A rose smells sweet in any garden

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The summer weather has arrived early and the next month will be the perfect time to enjoy the garden.

With the evenings getting longer and brighter you can use your garden or patio as a great extension to your home — whether it’s in the countryside or in a smaller, but equally treasured, urban environment.

The UK is an urbanised society, with more than 85 per cent of the UK population living in towns or cities, which means that urban gardens are now a significant part of our national landscape. They make up around 25 per cent of the total urban area in many cities and, although numerous, are often limited in size.

Container gardens often provide an easy and instant makeover option for anyone looking to take advantage of the summer months by utilising some outside space. With just one £50 National Garden Gift Voucher you can create a colourful outside living area that will attract wildlife such as bees and butterflies by using inexpensive yet functional containers.

It’s best if you use the same or similar colours for the pots and containers and use trailing plants with abandon. Letting plants fall over the side of the pots moves them into the background, hides any imperfections in your containers and puts the focus on the plants — which is where it belongs.

If you have inherited some tired looking pots from friends or family then plant some tall, dramatic plants to keep the eye from examining the containers too closely. Hollyhocks and cosmos are tall plants that can easily — and quickly — be grown from seed or bought as established plants.

Not often thought an option for small gardens, but an excellent container plant, is a rose. There is a rose for every garden situation, even indoors. From Hybrid Teas to miniatures, climbers to floribundas, the choice is endless. Roses are easy to grow and will thrive in most soil types providing there is good drainage. They prefer a position that is sunny and not too exposed and need regular feeding which will improve their resistance to pests and disease. Some roses, however, will require spraying to combat aphids and mildew.