June is coming to its end and we are right in the middle of this years summer season. The beds are filled with mainly annuals; the first summer bedding plants like Petunia integrefolia or Salvia ‘Oxford Blue’ have started to bloom. Early summer flowering bulbs like ornamental Allium christophii or Gladiolus ‘The Bride’ are on enjoying their moment but will fade soon enough to make room for the main summer plants.
Pic1 View from the south side to the north side of the formal flower garden
Nectaroscordum siculum, the Sicilian honey garlic, would be another early summer flowering bulb. If you follow my garden blog regularly you will notice that I have mentioned this plant before; I just love its delicate look among other taller plants. It is a very reliable and long living bulb and doesn’t seem to rot in wet ground like other bulbs.
Pic2 Sicilian honey garlic beside Euphorbia mellifera (Honey spurge)
The high season has also started in our Herbaceous Border and purple, yellow and pink tones have taken over from a late spring display. Irises, Geraniums and Yellow loosestrife fill the border with vibrant colours. Gaps are filled with annuals like Tropaeolum or with biannuals like Digitalis, Verbascum or Althea. Work never ends in this border and it is important to stay on top of things like dead heading or edging.
Pic3 Iris, Geranium and Yellow loosestrife
We did a lot of planting in our Rockery earlier this year and many of these mainly dry loving plants are in bloom right now like Campanula muralis with its intense deep mauve blossom. I hope the summer will be dry enough for these plants to settle well and also to last several seasons, a challenge we have to face every year.
Pic4 Campanula muralis
The buzz is also going on in our Vegetable garden; it is not always easy to stay on top of all the jobs which need to be done. Weeds, grass and seed heads are growing at the same speed as the vegetable plants themselves so constant checking, cutting, picking, tilling, hoeing, tying and checking for pests are on the daily task list these days. The great weather this May really encouraged growth and our Potatoes, Broad beans and Mangetouts are doing particularly good.
Pic5 Potato ‘British Queens’
Also our Globe Artichokes are well on schedule,a few are ready for harvesting. We would always leave a few heads on since they just look very attractive.
Pic6 Artichoke ‘Green Globe’
In between the vegetable plots we have tripods made with our own willow, where we grow heritage varieties of Sweetpeas. Our collection has about 20 varieties which were all introduced before 1901. One of the most successful would be ‘Painted Lady’, a double coloured white and pink Sweetpea. The scent always brings back memories of my German granny; the Sweetpea was her favorite flower!
Pic7 Sweetpea (Lathyrus) ‘Painted Lady’
We had lovely visitors in the garden yesterday. The pre-school class of our local creche came over to look at their newly planted trees from the National Tree planting week last March. All were exited to see that the trees have grown already and a treat of freshly picked Raspberries went down well with the boys and girls.
Pic8 The local pre-schoolers
We also gave our ever popular ‘stand-still’ sheep herd a special treatment. After an intensive body scrub and a bit of painting they are back in position at our Tea house just outside the Walled Garden.
Pic9 Our ‘easy maintenance’ sheep family (no feeding or running after needed!!!)
I will be back with more news in July, happy gardening!
Your Head Gardener
Things you can do in your garden in June:
To Sow / Propagate:
~ Sow more lettuce, radishes, spinach, green manure to replace old ones
~ Second sowing of summer bedding as replacement plants like Calendulas or Tagetes
~ Take softwood cuttings of shrubs like Fuchsia
~ Plant potted plants into final positions, feed and water well
~ Plant out pumpkins, marrows and courgettes; stake if necessary
~ Plant more lettuces, spring onion
~ Plant last of Herbaceous annuals and biannuals
To maintain & prune & feed:
~ Prune shrubs after finish flowering (Deutzia, Weigelia…)
~ Summer feeding of lawns
~ Morning watering of new crops and bedding is essential in dry periods
~ Feed annual bedding plants and baskets every couple of weeks
~ Start to deadhead herbaceous plants regularly
~ Look out for caterpillars, green or black flyes and signs of blight