trees as they promote strong fruit production and increased sugar levels, meaning higher yields and sweeter fruit.

  • Applying a good feed regularly, particularly to containers and baskets, will help keep your garden in full bloom

Plants to Protect

  • When planting any herbaceous plants that have a tendency to grow floppy, add support as early as possible so they will grow up around it
  • Gently tie in any of the soft new growth from your climbing plants

Lawncare & Gardencare

  • Keep weeds at bay with a ‘little and often’ approach; spend a few minutes each week to remove weeds from borders and containers
  • Think about your watering routine. Containers in particular may want regularly watering as warm weather and wind can quickly dry soil

Hillier tip: Always make sure you water at the base of the plant so it reaches the roots. When watering, let the water sink down into the soil then repeat two or three times until the water no longer goes down quickly. If you hoe around plants, water will penetrate where it’s needed instead of running off. Get more tips in our Guide to Watering.

  • Install a water butt if space allows to collect and recycle rainwater over the coming year
  • On warmer days, open greenhouse vents and doors to keep it cool and ventilated and to prevent disease and fungus problems
  • Regularly mow your lawn. Cutting the grass too short will strip it of vital moisture and nutrients, so if possible, keep your blade setting high
  • Apply a high-nitrogen lawn feed such as Aftercut Ultra Green to keep grass lush and thick

Birds and Wildlife

As the temperature rises the ground becomes harder, making it more difficult for birds to source worms. On hot days, birds need extra water to stay hydrated and maintain a cool body temperature.

  • Continue to feed regularly with a high protein food, like sunflower seeds
  • Ensure clean water is available. Top up frequently in warm weather

Hillier tip: Read more about looking after our winged friends in our guide to year-round bird care

As the temperature rises the ground becomes harder, making it more difficult for birds to source worms. On hot days, birds need extra water to stay hydrated and maintain a cool body temperature.


Offer a continued food source for butterflies by having nectar-rich plants in your garden and you will be rewarded with the sight of them flitting happily around your garden in the warm sunshine. In summer, good choices include alliums, aquilegia, buddleja, ceanothus, dahlia, erysimum, lavender, roses and Verbena bonariensis. Find more in our article on Plants to Attract Butterflies.

The Big Butterfly Count takes place in July every year - join in and help record the health of the nation's butterflies.


Bees are at their most active from spring into early autumn. On warm days, the sound of buzzing will instantly alert you to the plants in your garden that are best-loved by bees. Asters, antirrhinum (snapdragon), delphinium, digitalis (foxgloves) and heather are just some of the many good summer plants for bees.

Monthly Tool Checklist

Some of the essential garden tools and products we recommend to have ready in your shed.

For planting:

  • Digging fork and spade, multi-purpose compost

For weeding:

  • A Dutch hoe or weed slice, gardening gloves, hand trowel and fork

For sowing outdoors:

  • Plant labels, trowel, watering can (or hose plus suitable attachment)

For pruning and deadheading:

  • Pruning shears / secateurs