The Garden in June, 2021: Part Two

June is hot this year, but the garden has benefitted from the cool Spring so it is coping pretty well. 30°C and climbing! Phew! Glad I got that mulch down in time!

The other day I posted about the Vegetable Plot, the Butterfly Bed and the Oval Bed. Today I am taking you on a tour of the remaining beds. It’s a long post, so settle down with a cool drink in the shade! 😉

So first of all the Herb Bed.

There are a few plants in there that aren’t herbal actually, but the majority is edible. 😃

This is the hottest, driest part of the garden for most of the year, and in late winter a cold wind whistles round the corner where this Geum stands… but this is its third year, so it clearly doesn’t mind!

The Lemon Balm has grown into almost a shrub this year. The silvery foliage on the right is curry plant (Helychrysum italicum).  It really does smell of curry!There are some Hypericums and Echinacea, and all the usual kitchen herbs in here: parsely, chives, thyme and oregano, sage, winter savory, dill and borage, coriander, fennel and mint.

Under the Hamamelis tree are some wild strawberries. They smell (and taste) fantastic! Last year this bed was plagued by mice.  🙃 This year we have been lucky so far…

A few ornamental sages are planted here too. This one is Salvia greggii ‘Syringa Blues’, which does in fact look more blue in real life.

One plant I can’t wait to see flower is this Moldavian Dragonhead (Dracocephalum moldavicum) grown from seed. I have no idea what to expect!

Next up, the Moon Bed.

It was tilled autumn 2020, when a few things were planted,  and then the rest of the planting took place this spring.

The bed is actually a half moon shape, and the planting is predominantly whites and blues with some silver and cream. Allium Mount Everest has already gone over, but the bees loved it while it was in flower.

Shrubs and plants include a white lupin, veronica, phlox, lavender, a dwarf Philadelphus, a white broom, Spiraea arguta, Sea Buckthorn and a pretty willow (Salix integra) called Hakuro Nishiki. The leaves are variegated with creamy white and a hint of pink. So pretty!

The ‘moon’ in the centre is a hollow rusty metal ball – a gift from my Man of Many Talents. 😃A silvery Miscanthus is planted next to it and behind it a pink Heuchera (wrongly labelled!) has crept in…

…but this bright pinky red peony was added as a fun touch; it is called Cuckoo’s Nest. And it is the cuckoo in the nest, standing out among the softer colours. It smells wonderful. I love it!

Another peony currently flowering is Jan van Leeuwen. It’s a gorgeous flower – big and blousy with a golden centre. But sadly it has no fragrance.

Several Geraniums are planted here, including the perfectly blue Mrs Kendall Clark and the strikingly white ‘White Ness’ seen here with Rozanne.

I have planted lots of annuals in between, yet to make a show… Cosmos, Cleome and Gaura (the latter is often winter hardy here but not reliably).

Let’s move on to the Sunshine Bed.

This is glorious right now with the Californian poppies, Oriental poppies and Geums lighting it up.

Sunflowers, Tithonia and then the perennial Helianthus will provide more sunshiny colour later in the summer, with some grasses in between. A yellow broom has gone over now, but here it about two weeks ago in full bloom on the right. What a lovely honey-llike scent it has. Another favourite with the bees. 😃🐝

Finally the latest bed. The ‘Edge.

Not a hedge, exactly. But almost. Hence the apostrophe. And this long curved bed marks the outer border – the edge – of the flower garden.

This is what I have been working towards from the very beginning. I knew it would be tough – it is 25 metres long! Hopefully it will eventually meet my expectations, but currently it is still looking rather sparse. The stunning Lupin in the middle has been flowering nonstop since mid-May.

Then there are grasses such as Miscanthus, Calamagrostis and Imperata, some shrubs such as a Forsythia, Cornus, Hazel and Weigelia, some ground cover like Spiraea and Heuchera, and some sunflowers and Tithonia yet to flower. This is a lovely shrub that is new to me. Physocarpus opulofolium ‘Lady in Red’.

The bed is exposed, to say the least, and will be put to the test over the next twelve months. But the soil is wonderful and the wood chippings as mulch help keep it moist.

Well, I hope you have enjoyed the tour. Thank you for joining me while I keep records of the garden developing, and have a wonderful weekend!

Happy Gardening!


39 thoughts on “The Garden in June, 2021: Part Two

  1. Thank you for sharing your beautiful garden beds! I love them! Your comment about the lemon balm at the beginning made me giggle– I planted lemon balm last year for the first time and did not realize how big it can get. Oh boy, did it. So I had to move it to a different location because it was crowding everything in the one garden bed it was in. Lesson learned. LOL

    • Thanks for visiting! My lemon balm has never got this big before, but it does set seed all over the place. It clearly has ambitions to make its presence felt! LOL!

  2. I thoroughly enjoyed this tour, Cathy. Watching all the beds take shape and come to life is fascinating. Those lupines are vibrant! It has been a stellar year for them here as well.

  3. So impressive Cathy. You’ve done a great job. Glad to see your peonies are blooming well for you. Cuckoo’s Nest is very pretty and I like the white one too. I’ve tried to grow lupines this year but not a single one made it. Yours are a rich, lovely color. Have a good weekend and thanks for the tour.

    • Thank you Susie. I cut one Cuckoo’s Nest flower (there were only three!) and it is gorgeous in a vase, opening up completely to about 20cm diameter. 😃

  4. Impressive amount of work you’ve put in over the last couple years developing your new garden. I love Ninebark, it is quite popular here and comes in my hybrids. A great plant! What are the big trees you’ve planted behind the sunshine bed?

    • Hi Eliza. The trees behind the Sunshine Bed are a birch, a willow and a wild pear. They were actually planted first and seemed begging to have a flower bed at their feet. 😉

  5. I love the idea of your “cuckoo”! Your beds are a monument to your planning and experience. You have been able to use your knowledge to put the right plants in the right place, which I think must be the key to creating a garden – much more than just choosing interesting plants. You have also not succumbed to the beginners error of putting in too many plants too close together. We seem to be continually digging out and moving our plants. Amelia

    • Thank you for all your kind remarks Amelia! Although I probably have crammed too much in. 😉 I am seeing from my other beds that a damp spring means a lot more growth than anticipated!

  6. Oh you have had so much planting to do Cathy but it must be so rewarding to see your new beds all start to knit together. I imagine that you have a never ending source of wood chips to hand. Your ‘Moldavian Dragonhead’ sounds most intriguing indeed and I hope that you post more about it when it flowers.

    • It was a busy spring Anna, and I vowed not to start another new bed this year…. but I keep having new ideas! 😉 I will be certain to post on the dragonhead. It was in a seed advent calendar which I treated myself to last year.

  7. Ninebark would have been something new to us also, but we could not find it. It is no surprise, since it is rare here. Actually, I have never seen it here. No one grows it because no one seems to know what it is. We intend to try some in the future, but will need to order it online. Weigela is also rare, for the same reason. We just installed several of them.

    • I had not heard of Physocarpus before, but found it in our local nursery and was taken by that foliage. Weigela is common here and does well in almost any position. I wonder how it will do in your part of the world…

      • Oh, that’s interesting. I thought that ninebark was only rare here. I noticed it in the Pacific Northwest, although it did not seem to be overly common. Both the foliage and the bark are so distinguished. No one here seems to know what weigela is, so, although it is appearing in nurseries, it remains unpopular. I suspect that it will do fine. I had not installed one since 1987! I believe that one was the only variegated cultivar available at the time. there may have been only a few cultivars in 1987.

      • Yes, I have added spme annuals to my borders too, but they can be prone to very prompt attack from slugs and snails, and it is interesting to see what they haven’t touched – cornflowers and those Shirley poppies are just 2 that are unscathed!

  8. Really ambitious, especially the 25 m long ‘edge! I live that vibrant Lupin in the middle. Re Moldovan Dragonhead, I spent last summer harvesting it for herbal teas at our local farm where I volunteered for a few weeks. It’s a good digestive as they say here (not the biscuit!). Nice blue flowers v popular with bees. They gave me a few cuttings but unfortunately last summer the chickens dug them up! Love your herb bed, so nice to have one right by the house.

    • I will have to try the dragonhead for tea then. 😃 The red lupin is one of those plants that sticks out a bit, but it seemed to fit into the new bed!

  9. What a wonderful tour, Cathy. I really enjoyed it. I love the diversity and fullness of the herb bed, and I am so intrigued with your moon bed. I’m glad you shared the photos and also explained what comprises the moon bed. You’d mentioned it before and I was intrigued, but wasn’t sure about it. Lovely!

    • Thanks Debra! The Moon Bed is coming along so well and should be what I hoped to achieve by next year. Thinking long-term is only something I have learned recently!

  10. I did enjoy the tour around your garden, Cathy! 🙂
    Do you have many trees? If my garden beds were as exposed to the sun as yours, most plants would fry in our summer heat. We tend to create cool microclimates here and there to protect the plants from the afternoon sun. Perhaps your hottest days are cooler than ours in mid-summer.

    • Hi Joanne. We have no big trees near enough to the house to shade my beds, but have planted some. And further away from the house we have planted dozens of trees but the last two springs and summers were so dry they are only just getting established. This damp spring has helped a lot. Our hottest days are 30°C or even more. We have just had a heatwave where it was between 27 and 31° C for several days!

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