For gardeners, April, May and June are the golden months of the year but June takes the crown because it brings with it the dizzying, intoxicating splendour of roses. And aren’t they wonderful this year?
But first of all, craven apologies to all my blogging friends who I have shamefully neglected for the last few weeks. I haven’t yet even answered the lovely comments on my last post, but I will. I have been AWOL for various reasons, first of all technical; I have a new tablet but it has developed problems of its own and my laptop has been on go-slow to the point when I came close to throwing it out of the window. I have been away too, but for the last couple of weeks I have been working hard for a garden open day. Nothing grand like a NGS affair, it was only a village open day, and not even my village, I tagged along with the village down the road. But still one has one’s pride and I was determined to get it looking its best. I have dug and grubbed and pruned and polished and the garden does look great -but I don’t. Every evening finds me looking like a zombie, gibbering with exhaustion.
Ok, that’s not me really, but every day I am beginning to look a bit more like my alter ego, Chloris the scarecrow. It is a race as to who deteriorates the fastest.
As well as maintenance, I have completed two new projects, the first is a gravel area for alpines. This is round the sundial, an area which was always a total mess and I hope it will look good all year round now.
The second one is rather a curiosity. It look as if the female, Iris germanica which I took the seed from, has hybridised with the wild Iris foetidissima which is all over the garden. It certainly surprised me with its dainty little flower.
My other recent project is a gravel area round the new shed. As I painted the shed with stripes it looks like a beach hut so it has its own beach now.
In front of the shed has become a summer home for my collection of succulents which seems to be multiplying at an alarming rate. It has been supplemented recently by my lovely niece who is the Cornish Succulent Queen.
I grew some Agapanthus from seed and now have 22 healthy plants which is more than anyone needs but they have found a home on the beach and in a large pot. I have seen agapanthus growing on the dunes in Tresco so that is in keeping. Sort of.
I begged a cutting of the orange Horned Sea Poppy, Glaucium flavum from a friend.
Last’s year’s project, the secret garden is now beginning to look more established as the plants on the trellises have grown and filled out. I am encouraged that nobody has asked me this year what it is going to be. I found that rather depressing last year because it is not going to be anything. It already is.
Amongst the shrubs planted round the secret garden to make it more secret I have a lovely double philadelphus which is called Philadelphus ‘Snowbelle’.
The winter garden is now well established and has plenty for summer interest.
Down by the pond, plants are maturing too although I still have to keep plenty of pots
here to deter the heron who likes to be able to wade in.
I grew this Cornus alternifolia from a cutting and at last it is beginning to get a layered look to it.
I haven’t done much in the front garden, it will have to be next year’s project. But although neglected it is over- flowering with summer exuberance.
I have one or two hardy orchids in the garden and the trickiest to establish (and also the most expensive) are the slipper orchids, Cypripediums. I have lost two beauties and one has come up but is not blooming. But this one is now in its third year so I am hopeful that I am fulfilling all its finicky needs.
But never mind exotic orchids, it is the roses that are the attention seekers this month.
Climbing up a large holly I have a seedling of Rosa filipes ‘Kiftgate’. It seems to have all the vigour of its parent so goodness knows where it will end up.
I grew Cooper’s Burmese rose from a cutting and it is now making its way up my greengage tree. I love it for its huge single flowers and the glossy leaves which are always healthy and free from blemishes.
You haven’t got all day so I will save some roses for another time and I will finish with the beautiful climbing tea rose ‘Lady Hillingon’. She hangs her apricot heads languorously, but she is quite irrisistible.
It is Monday and I am enjoying the wonderful scent of a bunch of sweet peas as I write. So I offer them as a contribution to Cathy’s meme ‘In a Vase on Monday’. I started them in the autumn this year and they are so much better than my usual spindly efforts to grow sweet peas. I can’t remember the varieties but they are gorgeous.