The Garden in June, 2021: Part One

Blogging is not only a wonderful way to learn from and share ideas with other bloggers, but it is also an excellent way of keeping a record of the garden at various times of year. I do write down what I have planted and where – I have a large album for that – but seeing how things work together in photos is even better. So here is a look at the garden in June. Today I will focus on the Vegetable Plot, the Oval Bed and the Butterfly Bed.

The Vegetable Plot is new this year and seems to be doing well so far. The zucchini and butternut got off to a slow start, and cucumbers had to be replanted after a very cold May, but they now seem to be doing better. The Kohlrabi will be much bigger than I thought, and runner beans have only just started sprouting. Some of my lettuce is being grazed (!) but on the whole salad leaves, chard, dill and the strawberries are also growing well.

(Click on any photo to enlarge as a slideshow)

The Butterfly Bed was planted in October 2018 and this is the first year where the Alchemilla, Geraniums, Salvia pratensis and Nepeta have competed with each other to see who can get the tallest! One of the Nepeta has already lost, and has flopped, the Salvia is over and can be cut back for a second flowering later, but the Alchemilla and the Geraniums are enormous!

I widened the back of the bed last autumn and it is already filling out. I like the tall upright Calamagrostis here. And the buddleia have recovered fully from the winter and are leafing out nicely.

In the centre you can see the very tall Knautia macedonia ‘Melton Pastels’ flowers. They spread by seed and seem to be taller than ever this year. The flowers vary from pale pink to a deep wine red.

I moved this tiny Clematis integrifolia ‘Baby Blue’ last year and it seems really happy on this corner now, with a bit of shade later in the day from the buddleia next to it.

Finally, the Oval Bed. This was planted in our hot dry Spring last year and has got established really well.

The Stipa tenuissima gives the structure, along with three obelisks planted with Clematis. The red one below is Nubia, and the purple one Arabella.

A bird bath will eventually be a feature in the green inner area of the oval. Below, the Centranthus ruber will hopefully attract moths, especially the Hummingbird Hawk Moth. This blue Veronica austriaca ‘Knallblau’ is such a fabulous deep shade of blue that I planted another one in the Moon Bed this year.

Some Allium Purple Rain are still flowering in this bed, while the first annual Cosmos (Daydream) are just opening.

A peony I planted here last spring has recently flowered for the first time and has reminded me why I chose itโ€ฆ Paeonia lactiflora ‘Dancing Butterfly’ is a delcate shade of pink quite unlike some of the photos on the internet, with a creamy pink-tinged centre.

I hope you enjoyed a look around my garden. Part Two coming soon will focus on the Moon Bed, Herb Bed, Sunshine Bed and the latest project; The ‘Edge. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

Thank you for reading!

 

In a Vase on Monday: Mai Tai

Good evening. I am a little late joining Cathy’s meme today (at Rambling in the Garden) as it is a bank holiday here in Germany (Whit Monday) and we visited some friends this afternoon. (A rare event these days! ๐Ÿ˜‰)

But I gathered some bits and pieces for my vase this morning so I could take the posy with me.

I started off with the beautiful peachy Geum ‘Mai Tai’. Isn’t she lovely? ๐Ÿ˜‰

I also wanted to use the seedheads of Pulsatilla and was pleased with the combination. Then came the lovely Alchemilla, not quite in flower yet, some fading Hellebores, a couple of Pulmonaria leaves, a chive flower and some white Iberis (I think!).

Mai Tai is flowering for the first time this year. I only discovered Geums a couple of years ago after growing some G. chiloense ‘Blazing Sunset’ from seed. I also have a yellow one called Diane, but she is still very small, so hopefully she will grow up to become a vase candidate next spring.

Have you grown Geums? Do you have a favourite?

Hope your week is a flowery one!

๐Ÿค—

In a Vase on Monday: Cool!

Joining Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for her Monday meme is always a pleasure, and now that the garden is beginning to get established I have more choice of spring flowers to pick. My cowslip is doing well on the edge of the Oval Bed, as you can see in this first photo, and I hope it will eventually spread into the grass. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ

My little jug is crammed full of Hellebores: Prince Double White, Ice ‘N’ Roses red, and ‘Carlotta’. I also used the no-name Pulmonaria hybrid brought over from my old garden, which is an enormous plant now. Then cowslips and a few Narcissi for some sunny yellow.

I am no good at remembering daffodil names, but I think this paler one from the Moon Bed is ‘Sailboat’. There are still a few sorts that haven’t opened yet, but at least they will last longer in our cool spring. (You have to be positive, don’t you! ๐Ÿ˜‰)

Have a great week, and hopefully a warmer one! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Spring Update

The sun is shining and temperatures have finally climbed into double figures. And my Spring plant orders have started arriving. What more could a gardener ask for?!

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There are lots of plants in this delivery for the new bed, yet to be prepared. But the other things that arrived yesterday went in immediately. For example, some more Echinacea and Salvia for the Oval Bed and a Veronica and white Dicentra (Lamprocapnos) for the Moon Bed. You can see the Dicentra here… tiny but very vigorous!

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I never really introduced the Moon Bed, which was prepared and planted rather late last autumn. Here it is, still looking rather bare.

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Cutting down the Miscanthus next to my ‘Moon’ in late winter made it look even sparser, but it will soon start taking off now it is warmer. Most of the plants I put in last year are peeping through the soil. It is so reassuring, and exciting too, to see them appear from nowhere!

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The barriers around two shrubs are to deter a Mummy hare from nibbling… can you see a bundle of fur in here?

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One of her babies has made a nest in some hay I put out for him. He seems to like the spot under my potting bench for daytime napping and basking in the sunshine!

The colour scheme for the Moon Bed (which is actually a half moon in shape) will be limited to blue and white, with some silvery foliage and grasses mixed in. Can’t wait to see if it works! I think it is easier to experiment when you are starting from scratch. There are some new plants in there I have never grown, including a Delphinium… not sure if it will like such an exposed position, but we will see. ๐Ÿ™ƒ

I also planted a few small herb plants in the Herb Bed yesterday: a Schizonepeta multifida (sounds a bit scary!) which is a mountain mint and looks like a dead stick still, hence no photo; a fennel plant to replace one eaten by the mice; and some Greek oregano. (Have any of you ever grown the Schizonepeta before? )

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My Rosemary sadly had to be dug out of the Herb Bed as it did not survive the winter, but I now have a lovely Witch Hazel on the other corner of the Herb Bed and after ripping out dozens of wild strawberry plants (or was it thousands? ๐Ÿ˜‰) to make room for the witch hazel I planted some cheerful Saxifrage. Albeit not the herbal kind. The witch hazel is ‘Diane’ and looks extremely boring now the flowers have gone over and the leaves haven’t started to unfurl but, for my own reference at least, here it is.

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Today the cold wind has made a comeback, so I am spending a relaxing afternoon recovering from a few aching limbs typical for gardeners at this time of year! ๐Ÿ˜‰

Have a great weekend everyone.

And Happy Gardening!

๐ŸŒทโ˜€๏ธ๐ŸŒท

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My Grasses in Winter

As my regular readers will have gathered by now, I love grasses!

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I simply do not have enough of them and hope to remedy that over the next few years.ย But today I thought I would reflect on those that stand up to winter best in my garden.

 

First of all my favourite Pennisetum, on the corner of the Herb Bed.

Pennisetum alooecuroides var. viridescens

It is a bushy plant with compact growth which means the dark seedheads remain pretty stable all winter, even with a lot of snow on them. This is a windy corner too, and extremely hot and dry in summer, but the Pennisetum is completely unperturbed by wind or drought. Definitely a thumbs up for this one. ๐Ÿ‘

Miscanthus Red Chief and Adagio with Calamagrostis (Karl Foerster) in the Butterfly Bed are still looking fairly fresh and are completely intact.

The Calamagrostis thins down a little over winter making less of a statement, but remains tall and straight with virtually no flopping. Red Chief loses its pink tinge a little, but is a lovely golden brown with a touch of bronze on the seedheads.

Adagio (the smaller Miscanthus further down the bed) flops a little and is more susceptible to the snow, but again it is still a lovely golden brown. Thumbs up!

At the far end of the Butterfly Bed (far left)is Miscanthus sinensis Hermann Mรผssel…

I am afraid he hasn’t done well for two years in a row so if he doesn’t take off this summer I will move him to another spot. Not one I would chose in future.

Then we have Miscanthus ‘FederweiรŸer’ in the Moon Bed…

…and in the Oval Bed (on the left).

Wonderful! I fell in love with this plant in spring 2020 and now have two fabulous specimens. These are keepers! ๐Ÿ‘

The other Miscanthus in the Oval Bed at the front is Beth Chatto. I must say I was not that impressed in the summer, but this is a very sturdy plant with tough stems and has stood up to heavy wet snow quite well. The seedheads have lasted well too.

So, nice for winter interest but with less impact in summer.

Finally, the Erogrostis trichodes…

Despite being on the windiest corner (and getting smothered in heavy snow this winter) it still has the ability to look pretty whatever the weather. Raindrops or frost enable this little grass to stand out, making it a must for my winter garden. It adds some extra sparkle. ๐Ÿ˜ƒ (Oh, and do you see those hare pawprints in the snow in the background?!) ๐Ÿ‡

The Panicums and another Miscanthus in the Sunshine Bed have long collapsed or look very dishevelled. I love the strong background they give to this bed in summer among the Helianthus. But they offer very poor winter interest. I know from other bloggers that some Panicums stand up better than others, but I think I prefer to stick with what has already proved successful in this garden… Calamagrostis, Pennisetum and the Miscanthus I have mentioned.ย More of these will be part of my spring 2021 project.

By the way, my Stipa tenuissima have all been completely buried by the snow. I wonder how long it will take for them to stand up again when it melts….

What grasses do you grow, and do they still look good now? Any recommendations for warm and dry spots would be much appreciated!

Have a great weekend! ๐Ÿ’•