Evermore Guest: The Hackney Gardener

Our guest this month is Stina Hasan from the Hackney Gardener. She gives us her top tips and advice for keeping on top of our gardens and green spaces over the summer months.
The Hackney Gardener - Summer flowers

Taking over the journal this week offering us her top gardening advice is landscape gardener, Stina Hasan, otherwise known as The Hackney Gardener. Stina was born and raised in Sweden but moved to London 20 years ago to study Fashion Design at University and now works as a fashion designer.

Stina has combined her love of gardening and photography by creating The Hackney Gardener – a platform where she shares moments from her family’s East London home and garden, her monthly gardening tips for fellow urban gardeners, alongside inspirational photos from visits to beautiful English Gardens across the UK. Stina’s approach to gardening is very Swedish, it’s all about balance and not striving for perfection, whilst having fun and enjoying the process. Over to you, Stina…

British Gardener, Stina Hasan (The Hackney Gardener)

Collect seeds

“Saving seeds from this year’s flowers is such a lovely thing to do. It means that next year you can grow lots more of your favourites for free! Poppies will be among the first to be ready, they usually flower in early June so the seeds should be ripe about now. If you hear a rattling sound when you shake their seed pods, you know they are good to harvest. In dry weather, simply shake the pods over a paper bag or envelope – you will get thousands of tiny seeds from each one so you can swap and share them with friends. Later you can also save seeds from sunflowers, nasturtiums, cosmos and most other annuals.”

Summer florals - Evermore Venus Scented Candle

Feed flowers and vegetables

“If you keep on top of feeding and watering, plants like Dahlias will flower well into the autumn. This is especially important for anything growing in pots – these are hungry plants and they will have exhausted the nutrients in the compost by now. Feeding once a week is ideal but as long as you remember to occasionally do it, that’s totally fine. A good organic tomato feed is a great all round product, I also really like using organic liquid seaweed feed. If you have access to comfrey you can make your own feed. To do this, fill a bucket with comfrey leaves and cover them with water, then leave to stew for a few weeks. Mix the resulting liquid one part comfrey feed to ten parts water before using to give your flowers and vegetables a boost.”

The Hackney Gardener, Stina Hasan

Cut back perennials

By July the garden reaches a point where nature takes over – everything goes a bit wild and it feels like you are no longer in control. That is completely wonderful but there is no harm in tidying things up a little. Perennials like hardy geraniums can get leggy and bare at the base this time of year and they really benefit from being cut back quite hard. You can chop them to just above the ground and within a few weeks you will have fresh foliage and soon after, more flowers. A gentler way is to simply cut back any particularly long stems and fresh growth will appear at the nearest leaf joint.”

British Garden in the Summertime

Sit back and enjoy

“Spring and early summer are busy times in the garden with seeds to sow, plants to stake and seemingly endless lists of other jobs to do. But by now the garden is in full swing and it is so important to make time to just sit and enjoy it. Gardening is an amazing hobby but if you let the outdoor chores get on top of you it can end up being an added stress instead of a relaxing, joyful escape. Focus on the things that really worked out this year and remember that if something didn’t turn out quite how you wanted, you can always try again next year.”

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