September

This month's gardening feature is about how to get children involved.

Gardening has great benefits for children. It's a healthy hobby where children can learn and have fun. It will help keep them off their electronics and out in the fresh air.

Here's some top tips on what you can do:

  • give them their own area to experiment. If space is limited, a plant pot would work well too
  • pick plants that are easy to grow to keep them interested. Plants such as primroses, primula vulgaris and pansy
  • competitions - sunflowers are a great example on how get your child involved... how far will theirs grow compared to yours! Or how many plant holes can they dig in two minutes
  • plant colourful plants - these will not only attract bees and butterflies, but could catch your child's eye too
  • buy your child their own tools so they can look after them and take responsibility for them

Visit The Royal Horticultural Society website for more information and resources

Summer border plants

Summer planting season is not yet over and BBQs are still a goer. So if you're planning to host a small gathering, here are our five best plants that you can use to get your borders looking in tip-top condition: 

Daylillies

These grow best in full sunlight, with the growing season running until the end of the summer. There are hundreds of daylilly varieties, so there should be some great options to choose from at your local garden centre

Clematis

A number of clematis varieties bloom in August, including clematis orientalis (yellow blooms), cleamtis tangutica (yellow blooms), and clematis jackmanii (blue blooms).

Petunias

Petunias are perennials and are very commonly found in summer floral baskets that you can pick up from your local garden centre or supermarket. They bloom in reds, pinks, white and purples, giving your garden a warm and inviting look.

Dahlias

These sharp, rich flowers can really jazz up a tired looking border: They come in a range of colours and shapes, including cactus types.

Iris

These are pefrect August plants - fully bloomed now. By planting them in August, they're likely to develop a strong root system ready for winter, meaning they should bloom again next year.

Back garden dining tips

Here are some other tips when it comes to having people over in your back garden:

A good table

Make sure your table is big enough for your guests. Many garden retailers will now have discounts on furniture to ensure stock is sold through before the summer season ends

Solar lights

Anything environmentally friendly we love. These are cheap and available from most supermarket and home retailers. If you haven't got yours this summer, get out and grab some - they look great hung around a tree.

BBQs

Think about how many guests you're having over: Do you really need to use a big BBQ? Using a large charcoal BBQ causes a lot of cleaning-up and leftover charcoal waste to dispose of. Keep the waste down by using a small reusable BBQ. These are cheap and easy to store away.

We'll be posting regular updates on garden gatherings throughout August. For more useful info, follow our Medway Recycles Twitter page.

Check out getcomposting and get buy one get one half price on water butts and compositing bins.