climbing plants colours garden design garden photography gardening gardens roses Shrewsbury Shropshire South Shropshire

My Garden Journal 2020 – June

Back to my garden journal for 2020 again and we are into the last month of the first half of the year, June, the month that sees the longest day and shortest night.

I began by sharing some of our rose bushes and climbing varieties that we grow throughout our garden in mixed borders and up obelisks and arches. I wrote, “June, the month for roses …………..”

I then featured photos of some of our red roses, writing, “Roses are red!”

Here are the photos of some of our red roses that grace our garden in June.


On the following page I continued with roses but those that were not red! “My flowering plant of the month!

Roses are red? Or white, cream peach, yellow ……..”


After looking at our flowering rose bushes and climbers, I did something completely different. I collect bark that had been detached from one of our birches by recent strong winds and created a collage, which lets us see the variety in colours and textures.

“In June windy days blow detached bark peelings from our birch, Betula albosinensis ‘Septentronalis’. We find what looks and feels like paper all around the garden. Each piece of peeled bark has its own character.”

We can look over the page now for a complete change as I looked at some wildlife found in our garden, a damselfly and a wasp. “Being a wildlife garden, our patch brings us some beautiful visitors for us to enjoy, to listen to and to watch. They help balance the natural world of our garden.”

“Damsel Flies hatch from our wildlife pond by the dozens, beginning with various ‘Azures’ and later the ‘Reds’.”

This beautiful yellow and black Ichneumon Wasp has appeared in our garden in good numbers for the first time ever this month.”

From wildlife we turn to succulents on the opposite page, where I wrote “Our foliage plants of the month of June are Aeoniums, a very special group of succulents. I have built up a good collection now.”

I then shared photos of a selection of some of our aeoniums……..

Next comes clematis, with two pages of pics. I wrote, “Clematis, herbaceous and climbers are flowering throughout the garden. Some are already on their second flush having flowered in the spring.”

The first of the two pages feature flowers from “Pale blue to deep purple.”


The second page showed “Every shade of red.”

The final page for June is all about the bark of Acer rufinerve. I wrote, Plant of the month for bark and stem this month is one of our snake-bark acers, Acer rufinerve also known as the ‘Melon-skin Maple’. These six photos start at the base of the trunk and move upwards.”

So that is my journal entries for June. Next report will be July.


arboreta colours garden photography gardens open to the public ornamental trees and shrubs photography RHS trees Winter Gardening winter gardens

Bluebell Arboretum

DSC_0162 DSC_0196

DSC_0205    DSC_0225

We recently spent a morning at Bluebell Arboretum in Leicestershire, a return visit in fact as we visited it many years ago. It is a young arboretum and small as arboreta go which gives it an intimate, manageable feel.

As we approached the wooden cabin that acts as reception, the door creaked open, “I see you have your walking boots on! I wouldn’t recommend you go around if you hadn’t.” Apparently we had arrived the day after a foot of snow had melted onto already water-logged ground. It was wet so we splashed and slid with great care around boggy pathways, but the trees that greeted us made it all worthwhile.

We are great fans of Betulas (birches) and Acers (maples) and here we found many to admire. We admired them for their profile, their bark texture and colour.

Acer griseum is a classic winter garden tree, with its silky-smooth, shiny mahogany bark. the thinnest of slithers peel off, curl and catch the low winter sun. It has a perfect common name, the Paper Bark Maple. It appears to be wrapped in sparkling, shining and very fancy wrapping paper

Acer griseum
Acer griseum

Another Acer that caught our eye, similarly had beautifully coloured bark, was Acer x conspicuum “Phoenix”. The bark on this Acer though was silky smooth.

Acer x conspicuum "Phoenix"
Acer x conspicuum “Phoenix”

The celebrated Snakebark Maples need to be studied close up where the delicately textured and multi-coloured bark can be fully appreciated.

Acer tegmentosum – The Amur Maple.
Acer davidii
Acer davidii

The type of Acers most frequently grown in smaller gardens and arboreta alike is Acer dissectum, grown for its leaf colours, the fresh young growth in spring, the rich summer colour and perhaps most of all for the extravagent autumn colours. But at Bluebell Arboretum we discovered this variety, “Eddisbury” which had another layer of interest and an extra reason for growing it, the beauty of its stems.

Acer dissectum "Eddisbury"
Acer dissectum “Eddisbury”

I am not a great fan of conifers but two caught my eye, both Piceas. One had bark with eye shapes and the other an amazing profile.

DSC_0169 DSC_0173

If the amazing trees of Bluebell weren’t enough for the gardener to delight in, other points of interest are there to catch the eye. An archway of clematis, a petrified tree stump, a kettle Robin nestbox, a logpile for beetles, an interesting old stump and another stump with rings making a picture reminiscent of an ammonite fossil.

DSC_0146 DSC_0147 DSC_0148 DSC_0167 DSC_0246 DSC_0249

There were too many examples of my favourite family of trees, the Betulas, so they deserve a post of their own. One to look forward to!

climbing plants fruit and veg garden design garden photography gardening half-hardy perennials hardy perennials meadows ornamental grasses ornamental trees and shrubs photography poppies roses Shropshire shrubs succulents trees

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.