End of month view: June 2015

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I’m joining in with Helen from the Patient Gardener to share my EOMV for June.

June has been very dry here in the south-east of the UK and I don’t use mains water on my garden. Fortunately the water-butt was replenished the weekend before last and I save all my run-off water from washing salads and vegetables from the allotment so I don’t feel my 150 square metre, east-facing, tree-shaded, predominantly clay soil (but improved over the last 24 years with thousands of cubic litres of home-made compost, grass cuttings, shreddings and leaf mould) garden is suffering too much! When it is very hot I enjoy wandering around the garden in the cool of the evening deciding what really needs a can of water. And after watering I usually seal the moisture in with a layer of freshly dug home-made compost, especially important for roses and clematis, any new plantings and for shrubs that have undergone renovation pruning.

For this post I thought it would be useful to concentrate on one area of the garden and try to describe its successional and layered planting, especially as it’s having a quick rest right now. The view above is a west-facing border which started the year with a carpet of snowdrops under the pear tree (Pyrus pendula salicifolia) and around the base of Viburnum Bodnantense ‘Dawn’. This was followed by the lime green flowers of the Corsican hellebore. I love the foliage and flowers of this hellebore, it is also very easy to propagate and looks good all year.

Tulip purissima (in the ground for at least five years and no sign of diminishing) contrasting with the palest pink/white flowers of  Bergenia ‘Silberlicht’ (another very easy to propagate perennial) is next in the limelight as the white blossom of the pear tree comes out and the lime green ‘flowers’ of Euphorbia characias wulfenii gradually  appear, another easy to propagate shrubby perennial. Next I enjoy the violet-blue flowers of a hardy geranium which have been magnificent this year especially when they’ve caught the setting sun, and, yes, yet another plant I propagate.

Now this border is waiting for Hemerocallis  ‘Hyperion’ to flower. I love its lily of the valley scent and clear yellow flowers. This plant is currently suffering from excess shading from the pear tree, a situation I may address next winter. I have a huge stand of this hemerocallis in a nursery bed at the allotment and it’s currently flowering its socks off so I may divide and move some fresh plants home next spring once I’ve mustered the courage to tackle the pear tree. Finally I have several small agapanthus with flowering stems, I moved them here last year from where they’d self-seeded in the gravel next to the water-butt, and a good clump of crocosmia ‘honey bells’, a very well-behaved variety which I’m  gradually introducing to other parts of the garden. One other plant of note in this border is the almost evergreen honeysuckle (Lonicera Halliana) which climbs up and through the pear tree, smells divine and flowers for about six months of the year.

This border has evolved and developed over the years and the plants here today are those that have proved their mettle. I almost forgot to  mention the soft shield fern (Polystichum setiferum) and white aquilegia growing under the pear tree (yet more propagating!) and new to me this year Anemone nemerosa ‘Vestal’ bought at Sissinghurst in March. It’s more or less disappeared now but I’ve marked its spot so I avoid it when I plant out white narcissus bulbs this autumn (from last year’s tulip, narcissus and crocus lasagna pot). The total width of this curved border is about 5 metres and it ranges in depth from 1 – 2 metres and it works pretty hard all year. My one big failure or mistake was to plant miscanthus, but that’s gone now, phew! I did try to propagate from it but my axe-wielding ability was sorely lacking. Digging it out was the only time I’ve needed help from my husband in the garden.

No more writing (I do all my blogging on my iPad), let’s look at some other parts of the garden, including a couple of photos from one end of the front garden, also shaded by a line of trees.

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Having rambled on for so long about one border I thought the very least I could do was to take a few more photos this morning of the ‘resting’ border in question. My photos aren’t very good I know (my very talented photographer son took some wonderful photos last week when he was home for a while but unfortunately I haven’t managed to download/upload them yet). I’m starting to work out the best time to photograph different borders but getting the right angle and focus is still a learning curve. Furthermore all photos are taken on my iPhone or iPad.  I still feel I’m finding my voice with blogging, especially these warts and all posts.  Am I talking to myself, to Helen, to you or simply cyber space?

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9 thoughts on “End of month view: June 2015

  1. Thank you Linda. Yes it is a shallow 60cm wildlife pond with sloping sides and a 30cm deep marginal shelf running around the edge on which I place baskets of water plants. It is lovely and today it was shimmering with blue and red damselflies and newts just suspended in the water. The best thing is that it is completely self-regulating. The plants keep the water clear and healthy and the deck shades about one third of it which is lovely. I love it! It was the best thing I did in the garden.

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  2. The garden is looking lovely and you are certainly talking to me! I’ve inherited Hemerocallis and crocosmia and neither of them are well behaved varieties, they are becoming a real problem. I’ve eradicated most of the former now but I think the day lily will be going too. They are brutes.

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  3. Yes, the orange montbretia especially is a real problem in the south-west. On one of our coastal walks in West Penwith this year we saw a massive clump growing in a rocky cove, obviously washed down there by winter rains. With such a small garden I have to keep my eye on anything that threatens to get too big for its boots, the miscanthus being a good example of what happens when you take your eye off the ball for a season or two! One day I hope I’ll have a garden where I can let things go a bit …

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  4. What a fascinating blog. I am so glad you commented on mine and brought me here. To be honest I am a bit daunted by how cared for your garden looks. Mine is always on the brink of chaos and I lose so many plants because the native ones which thrive here have to be so strong they elbow others out. You inspire me to try harder!

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  5. And your blog inspires me to fulfil my dream of having a big wild garden I can lose myself in! “A Gentle Plea For Chaos” by Mirabel Osler is one of my favourite gardening books.

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  6. Your garden is really beautiful and well-planned. You write with such knowledge and authority about it too, I’m really impressed. I hope you have a good weekend.

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  7. It looks very lush and such a welcoming space to enjoy this warmer weather we have been having. I just love your pond and decking area. I’m not normally into decking, but then most people don’t think about what they are doing and just plonk it down. Yours looks so well designed and sits so well in amongst the pond and plants.

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