Tuesday View (24th June)

Today’s view…


This side of the rockery is still looking healthy, despite the severe lack of rain, but the south-west side below the birch trees is looking decidedly singed. Let’s hope it rains soon!

I couldn’t possibly let today – St John’s Day- pass without mentioning St John’s Wort. This is a plant that I think I need to spread around the garden a little more, despite untidy growth, as the yellow flowers make a lovely contrast to the lavenders and the shades of pink and red from the roses and Centranthus. This spring I cut about a third of the new growth on one plant as an experiment, to prevent it from growing too straggly, and it seems to have helped – a little!

Hypericum perforatum

St Johns Wort

In old Germanic folklore this plant was honoured as a symbol of the sun and for bringing light. It traditionally opens on or around June 24th, but this year was about 2 weeks early. Summer solstice celebrations used to make use of the yellow flowers for garlands and decorations. Nowadays it is still used in natural remedies for depression or sleep disorders, due to its calming properties.

St Johns Wort2

Here is another Hypericum I have in the garden – this one is more like a shrub, but I don’t remember the name. It produces lovely orange/red seedheads, like berries, in the summer.


Do you grow any type of Hypericum/St John’s Wort?

47 thoughts on “Tuesday View (24th June)

  1. What a stunning view! I remember being fascinated as a child that the yellow flowers would make this great ‘red ink’ when I squeezed them. A lovely memory that I’d nearly forgotten about.

    • Ooh, I didn’t know that as I never used to see them in England! I’ll have to try it. I used to love sucking the nectar out of nettles when I was a child! 😉

  2. The view is really different today; the light has changed again! Plus the balance of the colours has shifted. Hypericum is one of the main constituents of a herbal mix that is made here on the Eve of the 24th (although this year our group did it a day early. The bowl of water containing all the herbs and flowers is left out all night to collect the ‘magic’ dew; then you wash your face with it in the morning and it is supposed to make you beautiful for the year. I love these Italian customs.

    • That custom sounds wonderful! I seem to remember there is also a mix of herbs here used for a crown on midsummer’s eve for the young girls and boys who danced around the celebratory bonfire. They still have the fires and beacons today all over Bavaria.

  3. Wow, Christina, maybe I’ll try that Italian custom! Beautiful for the year? What could go wrong? HA!
    I don’t grow St. John’s Wort, but I can certainly see the variation in your light Cathy and in your garden color. I just returned from Provence where there was purple lavender everywhere. Apparently there are many hybrids and not all are in their full color yet. If somebody knows the different lavenders, that would be a post that would interest me a lot. Susie at http://www.life-change-compost.com

    • I think there are probably hundreds of lavenders! I have at least 5 or 6 different ones, but don’t know all the names. Some are paler, some are pinkish white, but they all smell good! I bet those fields in Provence look lovely. I have seen the fields in Norfolk, UK and I think it was harvest time – the smell is heavenly.

    • I had one plant appear in my garden a few years ago, and it has since spread to three nice “clumps”. You’re right – the Centranthus is getting taller although I have already trimmed some of the flowers that have gone over!

  4. Do I grow it? Not On Purpose… 😉
    I always laugh when I see it for sale in the nurseries here (along with common elderflower)…if people would just look, they’d find it growing wild everywhere…
    Love your view, as always.

    • Strangely enough I rarely see more than an isolated plant in the countryside here, so I’m glad one found its way into my garden and settled in! 😉 I am always amazed when I see ivy plants for sale… I could pot some up and make a fortune!

  5. St. John’s Wort grows wild here, and some consider it a weed. Like the Queen Anne’s Lace, the wild Marguerites and Indian Paintbrush, as long as it looks good, I let it grow. Your garden looks beautiful!

    • Thanks Cindy! I share your opinion – if it looks good it can stay, just as long as it doesn’t take over! I have heard St John’s Wort can be invasive, but it’s not a problem here.

  6. Your garden is looking beautiful! I don’t grow St John’s Wort, it’s a prohibited weed in my area 😦 It is such a beautiful flower though I love yellow such a happy color!
    I recently read a book called “The weed forager’s handbook” all about the edible and medicinal qualities of weeds found growing in urban environments. It’s interesting that so many of the plants we consider weeds are so useful

    • That’s a shame it’s prohibited where you are, but the cultivated Hypericums are also lovely. I like hunting for edible leaves and flowers in spring too and have a really good guide book (in German though). Almost every wild flower I’ve looked up has been used for something, either medical or edible! Thanks for your comment!

  7. Yor slope looks very lively and colourful, like a tapestry. Thanks for telling me about the folklore behind St. John’s Wort. I don’t grow it because yellow is more a spring colour for me and I only allow very few yellow flowers into my garden in summer…bold girl, I know 😉

    • Thank you Annette. That must be tricky, avoiding yellow in summer, as I have several drought-proof yellows I wouldn’t be without! 😉

  8. Lovely photo, Cathy. Yes, distinct lack of rain here too with many plants looking sad and singed. We had a storm of rain on Monday but it dries up so quickly here. As for Hypericum, the wild yellow stuff is lovely. Here it’s called ‘millepertuis’ and you can take off the yellow flower heads, dunk them in a jar of olive oil, leave out in the sun until the oil turns a deep red and then use it as a fantastic ‘balm’ for dry feet, dry body, dry hands. I use it on my feet this time of year as they get crusty from too much wearing of open sandals and flip flops! I too have the other hypericum with the reddish berries and I can’t remember it’s name either! Also, the usual low growing, fast spreading, yellow flowering shrub which makes excellent ground cover. All the best and maybe some rain forecast at the weekend?

    • We have had a few spots of rain this morning Lindsay – literally! That oil sounds like a great idea as I get such dry feet too. I have seen a ground cover hypericum somewhere… perhaps I’ll try growing that as well, if it can stand our dry and hot conditions as well as its cousins. Thanks a lot Lindsay, and when I do my raindance later I’ll think of you too! 😉

  9. I have never planted any in the garden here, but it comes courtesy of the birds, usually in the middle of something precious! Sorry but it gets dug out when I find it.

    • I suppose if it grows in the wrong place it has to be removed. I had a verbena bonariensis seed itself directly in the middle of the path and it broke my heart to pull it up! . But I wish my St John’s Wort would spread a little! 😉

  10. I love hypericum and do tend to let it self seed around the garden fairly freely. The berries are perfect for late summer arrangements and I have just learnt today that the yellow flowers can attract pollen beetles away from other plants in the garden. I don’t know how effective this is but anything that helps is good news.

    • Are pollen beetles harmful to plants then? I haven’t heard of that before. I noticed little black beetles on mine when taking the photos.

      • No Cathy – pollen beetles are fairly harmless but they do make it very difficult to use flowers in the house when they are as prolific as this season.

    • Yesterday we finally had a few showers… enough to see us through till the weekend when more is forecast. Hope you get some for the allotment Claire. Lugging watering cans around is hard work!

    • And luckily we got some showers at last Charlie… not much, but we’re hoping for more at the weekend! Thanks for your comment and have a great day!

  11. I wish I could send you some of our extra rain! I do have a Hypericum shrub. I thought it had died and planted a dwarf Clethra where it had been. Subsequently it popped back and now is entwined with the Clethra.

  12. Your view is looking great even without much rain. (We’re dry as a bone here.) Is St John’s Wort the same as Hypericum berries used in many flower arrangements?

  13. hello from hobart, australia. i foudn your blog thru the garden deli. i am enchanted by your colourful garden – so beautiful and inspirational, especially as we are in the middle of winter right now. just beautiful.
    i’m looking forward to reading back thru your older posts to see what else i discover to inspre me.

  14. So lush and colorful, I don’t remember seeing all this last year. Must be the full on angle of your new view.
    I only had hypericum ‘brigadoon’ and I think it’s died out by now since it didn’t seem entirely happy with my care. I need to try out a few others, the foliage and blooms always look so fresh, and the seed heads aren’t too shabby either!

    • The view I showed last year was just the garden as a whole, looking down across the grass, so this year you get to see my flowers instead! I’m going to look for a ground cover Hypericum calycinum and see how that fares. Have a good weekend Frank!

  15. I didn’t know what St. John’s Wort looked like! It’s quite a nice little flower. 🙂 I really love your rockery. I’ve been thinking of trying to add something similar to my yard. It would need to be smaller in scope, but I really love the way it adds a backdrop to the rest of the garden. You do inspire me, Cathy!

    • I can imagine a rockery in your garden… 🙂 With lots of succulents and exotics, and nice shaped rocks… I think it would suit your climate Debra, so hope you can give it a go! Have a good week!

  16. Interesting information about St. John’s Wort/Hypericum – I put in a St. John’s Wort plant many years ago but it didn’t make the winter. I love the pretty yellow blooms so I was a tad disappointed.

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