From a Cool Spring to a Hot June

June has got off to a good start with temperatures in the upper 20s, blue skies and sunshine. And we were so ready for it after such a cool Spring.

Back in March a big freeze took many plants in the garden by surprise and all of my Buddleia froze right back. There are leaves coming at last, but the Butterfly Bed, where there are three central shrubs, still looks a little bereft.

Cool temperatures also extended the bulb season, with tulips up to the last few days, here with Alliums…

….and there are even some Narcissi still in flower… in June!

Narcissus ‘Baby Moon’

The rain we had all through April and May meant some of my perennials grew way beyond expectations. As you can see in one of the photos above, the Geraniums and Alchemilla are enormous compared with previous years! This does, at least, make up for the lack of Buddleia foliage.

This Geranium is currently my favourite (it changes regularly!). G. ibericum ‘Vital’. The colour is very intense and the veins on the petals very pretty. I also like the foliage.

Wind and rain and very cold nights (e.g. 1.6ยฐC overnight on 31st May) have given the vegetable garden a difficult start. I am still waiting for the beans to sprout and the cucumbers died so have been replaced with one spare seedling and one bought plant. I believe it may have gone down to freezing point last week a little way away from the house. The only things doing well are the kohlrabi and the salad leaves… and the weeds of course.

But now the danger of frosts is over for a few months and I have all my summer pots planted up, all my annuals planted out and tomatoes in pots on the patio.

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No time to sit and enjoy it yet though… this afternoon we collected a trailerful of mulch from the biomass yard to spread on the newest beds and around the vegetable bed. So you know how I will be spending my weekend! ๐Ÿ˜

How was your Spring?

And are there signs of summer yet?

Have a great weekend and happy gardeneng!


40 thoughts on “From a Cool Spring to a Hot June

  1. Many of us can relate to your later start with certain veg, Cathy! I am on my second round of cucumbers as well. The mulch looks like loads of effort (pun intended), but the benefits promise to be grand.

    • Hi March. First mulching session had to be cut short due to thunderstorms, but am looking forward to getting that job finished soon. ๐Ÿ˜€

  2. Yes, it has been a strange year weather-wise, and it has been both interesting and frustrating to see the effect it has had on different things in the garden. Certainly bizarre to have narcissi in June! Your pots look pretty and it always feels an achievement when that job is done, doesn’t it? What is in the composition of the mulch you have collected from the biomass yard?

    • Oh yes, potting up all my geraniums and extras always takes longer than I think it will. The mulch is pure fresh wood chippings, no bark. Do you mulch your beds with anything Cathy? They also sell dried wood chippings in fine and bulky, miscanthus mulch and normal bark chippings. We managed to get around the veg beds done but then thunderstorms rolled in for the weekend so work resumes tomorrow! (Nice to have a day off! ๐Ÿ˜‰)

      • I thought it looked like wood chippings but was puzzled because of where you got it from – wouldn’t they be burning it there? I have occasionally bought in soil improver of some sort, but there is generally enough of my own compost for mulching. I use bark or chippings on some paths and in the fruit cage, which gets topped up every 3 years or so. Miscanthus mulch sounds novel, as does the thought of it being available in bulk!

        • Hi Cathy. I wasn’t sure if a bio mass yard even exists in the UK so translated it literally. They sell all sorts of soil, compost, fertiliser, turf, grass seeds and mulch. I think mainly garden designers get their supplies there, but they sell smaller quantities in sacks too. ๐ŸŒป Miscanthus didn’t take off for heating systems as was intended a few years ago, so farmers who started growing it are probably making a fortune by selling it as mulch instead!

          • I don’t think there would be such a thing in the UK and I assumed it was the site of a big commercial biomass system, which is why I was puzzled as to why they were selling woodchip – but I guess now it is a place that sells material for the public to use in their biomass boilers. Is such heating a big thing in Germany? I imagine it is only a very small percentage of domestic boilers here, but of course the UK has had the benefit of North Sea gas for many years. Has the sale of compost and fertiliser and stuff been developed alongside it because people were using some of the products as a mulch? What sort of price are the mulches sold at? And fascinating to read that miscanthus was being grown specifically for butning/mulching. In fact ALL very interesting, Cathy ๐Ÿ˜Š

            • Hi Cathy, I have been meaning to reply to this for some time and kept forgetting. Sorry! Well, in the cities and towns many people use gas, but traditionally oil heating is the most common in more rural areas and over the past twenty years or so (in Bavaria at least) this is slowly being replaced with wooden pellets heating systems and most people have solar panels for hot water too. I have since found out that the yard we visited does supply heating fuel too. The wooden pellets for heating are made in huge factories (it smells wonderful driving past them!) and are usually delivered in tanks, but can be bought in sacks as well. We have pellets heating and it is very clean and efficient, using regional resources. The pellets are blown at high pressure into a room in the cellar specially adpated, then are sucked by vacuum into the boiler room where they are then burnt at high temperatures with very low emissions.
              Oh, and the various types of mulch they sell there all cost around 35 euros per cubic metre. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ I have been here for so long I forget how different things are to the UK! Hope this has answered your questions! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

              • That’s really interesting Cathy – thanks for taking the time to reply. I didn’t realise how environmentally friendly this sort of heating could be, although you must need a lot of space for the installation which in itself must be quite pricey. Oh, and the price of topsoil or manure or top dressing here would be over ยฃ50, although I don’t know about bark…for my own interest, I will check! Thanks again

  3. Our spring comes and goes quickly. Spring weather starts while it is still spring elsewhere. There has been no rain since the middle of March. Summer weather normally starts by now, but has been nicely mild so far.

  4. I really like your vegetable garden setup. Our spring starts in late February, but this year we had a freeze (that I think I mention in every post) and all the plants had to start all over again which made our spring closer in time to a northern one.

    • Although we often do get big freezes here the garden is usually still dormant, but this year the freeze came late. I know how much of a shock it is when plants have already started growth!

    • Thanks Jason. 32 is pretty hot! We actually got to a very humid 27ยฐC on Friday with thunderstorms following over the weekend. This garden (started October 2018) has never seen so much rain as this year! Hope you get a cool breeze and some rain soon.

  5. Good to see the veg growing in your new raised beds, despite the setbacks. It’s been a late start for many of us, my French beans are only just germinating, and my only cucumber is still v small. Love that Geranium, and yes, like you, I’ve found that the Alchemilla has grown to monstrous proportions this year!

    • We got the mulch around the veg beds before rain and thunderstorms rolled in. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ Still no sign of the beansโ€ฆ. keeping my fingers crossed!

  6. Your garden looks exceptionally good considering the weird weather. I found I was very behind with the rain earlier stopping work. My seed germination has been poor and my tomatoes, although in the ground at last, are still small. Hopefully some seasonally warm weather will sort out our problems. Amelia

    • I have heard from so many people that germination was slow this spring. I think most things will catch up this month though. It is much milder overnight now and I have sown my basil. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

  7. Cathy sorry I haven’t blogged for so long, but I’m very depressed and haven’t even checked my email. I’m writing to you today but I don’t know when I’ll do it again. Buddleia has been reborn from the March frost and you are very lucky to have tulips, Alliums and Daffodils in bloom – I love it! Your G. ibericum Vital is divine. Your garden is beautiful and you will see how it gives you many vegetables. I love all the summer flower pots – wonderful! Work weekend ๐Ÿ˜‰! I hope you are in good health. Take care of yourself. Your garden is magnificent. Happy weekend and happy gardening ๐Ÿ˜€. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita xx

    • Margarita, I am so sorry you have been depressed and hope you will be feeling brighter again soon. Thank you for visiting and leaving your lovely comment. Do take care. ๐Ÿค—๐Ÿฆ‹๐Ÿ“

      • Cathy thank you very much for your nice words. I’m still very depressed, but I’m going to try to keep blogging even if it’s shorter: but seeing the wonderful photos with flowers and green cheers me up a lot, thank you. My best wishes for you. Very affectionate greetings from Margarita xx ๐ŸŒท๐ŸŒธ๐Ÿ€๐ŸŒผ

  8. Our springs sound most similar Cathy. That hardy geranium is stunning. I’ve had problems with germinating beans too – only four dwarf French ones have popped up. I think I will have to put more in. My courgettes have not fared well either and I had to sow a second batch.

    • When growing veg in pots in the past I never had any trouble as they were close to the house and sheltered, but the vegetable bed is rather exposed and I am making a mental note to reserve more seed for later emergency replacements! I think I will sow my courgettes and squash much later next year so I am not hurrying to plant them out too early.

  9. Looking good! That geranium is stunning! And your entire garden is looking very colorful and healthy. We’ve been having very weird weather this spring/summer, too. I hope things will level off for the rest of the summer.

    • Thanks Beth. Yes, I am also hoping for some nice stable weather soon, although we are getting more showers again this week with thunder too. ๐Ÿคช

  10. Amazing to have daffs in June! Despite the Buddleia dying back (ours does this nearly every year, but always flowers per usual), everything is looking lush and lovely. Happy mulching!

    • It is comforting to hear that your buddleia also die back but then flower again. I really wondered if mine were going to come back enough to flower this year but over the past few days they have been growing like mad! Mulching will resume tomorrow – thundery showers gave me a day off today! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  11. Our spring has been much the same as yours I think and at long last temperatures are starting to rise. I still have daffs flowering but then, I did plant them rather late!

  12. Why is it that weeds thrive in all kinds of weather and the cherished ones that we want to grow have to be babied and cared for so diligently? Hopefully the vegetable gardens take a spirt of growing now that the weather has warmed.

    • I think the vegetables are doing much better now. I weeded the veg beds last week and actually have some beans peeping out the soil at last! I can’t wait to have home grown runner beans! ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

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