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Another Wander around our Garden in June

We can start the second part of our wander by looking again at the front garden. Buds give us hints of blooms to come in midsummer, Phlomis, Oriental Poppies, Erygiums and Echinops. Promises of yellows, reds and steely blues.

Foliage colour and texture can be as striking as the most colourful of flowers.

Our collection of Clematis are beginning to flower and others are covered in robust buds.

Flower colours have been so important during the first few weeks of this month simply as an antidote to dull days and dark skies. It matters not whether it is a gaudy cerise beauty or a subtle green or white.

Blue on blue.

Another view of our Freda Border.

Our mini-meadows in their pots are developing well. We think we may be onto a winner.

The Shed Bed created on the site of an old shed which we demolished when we moved in, is really pleasing as below the shed we found just rubble, gravel, broken pots and sand. We added wheelbarrows of compost to improve it and now every little flower is a true gem.

A vine grows over one end of the greenhouse acting as a natural shading agent as well as feeding the gardeners. The startlingly red flowering currant has hitched a lift along it so the vine drips with red droplets.

We enjoy these irises as cut flowers but bees take advantage of them before we pick them. This clump is growing through our stepover apples. Double harvesting – cut flowers followed by apples.

The planting around the pool has closed in and made it an intimate area. Nearby the Prairie Garden is bursting with fresh blooms.

In the Secret Garden Aquilegias and Alliums look good alongside the purple foliage of Pentstemon Huskers Red.

These aeonium enjoy the hottest part of the garden, the Rill Garden.

To one side of the rill we grow a snake bark maple, with silver and green striped bark, cream and red seed capsules and in autumn it has amazing rich red foliage. A wonderful specimen tree to finish this garden wander underneath.

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Three Flowering Currants

In each of our four gardens that we have developed we have grown the commonest of flowering currants, Ribes sanguinium (above) but here in our garden at Plealey we are also growing two other less common ones.

The photo below shows our specimen of the “Fuchsia-flowered Currant”, Ribes speciosum, which we grow in a sheltered spot against the greenhouse as it is supposed to be tender around here. The spiny arching stems grow up tall reaching the top the the greenhouse and peering over. Its new young branches start off a deep rusty red colour and are absolutely covered with bristly spines. Its flowers are like long fuschias in a rich deep red with long red stamens protuding. These flowers seem to be around in varying numbers just about all year. It is a true beauty!

When we bought ours from a tiny nursery hidden away in Herefordshire we didn’t know what it was when we saw it growing on the side of an outbuilding. The nurseryman told us that most people asked if he sold any cuttings of his climbing fuschia. One look at the flowers below and you can immediately see why.

Our third currant is a yellow-flowered shrub called Ribes odorata, or the Buffalo Currant. Its lovely yellow racemes of flowers are gently scented, a much more pleasant scent than that of the more common Red Currant which smells of black currant leaves, although it has to be said that Jude the Undergardener claims it smells like cat pee! The brightness of the yellow flowers is emphasised by the fresh green of the foliage. In the autumn the leaves take on hints of red and purple.

One of the main resaons for growing flowering currants, in addition to their hanging racemes of flowers is their attraction to insects especially bees and hoverflies, early in the year.