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My Garden Journal 2018 – June

I finished my latest entries into my garden journal just as we reach the mid-point of the year. June has once again been a month of mixed up weather and the garden plants have continued in their state of confusion.

My first words for June were positive words about the weather, a rare occurence to use such words this year. “The first week in June treated us to warm bright weather but thunderstorms, really wild powerful ones, broke the spell several times. Humidity was so high that it sapped our energy and made our joints ache.

Through all this the garden looked wonderful and full of atmosphere, with bees, hoverflies and day-flying moths adding sound and movement. The borders have filled out with fresh lush growth.”

I used six photos to illustrate this lushness.

   

On the opposite page I continued in the same vein using my quote this month from Dan Pearson, “My quote this month from Dan Pearson’s “Natural Selection” concerns greens and promises of the June garden. 

“The June garden is still full of promise and greens remain fresh and foliage pristine. There is a quiet rush to the longest day of the year with everything reaching towards this moment. The roses are never better than with the first flowers out and the promise of buds to come.”

I followed on with another six photos.

   

Turning to the next double page spread I considered our roses and add a few more words from Dan Pearson.

“Dan Pearson later singles out one Rose, “Bengal Beauty”,  for comment. This is a rose we grow and love it for its buds and unusual flower shape.”

Pearson wrote, “I have also set aside room for “Bengal Crimson” (or “Bengal Rose” or “Bengal Beauty”, depending where you read about it). I was first smitten when I saw it at the Chelsea Physic Garden years ago, but forgot all about it.” He recalls how he was gifted a specimen as a present for opening their summer fair.”

 

 

“Dan Pearson describes Bengal Beauty as “a delightful, informal bush and all the names describe it well – its single cherry-red flowers splayed wide and recoiled on themselves as if they were stretching are like sweet wrappers scattered over the bush.”

I then included photos of Rosa rugosa and Rosa “Summer Wine” in flower and in bud.

  

“Rosa rugosa”

 

“Rosa Summer Wine”

Over onto the next two ages I looked at Thalictrum, Centaurea and Gypsy Dianthus.

I wrote, “Thalictrum in all their guises are a real favourite of Jude, who has now brought together a good collection. The varieties include Thalictrum delavayi, T. Black Stocking, T. Elin, T. Rochebruneanum, T. Hewitt’s Double and T. flavum glaucum.”

    

“This Thalictrum has grown so tall it passes the apex of our greenhouse!”

 

“Centaurea put on a fine display throughout June, but do tend to flop if we forget to give them support”

 

“This biennial Dianthus has been with us for a decade or so now, but still performs reliably and beautifully.”

 

My next double page spread considers the colour orange in the garden and complimenting it with purple.

“Blazing orange for a blazing June. The sun lights up oranges as if they are on fire!”

“The zinc bath planted hot!”

  

“Geum Totally Tangerine and G. Koi

 

“Euphorbia griffithii “Dixter”

 

“Rosa Warm Welcome”

“My favourite colour to compliment orange in the garden is purple. Each colour intensifies the other in this strong partnership.”

     

To finish off my June entries I shared some of our cameos and combinations to be found in our garden during the month, and on the opposite page I had a quick look at “pin cushion” plants.

First here are my photos of “Cameos and combinations of the June garden.”

   

“Some flowers in the June garden remind me of pin-cushions especially Astrantias and Knautia macedonica. Each flowerhead is a tight circle with fine stamens, the pins.”

     

June this year ended with a fortnight of high temperatures and beautiful blue skies, two weeks of the beginning of a heat wave. Next time we return for a look at my 2018 Garden Journal we will be into the second half of the year. Things may have changed a lot in the garden by then. Perhaps we might even get a splash or two of rain!

 

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birds garden design garden photography garden wildlife gardening gardens hardy perennials ornamental trees and shrubs poppies roses Shrewsbury Shropshire shrubs trees Yellow Book Gardens

My Garden Journal 2017 – June

We have reached the half way point through the year and I am beginning a second book in my Garden Journal 2017. A book of blank pages waiting to be filled with words, paintings and photographs.

On the first page of my new book I started my June reports by writing, “June is the month when our wildlife friends become very obvious, pollinators and predators work away helping us out, and all our wild friends entertain us, stimulating our senses. We had a dip in the wildlife pond with a net and found a healthy population of newts and dragonfly larvae. Whenever we sit in the summerhouse for a tea break we are entertained by birds coming for a drink or bathe in the pebbled shallow end, especially bright are the Goldfinches with their splashes of red and yellow. Next to the summerhouse door a pair of Blue Tits is nesting in one of our boxes. Both parents are making frequent visits into the garden to collect caterpillars to feed to their young. Each day these caterpillars get larger as the youngsters  grow and their appetites grow even more quickly.

Wildlife in the garden is so entertaining!”

Over the page brightly coloured photographs glow from the pages, photographs of Geum cultivars.

“Plant of the month for June is the Geum, the cultivars with hot colours – yellows, oranges and reds, – Totally Tangerine, Koi, Mrs Bradshaw, Lady Stratheden ………………..”

        

Leaving the brightly coloured Geums behind I next looked at a few representatives of our garden’s wildlife friends.

“Double Brimstones, butterfly and moth, the Brimstone Moth and the Brimstone Butterfly. 

The Brimstone Butterflies are one of the earliest arrivals in our garden but a few continue to fly in May and June. The Brimstone Moth flies in both daytime and night time.”

On the page opposite I talk about and paint the Little Owl, a regular visitor to our patch.

“We host three owls in our garden, the Tawny, the Barn and the Little. When we first moved to Plealey our Little Owl migrated in search of warmer places every Autumn to return in Spring.Today they stay with us year round. We love this change!”

 

Over the page I share with you some of our Foxgloves, the Digitalis family.

“Foxgloves, spires of colour buzzing with bees,  flower every day this month. Bumble Bees and our neighbour’s  Honey Bees disappear right inside the larger flower gloves. Bees explore each flower on each spike starting at the lowest bloom and moving upwards methodically.”

             

Next I looked at one of our poppies, Papaver somniferum the Opium Poppy.

“Papaver somniferum comes in a variety of  pinks and lilacs”. 

     

“The small orange double poppy is Papaver rupifragum “Orange Feathers”.

From an orange poppy to an orange rose I moved on to look at a small flowered orange patio climber.

“Rosa “Warm Welcome” is a small climber and a cheerful charmer. Roses continue to flower profusely throughout the June garden.”

    

June turned out to be a difficult month for the garden with extremes of heat accompanied by a long dry spell causing plants to suffer especially relatively recently planted trees and shrubs. We water trees every week for a year after planting but a week’s holiday prevented us from doing this. We returned to find trees and shrubs with brown shrivelled leaves. A sad sight. I wrote, “June ended up being a dry month with many plants showing signs of stress, especially trees planted this year and lawn areas. We need rain urgently!” I included photos of some of the plants looking worse for wear.

    

On the opposite page, which is the final page for June I mentioned the return of the rain, refreshing us and the garden. “In the last few days of the month, steady rain helped put life and vitality back into our garden putting extra sparkle in flowers and gloss on foliage. We can only hope that trees planted earlier this year survive. They look troubled! Lilies however quickly burst back into life.”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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What our visitors saw in August

We open our garden a few times a year both by appointment and full open days so I thought it would be interesting to wander around our patch just after a group left, taking photos as I went, thus giving a visitors’ eye view of our garden. The date was early August.

Salvias featured strongly as did clematis and roses. Colours in the garden were strong and lively, helped by the sunshine when it occasionally came out to play.

avju-23 avju-52 avju-28 avju-39avju-30 avju-42avju-38 avju-41   avju-51 avju-18

The added bonus of wildlife always delights our visitors. We will soon be hosting our final visit by a garden group for this year but we already have groups booked to come and share our Avocet patch with us in 2017.

avju-17

I now invite you to come with me and my camera lens for a wander around our garden by navigating through this gallery. I hope you enjoy the journey. As usual click on the first photo and navigate with the arrows.

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garden design garden photography gardening hardy perennials July Shropshire

A Modest Gardener – celebrating a small garden

Our dear friend Jean is a talented gardener who sadly won’t recognise that she is. So I thought I would share a set of photographs with you that I took in her garden in late July so that you can enjoy her lovely garden too. Jean loves wildlife and enjoys sharing her garden with the birds, butterflies, bees and any other creatures that come for a visit or to stay. As with all gardeners slugs and snails may be one step too far.

Come on a wander with me by following my gallery of photographs all taken on the same day. It is easy to appreciate this excellent example of what can be achieved in a small space. As you run through the photos  will see one showing an old blackbird’s nest in the stems of a clematis.