Saturday, 18 June 2016

June Bouquet

An unusually sunny spring pushed many plants into flowering ahead of their usual schedule. I had agreed to open my garden this month for the Hardy Plant Group, thinking my roses would be at their best, but most of them had shed their petals and were busy forming hips. What my visitors missed was most of this:

The roses were definitely at their best before the end of May, including 'Lykkefund' in full, scented glory along the west fence,

... 'Ghislaine de FĂ©ligonde', on the back fence,

... and 'Rosa Mundi' anchoring a corner of the back garden.

Thalictrum 'Silk Stockings' had also wrapped up its cloudy mauve display, although the dark stems that its name refers to were still in evidence for those who noticed.

I had moved Verbascum 'Jackie' from the front garden to partner it, hoping that Jackie's purple eye would be a good echo, but the combination wasn't as good as I'd hoped, partly because 'Jackie' seems to have changed colour. I'm fairly sure I remember it having apricot petals.

Most of the peonies were also over, unfortunately, including the dark pink unknown (one of a few plants here when we bought the property), as well as its neighbour, Sanguisorba menziesii.

 'Festiva Maxima' had shed all its petals. It was beautiful in late May, although the hot weather seemed to have robbed it of its usual sweet scent.

At least there were some other perennials to create some interest, like my single bloom of Primula viallii, with Hosta 'American Halo' conveniently providing a backdrop.

Hydrangea nigra, another anchor plant, wasn't yet in bloom, but its stems against emerald-green leaves are its main attraction anyway.

A couple of other hydrangeas were flowering, among them little 'Beni', which opens pure white and gradually changes to a surprisingly vivid lipstick pink.

I've tried to dot bulbs of Allium christophii here and there as accents, but not all of them came up. Those that did were spectacular.

Just as a curiosity I had let another bulb, a small tulip called 'Peppermint Stick', develop its seed pods.

I'm hoping that it will spread itself around as I really liked its cheerful display  There's a photo of it in bloom in my May entry.

One of this year's successes, fortunately at its best this past week, has been the combinations in a long thin bed beside our back path. This relatively new section is currently dominated by a creamy-white clover, Trifolium ochroleucum, which attracted quite a lot of attention.

It shares space with (l. to r.) blue Veronica 'Royal Candles', pink Astrantia 'Roma' and one of my favourite foxgloves,  cinnamon-coloured Digitalis parviflora.

Some poppy seeds I'd scattered under a young smokebush, Cotinus 'Grace', created another good combination. (I'm not sure I'll keep the smokebush though: it has an awkward, leggy growth habit, and I made a vow that I would have no ungainly plants in this garden.)

 One of the poppies had also somehow got over the back fence and fought its way up through the foliage of 'Ghislaine de FĂ©ligonde'. Talk about a tall poppy!

Other little sparkles of colour were provided by Rodgersia 'Maurice Mason' in my darkest dampest corner,

... where it contrasts with the foliage of Ligularia 'Othello',

... and, down at ground level, the curious flowers of Oregano 'Kent Beauty'. My photographs of it do not do it the justice of this one by my lovely daughter.

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