‘June is bustin’ out all over.’

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.

I am edging it with irises which I have grown from seed. Here are two still blooming. I haven’t named them yet.

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.


The Rhodohypoxis which has been living in a pot has found a home here. It should be all right with a pane of glass over it in winter to keep it dry.

Rhodhypoxis baurii

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.


The seagull and the fossils came from a recent visit to Lyme Regis. The shells and coral have been collected over the years. So that is my beach.

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.


The rose is ‘Phyllis Bide’ and the honeysuckle is the intensely fragrant Lonicera ‘Scentsation.’ For fragrance I have also planted trachelospermum, jasmine and lilies.

Lonicera periclymenum ‘Scentsation’

Amongst the shrubs planted round the secret garden to make it more secret I have a lovely double philadelphus which is called Philadelphus ‘Snowbelle’.

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.

Cornus alternifolia

Lychnis flos-cuculi

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.

Carpentaria californica

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.

Cypripedium

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.

Rosa laevigata ‘Cooperi’

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.

Rosa ‘Lady Hillingdon’

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.

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44 Responses to ‘June is bustin’ out all over.’

  1. Peter/Outlaw says:

    The beach around your shed is absolutely stunning as is the rest of your garden. What a treat your visitors are in for when they visit your garden. It will be an equal delight for you to take a break from your frenetic pace of preparing the garden once the last visitor has gone. This is a very busy time of year for gardeners and for plants like your amazing roses. Happy hosting!

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you. My visitors came on Sunday and we were lucky to have a beautiful day. The garden looked its very best. Which was good because Monday was appalling with gales and torrential rain and my delphiniums falling about like nine pins.

  2. Christina says:

    Your garden was gorgeous when I saw it a couple of years ago but now it is even better; you have completed a lot of new projects – all very successfully, congratulations. As Peter says, your visitors are in more a treat. Enjoy the roses while you can, and don’t work too hard!

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Christina. Actually I think it was 3 years ago wasn’ t it? I have done a lot to the garden since then. Like you I relish a project. The roses are the best they have ever been this year.

  3. Cathy says:

    Dizzying, intoxicating – I am glad you feel this way about you roses too; I too cut my rose post short so as not to bore people! Your whole garden is looking delightful – the area around your shed sets it off perfectly, and your secret garden is really beginning to look the part, whatever other people might say. Your visitors wil need a lot of ‘oohs’ and aahs’ when they come! 😉 And of course your sweetvpeas are gorgeous too 🙂

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Cathy. I can’ t help being a rose bore I am crazy about them. They are absolutely my favourite flowers.I am pleased with my sweet peas, it is the first time that I have had any success with them.

  4. Cathy says:

    If you know what a ‘sweetvpea’ is, that is!

  5. You’ve outdone yourself and more than made up for a long absence. I find it especially hard to write this time of year, when so much time is already devoted to the computer and there are such wonderful things happening in nature and the garden. Your new gravel areas are fabulous and fun, especially the beach. One suggestion. If you’re going to let Chloris the scarecrow go to pot, you really should give her a little bottle of gin to sip now and again.

    • Chloris says:

      You are right Chloris looks as if she has been on the hard stuff.I am ashamed of her. If I was handier with the needle I’ d give her a new face. But then I can’ t have one so why should she?
      June is absolutely the best month of all and I am quite intoxicated by my roses.

  6. Kris P says:

    Your garden is glorious! I wish I could see it in person – I’ve no doubt that your visitors will be agog. I never cease to be impressed by the range of plants you grow from seed and cuttings, and the beach you’ve created around your shed is perfect. Now that you’ve begun seriously collecting succulents, I’ve no doubt that the bug will take hold, especially as you find how easily many of them propagate from cuttings.

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Kris. I wish you could come and stroll round the garden with me. Oh yes the succulent bug has truly bitten me. And to think I used not to like them. But it is a big problem here because they can’ t stay outside in winter. I really haven’t room for them all.

  7. I agree with Kris P. We need the IAVOM World Tour. The garden looks fantastic, I would be a gibbering whatever if mine looked that good. The roses especially look amazing. As a gardener from the land of humidity – one never sees roses like that with, well, foliage – much less healthy green foliage! The She Shed looks amazing – I am wondering if it is blue or grey? I have also started a succulent garden (in one of the Rain Gardens) more fun – you must get a Flapjack Kalanchoe now.
    Loved the Sweet Peas.

    • Chloris says:

      Wouldn’ t it be lovely to visit each other’ s gardens? Roses are a special pleasure at this time of the year, they are my favourites. The shed is painted grey.
      I’d love to see your succulent garden.

      • Well, I told Christina I was coming to England to get you and we would come to Italy to see the Villa Lante and Christina’s garden. The succulent garden is coming along. I have a leafless Bird of Paradise in there I am waiting for it to do something -anything?

      • Chloris says:

        That sounds like a good plan. Christina’s garden is stunning, I was there 2 years ago.
        A leafless Bird of Paradise sounds a bit challenging.

  8. Eliza Waters says:

    Goodness, I am so impressed with not only all you’ve done in your garden, but your assisting elsewhere. The Secret Garden is coming along beautifully and I love the ‘beach’ around the shed. Your rose collection is stunning!

  9. rusty duck says:

    The roses are indeed truly stunning this year, for scent as well as for colour and bloom. To the point where even my dreadful nose can appreciate them. The beach is just wonderful. I fear Chloris looks as though she has been at the gin bottle already today..

    • Chloris says:

      The roses are amazing aren’ t they? Yes that scarecrow is out of control. She probably has been drinking. Goodness knows what she gets up to when I’m not watching.

  10. Cathy says:

    Your garden is superb, Chloris, and your new projects are developing beautifully – the stripey summerhouse/beach hut is calling me to sit outside it (and sip gin!!) … I am always amazed, as someone else has said, by the cuttings/success with cuttings that you demonstrate. And yes, the roses, there’s nothing to beat them when they are flowering. Particularly lovely to see the ‘Cooperi’ – I remember it from before and wished I had somewhere to plant it then. Good luck with your open day – your visitors will be enchanted.

  11. Flighty says:

    A most enjoyable post and lovely pictures. xx

  12. Ton jardin est vraiment magnifique. Et je suis bien d’accord avec toi. Les mois d’avril, mai juin, sont un pur bonheur pour les jardiniers. Merci pour toute cette beauté partagée !

  13. Sam says:

    Wow, your garden is looking fantastic, Liz. Those roses! And I love the new gravel area by the smart shed. Are you going to open your garden with the NGS? You really should. PS The scarecrow made me laugh (I’m sure you look nothing like it!!).

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Sam. I opened my garden for 7 years for the NGS and I was County Organiser too. I don’ t want the pressure any more of a plant stall and endless cake making. Being one of many suits me better in my new life here.

  14. Anna says:

    Oh Chloris your post is the just the perfect tonic for what is an absolutely foul day in the north west. Your winter garden looks brilliant out of season and I love the spider bench. As usual I think I will have to return here at some point with pen and paper to hand.

  15. Cathy says:

    Goodness me, you have been busy! The garden is looking wonderful and I do hope you have time to gather yourself before the grand open day and perhaps sit in that glorious space of yours for a few moments. The visitors will love it, especially all those fabulous roses. I really love the beach in front of your shed! And the secret garden has got so well-established within such a short time. Was it only last year you started it?

    • Chloris says:

      Thank you Cathy. Yes the secret garden has developed nicely in just a year. I am pleased with my beach; people liked it and it is labour saving with a membrane under the gravel.

  16. Brian Skeys says:

    What ever the reason for opening your garden it is ‘motivational!’ I like your new shed and beach garden, is that the estate colour? I hope today’s rain and winds do not do too much damage.

    • Chloris says:

      The shed is ‘Birch Grey’. I have painted my summer house and all my benches that colour this year. Monday’s wind and torrential rain created havoc in the garden. I hope you escaped.

  17. What a beautiful labor of love . Your gardening neighbors surely found many good ideas to inspire them. Your seed grown Iris are lovely , especially the yellow hybrid . How beautiful a stand of those would be beside your pond . I enjoyed visiting your garden 😊

  18. snowbird says:

    Oh dear… I have great sympathy for both of the Chloris’s!!! Hoping they both perk up soon. I have missed your posts and do hope all things techie are sorting themselves. Lucky visitors getting a chance to see your delightful garden, I wish I was one of them! Your roses are indeed glorious, and I must say the beach around the hut is fabulous as is the new gravel area, no wonder you are worn out, but how very rewarding eh? Your secret garden is wonderful, how I would love to sit in the middle and just paint, or sip wine…..sighs….. You better watch out, someone may help themselves to that little seagull, how quaint!!!xxx

    • Chloris says:

      Well I’ve perked up a bit but Chloris, the scarecrow looks as if she is in terminal decline. She must live a life of dissipation down there amongst the cabbages.
      I wish you could visit me and the garden too Dina.

  19. pbmgarden says:

    Love your beach!

  20. Bodger says:

    Thank you for the wander around your rose garden. I’m so impressed by the cuttings and seed crosses that you cultivate but more than that, I can imagine the intoxicating perfume that must accompany you as you amble about your glorious, coloured kingdom.

  21. Chloris says:

    Thank you Debbie. Yes the roses are the best thing about the June garden. The fragrance everywhere is intoxicating.

  22. Based on your photos, I’m sure your garden was in magnificent condition for the visitors. In those situations one of the challenges for gardeners is not to fixate on tiny imperfections that aren’t even noticed by guests. I’m most impressed by the Cooper’s Burmese rose.

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