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. 1.6°C 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! 😁

How was your Spring?

And are there signs of summer yet?

Have a great weekend and happy gardeneng!

 

The Yard in November 2020

Everyone has a problem area on their property don’t they? Well, in terms of planting, our problem area is our yard.

The yard is a large paved area between the house, barn and garage, and in summer it heats up immensely. In the summer months it is brightened up by geraniums (well, Pelargoniums actually). They are about the only flowers that do not wilt in the heat, and it is clear why they are such a tradition on Bavarian yards and balconies.

Here you can see some in late summer, also planted around the bamboo in the huge green pot.

But this year I tried planting up some additional pots with shrubs and plants that should also overwinter. Not easy when considering how shady the yard is in winter and that we may have temperatures constantly below zero for several weeks. In emergencies I can put a few plants in the barn for a few nights. Anyway, we will see if we get a mild winter again…

Violas are great for autumn pots, as they simply freeze in winter and return as soon as the first rays of spring sunshine warm them up. The Carex will last a couple of years in a pot and will then be planted out in the garden, as will the violas next May, and new Pelargoniums will take their place.

I also like to use small conifers in my pots. Again, they will be planted out into the garden once they get too big.

Below you will also see a red rose, some small sedum, dianthus, carex, a pale pink Potentilla and a dwarf Buddleia.

I am hoping these will all prove to be hardy enough and will come back next year.

On the other side of the barn doors is the sledge, which will have a small potted Christmas tree in it soon, and be decorated with fairy lights for some essential Advent kitsch! I may go over the top this year; with Christmas markets banned I will need some extra sparkle at home. 😉

And here are the pots on that side of the barn too. On the left, a Hippophae rhamnoides, or Sea Buckthorn. This one is male and will not bear berries as I want it for its foliage here. It is supposedly very hardy and takes any amount of heat, wind or frost.

The next pot is Itea virginica ‘Little Henry’, another very hardy and heat tolerant plant, and it has absolutely gorgeous autumn colour.

A yellow summer Daisy is tucked in behind it, already damaged by frost but still flowering!

If the Itea and Buckthorn survive our north winds in winter they will get bigger pots next year as a reward. 😃

You can also see some grasses in the picture above – Imperata cylindrica ‘Red Baron’ and Hakonechloa – then another rose (The Fairy), and the wonderful burnt caramel  of the Spiraea japonica ‘Magic Carpet’. This small shrub looks lovely when it flowers, but the autumn foliage and fresh green shoots in spring are why I chose it.

I still have a couple of summer plants left. All the pelargoniums went a couple of weeks ago but I can’t bring myself to put this pretty little purple daisy on the compost until the last flower dies.

I don’t even know its name, but it has been beautiful all summer!

And here is another summer daisy that didn’t flower until it cooled down a bit in September. It seems to like chilly and damp November days!

 

Finally I planted up one little winter pot with a new creamy white Hellebore, an erica and some wintery white violas.

I have already potted up lots of tulips which will bring extra colour to the yard in late spring.

So I am almost ready for winter now.

How about you? Are you and your garden ready for winter? Have you got any containers for winter interest? How cold can it get in your part of the world?

Thanks for visiting. And happy gardening!