End of Month – June 2012
It’s that time again, where I get to lament about the passing months and how quickly it all seems to have flown by. Only this time I honestly cannot believe it’s almost July. I think it’s mainly due to work and having my duff knee so really I’ve lost a two weeks just sitting inside most of the time trying to rest.
Right, well I guess I ought to get onto the garden…
Needless to say this year’s been quite a good one, at least in terms of plenty of green and growth on the plants. And for the first time I’m even relatively pleased with the Buddleja border – although I am worried about the Buddleja this year but I’ll mention that later.
The Front Garden
Let’s look at the path border. It’s a little dis-jointed at the moment. And I need to move some of the spring bulbs that I planted in autumn as their growth is covering the Corkscrew rush as it dies away and I can actually barely even notice the Rush or the Salvia attempting to grow. However, I am pleased with the second section that I planted earlier this year and then planted Susan Williams-Ellis to replace the iceberg rose that sadly needed removing.
Here we can see a whole range of plants, perhaps too many to name but there’s the rose, Meadow Clary, Erysimum, Stipa and Oriental Poppy.
At this time of year the front window border is looking less than pretty. The last of the spring bulbs are still dying away and there’s next to no blooms at all now; this is something I need to rectify – does anyone have any good suggestions for a shady summer flowering plant? The area is very wet in winter and generally stays damp even in summer. I do have some Astilbe, but that’s it for later bloomers and definitely no autumn interest at all. Of course, the grass also needs trimming but thanks to the rain, there’s often only a very small window to get it done!
The Back Garden
Here’s the right border, this is the one I extended a few weeks ago – and the very reason my knee is 10x worse than it ought to be. This is the border looking from the side of the house/decking… now it’s been extended round the back side, next year I’ll work on this angle as it’s all getting too dense and the Bird’s Foot Trefoil is taking over; I’ll move it to the slope on the upper tier. From this angle we can’t really see the extension round the other side, but perhaps that isn’t a bad thing and at least means there’s interest from all sides.
The Buddleja border looks like it might actually become interesting, soon. This is mainly thanks to the Geranium thurstonianum that has grown enormously since last year and I now need to move a couple of Japanese painted ferns to the front window border because they’re being covered by other plants. The buddleja itself is causing me some concerns, so far it’s much behind in growth to my other even though it was chopped back much earlier but it’s also recently lost a lot of branches with the wind – I’ve never experienced this before, and the wind hasn’t even been that bad here; a bit blustery but I wouldn’t say massively strong. So I’m just concerned there’s something wrong with it and perhaps it’s dying.
This year I’ve added a few Lupins here too, and thankfully the Astrantias are doing well thanks to all the rain we’ve had. I’m unsure if I need more height in the border – I removed a lot because of the shade it cast, but now I’m unsure. Tbh I’m glad just to see more than brown soil when I look out now.
Poppies have begun to open in the aster border, however I am also disappointed they’re not what I had planned. All I can assume is some have managed to seed from last year. But this doesn’t explain why none of the many, many poppy seeds have germinated; I have such bad luck with them that I’m on the verge of giving up. In the next week or two there will be far more colour here, especially once the Veronica and Shasta daisies bloom. I stil need to remove some of the grasses I planted late last year, but I need to deal with the right border first.
Samobor in the Cherry border needs chopping back, as does Herb Robert and the Macrorrhizum Geraniums… they are beginning to look an eyesore at the moment. Plus the Foxgloves which almost all are leaning over, certainly adds to the chaotic, messy appearance. Some have grown into real giants, with a couple verging on 7 foot; compared to last year’s that struggled to reach 3foot it’s quite a difference. I’m not sure if there’s much I plan for this area… I’m tempted to move Samobor, but I realise it’s been an exceptional year and many plants are much larger than normal so I may leave it as it is and expect it to be a reasonable size next year – assuming the weather is more typical for England!
Here we can see how obscene Samobor is; it’s huge and looks completely out of place (I’d planned to cut it back today, but forgot!) the Herb robert have also been battered around by the wind so they’re looking very scratty and I think I’ll also cut them back and attempt to tidy up the border. Beneath is a photo of one of the massive Foxgloves. When it’s upright, it towers above me.
The upper tier is difficult for me to photograph – I need a smaller lens – and there is now some colour in this space thanks to rose Gertrude Jekyll, Geranium ‘Orion’, Fever few and Campanula. Veronicastrum and Acontium will soon be blooming too and later followed by Asters and Anemones. I do want to add late blooming Clematis to the fence too, perhaps a white or purple.
I’ve sown loads of Foxglove seeds too that will eventually be planted up here next year, and I may even sow some seeds direct.
Bramble is blooming in the hedge along with the Elder… I wonder why some brambles have pink blooms and others white? There must be quite a few varieties, I assume. And finally, Gertrude Jekyll has opened her first blooms; I’m not too sure about the shade of pink tbh – it is very strong! – but the perfume is similar to that of ‘harlow carr’ but the blooms are much larger; similar in size to Tess of the D’ubervilles. I need to add wire trellising to the fence for or climbers and her to grow up.