Saturday, 14 June 2014

Garden Bloggers Bloom Day June 2014

Since the end of May the garden has really started to come into it's own.  There seemed to be a bit of a lull between the last bloom day post and the end of the Month.  I'm none too worried about that, the exceptionally mild winter meant lots flowered earlier and in a normal year, would usually see the garden through to the end of May.

Out front, my non descript front garden has a few blooms.  There are two real highlights out there at the moment,  neither of them are particularly complimentary to each other in so far as colour is concerned.  Tropaeolum speciosum, for 4 years, I thought was a weed growing up through the front hedge.  I spent hours in the summer ripping heaps of it from deep within the privet.  Yet, each year, back it came!  It was determined to stay.  I finally managed to find out what it was, learning that it's a fussy begger - I thought it best to let it hang around.  I am currently trying to get the privet to grow tall enough to really show them off.

The first paeonies of the year are now blooming in the front garden.  These, I have no ID for, as they were planted when I first moved in here and the labels are long gone.  A close up of the blooms.  The scent is amazing and it hits you bang in the face as soon as you open the front door.  A bit too blousy for some tastes but the flowers don't last too long, therefore I like to enjoy them for the short time they are with me. 

The old and the new!
 As we go up the side path, in the wings, P. Sarah Bernhardt and Aconitum Stainless Steel are poised!  Meanwhile, Rhododendron Goldflimmer is flowering far more profusely than this time last year.  R. Goldflimmer is the last Rhododendron to bloom and always waits until June to share those purple blooms.

As we walk the remainder of the side path, just before we pop into the back garden proper, this is the view directly outside the back door.  The path separates the Physocarpus from the rest of the plants but I like the effect these colours create here.  Lonicera periclymenum, cultivar name Scentsation - really does as it says on the tin.  It has an incredible SCENT!  Even though the flowers are rather sparse right now, it can be smelt all around the garden.  The Dicentra spectabalis will flower for a while yet - this one's always later and last longer due to the fact it doesn't get quite so much sun.  I know I've missed the 'Derby Day' recommended trimming of the box hedge.  I've put my back out (putting up that temporary expanding trellis you can see) and can't do very much and I wouldn't dare trust anyone else to do them.  A week or two will make little difference to them, I'm sure.       

Lonicer periclymenum Scentsation, Dicentra spectabalis
Physocarpus opulifolius Nugget
You can just make out one of the flowers of Aquilegia Spring Magic which had gone over already but after a couple of days of drizzle picked up again.

Just over the other side of the trellis, which kind of marks out a boundary between the side garden and back garden, is my teeny weeny  wildlife pond.  Little happens there, no frogs, toads or spawn.  Plenty of other beasties and snails though.  Maybe one day they will come.  I don't grow much in the pond, it's way too small for most plants but there is a pot of Cardamine (which has finished flowering), Acorus and I fling in a piece of water hyacinth each year for luck but they never flower.
Surrounded by plants, which if I'm honest are generally not usually associated with pondside planting but they do well and are certainly not devoid of insect/pollinator activity.

Far left, just about to go over is Polemonium yezonense, around the front edge of the pond Ajuga Burgundy Glow and Aruncus aethusifolius, are filling out nicely.  Heucheras Marmalade and Beauty Colour surround Geranium sanguineum and tucked right in almost out of sight is a little dwarf Geum, Dingle Apricot, which really needs bringing to the front.  Clematis Scartho Gem - sets of nicely against the foliage of Cotinus coggygria Dusky Maiden.  The two areas combined are, in my opinion, not unpleasant to the eye.

Back in May
Across the way, on the sunnier side - the Bumble Bee bed has undergone a bit of a change.  The main focal point in this bed had been Physocarpus Lady in Red - the poor old Lady just didn't do it for me in that spot.  The red of the Physocarpus really did stand out, for the wrong reasons!  I had bought a new Hawthorn for elsewhere in the garden but after much toing and froing I decided that the double pink flowers would look way better down here with the blue, white and pinks in this bed, I set about removing the Physocarpus.  I cut it back almost to the floor and moved it round to the front garden as a temporary measure.  Not the best time of year for doing this. either moving shrubs or planting trees - providing I stick to a strict watering regime, then I'm confident they'll both be okay.
Here is the Bumble Bee bed yesterday evening - it was hissing down and quite windy, therefore the quality of this picture is not great.  I am much more pleased with this now and I don't cringe each time I look at it.

In the foreground Nepeta Six Hills giant, Geranium psilostemon and Cirsium rivulare will need a bit of a shuffle around, Clematis The Vagabond has been flowering for weeks now.

In the far corner, a white oriental poppy mingles with Astrantia Buckland.  This combo works well, the Astrantia gives much needed support to the poppies.  Some of you will remember the issues I've been having with Patty's Plum elsewhere in the garden.  There is a Patty's Plum in there too but it's not flowering yet. Sanguisorba Pink Tanna and a Blue hardy geranium will take over when the poppies have gone.

Also, tucked in away at the back, a young Lonicera x italicum Harlequin has flowered for the first time.  It's still hidden behind it's neighbours but making good growth up onto the trellising provided for it.

One of my favourite hardy Geranium, G. sanguineum Elke, to give her her full name, has started scrambling around at the foot of the phlox and noble clover.
In the miniature garden, Sysrinchium EK Balls has started to flower - I love the daintiness of these flowers.  I need to check but I'm almost certain that each month (apart from January) my miniature garden has had something in bloom.  I'm pleased with that, as it's what I was hoping to achieve. 
The trellis (Project Privacy) is still as yet, devoid of blooms.  They shouldn't be far away. Roses, Honeysuckle and Clematis, I hope will create a riot of colour before the end of the month.  Speaking of roses, the first rose to flower is a patio rose - Rosa Happy Time.  It's a pretty little thing I picked up in the supermarket last year.  Here's a shot taken last week - the other buds just about to open have taken a bit of a beating in the rain.
At the base of the trellis on the shadier side, a lovely little Mock Orange.  I picked this shrub up in a local DIY store on the sale table for 50p last year - a little tlc and looks great, don't you think?  Not quite as strong a scent and other's I've had the pleasure of sniffing.
Through the pergola arch on the shadier side, whilst the shrubs were all new to this area back in spring, they will eventually fill out this space.  Meanwhile, the perennials that were already here fill in round about.  Although the border will need widening at some point, nothing is really too big for it's allotted space at the minute, I'm sure will cope here until autumn or spring.  It will depend on how long I can hold off my itchy trowel!
Shady corner of project privacy
Aconitum Gletscheris.  This was one of 3 plants that really suffered back in the 2012 floods.  Signs of life by way of the tiniest piece of new foliage, it was lifted and kept in a pot in the hope it would recover.   This is a special plant - it was one of the first I ever bought for this garden and have never seen it for sale since.  It's odd how we get attached to some plants isn't it?  
Tiarella Spring Symphony is surrounded by foliage in all shapes and colours.  Primula vialii is currently scarlet red, this will change in a few days.  

At the base of the new Rowan, Trollius Cheddar is just about going over and Philadelphus Belle Etoile is about to come into flower.  The scent of which just kind of creeps up on you as you walk up the garden.  I say walk, what I really mean is hobble!
It's difficult to make out the Rowan flowers in this picture but they are there and are loved by the bees, except when I have my camera to hand that is. 
The new bed, which is the feature of my End of Month View blogs has plenty in bloom this June.  I'm going to be frank and tell you all - I'm not happy with it this June!  My vision back in February is not what I've produced.  I was in two minds whether to post about what was blooming in this bed, I struggled on and took individual photos of all the blooms but felt that was cheating and then considered how helpful some of you might be by casting a neutral eye over it and giving me your honest opinion.  I think know where I've gone wrong - it's either the pokers or the lupins.  The lupins should have been red, which I think might have drawn the eye down from the pokers on the back tier.
As it turns out, the 3 red Lupins I planted ended up blue, purple and a deeper blue.  Certainly not red is clearly shows and describes on the label!  A chance you take I suppose when buying young plants very early in spring, that will teach me for trying to grab a bargain!  This hasn't happened to me too often I'm glad to say.  Isn't it annoying.  Thank goodness I don't have a Chelsea Show Garden to plant up.       
I like the paeony and Primula together, even with the deep purple of the Clematis and orange of the climbing rose on the top tier thrown into the mix, it's not unpleasant to the eye.  Deutzia Strawberry Fields also blends right in, I feel.
I also like the Poker and Primula together - please excuse the blue Primula in the shot, that's for elsewhere in the garden.
But marrying them together is proving difficult.  Still, that's gardening I suppose!  I do understand that gardening is a personal preference and each of you will have a different opinion, either way, I'd love to hear your thoughts.  If you'd like to express them that is! 
Well that's my bloom day post, you've had your lot!  Please join me and other garden bloggers over at May Dream Gardens.  It's the place to be on the 15th of every month.  Garden bloggers from around the world open their gardens and share with us all their blooming delights! 


  1. Your garden is looking wonderful Angie. I am so jealous of your Tropaeolum speciosum, I just can' t get it established here. I love the marmalade Heuchera with the Cotinus. I see what you mean about the blue lupins , they don' t really fit in with that bed. You are just like me constantly moving plants around until you find just the right spot. I am sure my plants duck when I walk by. I hope your back will recover soon.

    1. I think my plants duck too Chloris, in fact I'm sure they quiver as the mere sight of a trowel or spade!
      Glad you agree it's the blue. Had they all been the same colour, things might have looked a wee bit better.
      You are not alone failing to get the Tropaeolum speciosum to establish - a few gardening friends cringe when I tell them how much I used to rip out!
      Back easing a bit now, off work until at least next Monday, by which time, I'm hoping it's way better.

  2. I love your June garden, Angie! I can't even begin to express how envious I am over the peonies. As to the new bed, I understand the struggle. I tend to get captivated by individual plants and, wanting someplace suitable for them to grow, I place them without a full appreciation of the broader view. Nursery labeling mistakes make things even more complicated. I've begun (not altogether successfully) to force myself to consider the bigger picture, uprooting plants that don't fit. The hot, bright colors of the poker and primula certainly dominate the bigger picture of your new bed so I'd be inclined to move the blue lupines and bring in more yellow and orange or red/orange. Good luck with your deliberations and happy GBBD!

    1. Thanks Kris, paeonies are a familiar sight in gardens here in Scotland. Mostly though P. officianalis Rubra. I did have that but it seemed to have disappeared.
      Another vote for the blue lupins - glad it's not just me!

  3. I love your foliage combinations and wonderful blooms. Your Sarah Bernhardt are especially beautiful...I enjoyed the visit!

    1. Thanks Lee - these are not SB, she's yet to bloom. They are just as lovely though.

  4. Oh, what a wonderful garden you have. It's paradise! All these different places planted in different ways! It seems to me you are a very good and talanted gardener! Thank you for showing your beauties!!!!
    All the best from Austria

    1. Thanks for visiting Elisabeth. I don't want you to think I'm rude by not visiting your blog. I have and tried a few time to leave a comment but it was just not happening! I'll try again tomorrow.

  5. Yes, I think the blue lupin will have to be moved or surround it with white so that it shows up better and something yellow or orange to link with the pokers might help. You are so lucky to have Tropaeolum in your garden, I have tried too many times to get it growing here but it just won't grow for me. I think maybe your peony might be Bowl of Beauty which has a lovely perfume.

    1. Thanks for your input Pauline - I'll find another home for the lupins. There are other yellows and oranges to come out later, so shall see how those turn out. I've a red lupin elsewhere but I was not vigilant enough in slug control and it has been eaten to within an inch of it's life. I've lifted it in the hope I can get it to recover, then try it in that bed for next year.
      I always thought the peony was BoB - I've sent a picture to my local nursery (peony experts) hopefully they can confirm our thoughts.
      Yes, the T. speciosum is a tricky one. It obviously like my front hedge!

  6. I love the Cirsium and the white poppies.Also that view of your garden with the fence and trellis - it looks great even without mature vines. Too bad about the "red" lupines, and I hope your back is completely recovered soon.

    1. Thanks Jason, I'm please with how the trellis has turned out - it dissects the whole garden with an arch to walk through. Roses and honeysuckle are just about to flower but not quite tall and mature enough to make a real statement.
      I'm hoping my back recovers sooner, it's not much fun being so idle!

  7. You would be very lucky indeed if everything were exactly right first planting. Like Chloris I am continually moving things around until I find the right spot. The poppies and astrantia combo is great, I shall try that. I think you've worked absolute wonders with this garden. It is lovely. You should be very proud of what you've achieved.
    Sympathies on the back, so easy to do. Take it easy for a bit.

    1. I'm please with the how the Astrantia/Poppy thing worked out. Kind of accidental, if I'm being really honest. I hope they would look great together but had no idea how useful the Astrantia would be in keeping the poppies erect.
      Thanks for your lovely comments, they are much appreciated.

  8. Wow, your Tropaeolum speciosum was a new one to me, I had to Google it, being as nosy as I am, and I found this link, look at the fourth photo!
    I would love to have something like that, but this plant obviously favours the wet Scottish climate, looks lovely in your front garden!

    And your white poppies are lovely, so far I have just two flowers from my THREE plants. It has become way to shady in my white flowerbed, those poor white poppies didn’t stand a chance and got shaded out before they could put on any growth. I need to rethink that bed.
    And I loved your Philadelphus 'Manteau d'Hermine', I looked it up and saw it is much more compact than the normal variety, could do for my garden too – I have put it on my wish list.

    Your new corner looks lovely! But we are always more critical with our own projects than other peoples’ and I can understand you want to strive for perfection. However, a flowerbed changes every month, if not every week, so it’s difficult to have flowers all year round and still have flowers that always match in colour – I have given that up long time ago! But as others have said here, those blue and purple lupins might look better somewhere else in the garden. And as for plants labelled one colour, turning up to be something else – tell me about it! I can mention my dark pink hydrangea, ehem…. labelled ‘Blue Wave’ for example!
    Hope your back is getting better now, have a good week, take care, Helene.

  9. There's a reason for those lyrics: June Is Busting Out All Over...and you've got the garden to prove it.

  10. I love the idea of you trying to rid yourself of Tropaeolum speciosum while a green-eyed bunch of gardeners are drooling over it, wishing they had one (me included). Your garden looks just fabulous and the foliage combinations in the project privacy shade border are exquisite. Don't worry about Derby day - I never manage to stick to that rule. I hope your back is on the mend.

  11. Hi Angie,

    It's looking very nice indeed at the moment.

    I don't mind your purple Lupins as they are tbh, especially as you have dark-leaved plants around there anyway, so in some ways it's repeating that too for you. Although I can well understand your frustration at not getting what you were expecting and it therefore knocking out your vision.
    Then again I am one of those people that throws things together, so often have a variety of colours in each border anyway. Remember, I've combined a lot of orange and purple together. Maybe have the Kniphofia behind the Lupins to help bring them out.

  12. Gardening is a personal preference & as we seem to have the same style, same likes n' loves....and the fact that I think your garden looks bloomin' gorgeous...I can't really comment.

  13. You said your front yard is non-descriptive, but the photos say that they are way too descriptive (beautiful). Gotta a great idea for you -- you should take a vacation in North-East USA (NYC, NJ, Penn, Mas,Conn,...). Our house is located so centrally that NYC is like 15 minutes drive and most north east states are within 4 to 5 hours drive. So, you should come and stay with us :-D. Now do you think I am very generous? OF COURSE NOT :-P. You come and stay and we roam around and in free time, you transform my garden into yours :-D...:-P.....heheheheheh...honestly, what a garden you have...Are the people in the UK born with gardening skills?

  14. Fascinating tour of your wonderful garden Angie, I have never grown the Tropaeolum thinking it was too fussy for my shady dampness but might give it a try after seeing how well it does with you as I have always admired it. I have Goldflimmer but get little variegation of the leaves probably because its in a shady spot, does yours do better?

  15. Your garden is just wonderful. I will have to re-read that post a few times - there is so much to admire!
    I very much enjoyed your story about Tropaeolum speciosum. We all make mistake in the beginning. In my 1st garden there were a great many peonies. I gave away at least half of them, which was fine, but at least I should have waited to see what I was giving giving away!

  16. Angie your garden is much blooming and so many wonderful colors. I haven't had the color swap happen too often either. I think you helped me identify one of my Lonicera too.

  17. Good morning Angie,
    You have a really good selection of plants, and all nicely balanced with one another. Looking good!

  18. I like both the Poker/Primula and the Peony/Primula combinations, but I tend to try unique combos and nearly always like groupings of flowers. Your garden looks very lush and healthy!

  19. Your June garden is incredibly beautiful, Angie. I think your peony is my favorite, but it is hard to decide among so much beauty. The Physocarpus (nine bark) is native here and I really should get some, especially if it is scented like yours. You are a very talented gardener. P. x

  20. I too love Tropaeolum speciosum. It looks spectacular growing through an evergreen tree or hedge. I have tried twice to grow it but it always starts so small and I think I must forget about it and week it out!!! Either that or it doesn't make it through the winter. Next time it will be very carefully labelled and protected.
    I'm not sure I've ever seen a really red lupin - do they exist or are they really just deep pink?
    I think your garden is looking wonderful - you should see the right old mix of colours I have!!!


Your comments are appreciated. My blog is currently experiencing issues with some readers reporting problems when posting their comments. Please bear with me whilst I try to rectify the problem.
I have temporarily switched on word verification. I apologise for this, personally, I don't like it either, I am hoping this may help.