Here we are, it’s Saturday again and it’s June so let’s have a lovely summery six to celebrate. The Propagator has trained an ever- growing list of bloggers to dutifully post six horticulturally themed things on Saturdays. I don’t participate every week because Saturdays rush along far too fast for me to catch up with myself. But June is the crown of the whole year and we have to celebrate its arrival. So here goes.
1. Tulipa Sprengeri is a lovely species tulip from Turkey, it blooms long after all your other tulips have disappeared. The flowers are the brightest, shiny scarlet. They close up at night and open in the sunshine. You rarely see them for sale, possibly because the bulbs pull themselves so deep into the soil that they are difficult to dig up. They don’t spread by offsets either but they produce plenty of seed and they will self- seed but I think it is safest to sow them and then the young shoots won’t get weeded out. If you sow the seeds as soon as they are ripe they will have shoots the following Spring. It took mine four years to bloom.
While we are on the theme of self seeding, I have two gleaming white annuals which self-seed in my garden and they always grab the attention of visitors.
2. The first is a corncockle, Agrostemma githago ‘Milas Snow Queen’. As it self- seeds and overwinters it grows much taller than ones which are sown in the Spring.
The petals look as if they are made of satin and somebody has drawn brown dotted lines with a crayon.
They look good with self-sown Orlaya grandiflora.
3. I have another very simple little annual which everyone loves and wants to grow. So if you come across it in a seed catalogue do buy it. It loves to seed in gravel and next year I shall give it a helping hand because I would like lots more of it.
Again it is Persil- white. It rejoices in the common name of ‘Venus’s Navelwort’, but we don’t do navels on this blog so let us give it its proper name: Omphalodes linifolia.
4. Well here we are in June and I have not mentioned irises which is odd as I am mad on them. Pacific irises are very easy from seed and they come up in different colours. Here are some of my seed grown ones.
I love Iris sibirica too, they need a damp place. They come in amazing shades of blue.
This next one is called Iris sibirica ‘Osborne’s Grey’, it is very rare. I think it is more lavender than grey.
I have grow some plants from seed from this. One of them is particularly pretty, in fact I like it better than its mother.
The bearded iris, Iris germanica comes in so many colours with so many frills and flounces. The flowers don’t last long but if you have quite a few they don’t all come out at once. Here are some of my first ones. I can’t remember most of the names, even if I ever knew them.
I used to love the flouncy ones, dressed like pantomime dames in outrageous colours and frills but now I prefer the more subtle charms of Cedric Morris’s Benton range . Here is my first one out, it is called ‘Benton Olive’ .
Irises are easy and fun to grow from seed and you never know what you will get. I made a whole new gravel bed last year to display my seedlings. This is one of them. It doesn’t look very unusual but I am thrilled with it as it is my own creation. It’s mother was the sky-blue ‘Jane Phillips’.
5. I have a tree which is looking fabulous right now with fluffy balls like golden powder puffs. I showed you Azara microphylla in March, it has tiny flowers with a pervasive vanilla scent. This is Azara serrata which also comes from Chile. Its flowers are sweetly scented although you have to actually sniff it to find out. It is worth growing for the glossy leaves and the showy flowers. I had this tree in my last garden and didn’t want to be without it so I took a cutting and now, after ten years I have a large tree. I don’t know whether this was just luck or whether it is easy from cuttings. I must try and take some more.
6. Every day there are fresh roses coming into bloom and of course June is the month when we all get intoxicated by them. But Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’ has been in bloom for a while now. I know in some gardens it blooms in April but here it starts in May and gets better and better as the month goes on. Like the Azara serrata this started off as a small cutting about ten years ago. It has made its way to the top of the lovely old apple tree which has unfortunately died, but I am leaving the lovely mossy old trunk as a climbing frame.
It has plans to take over the whole garden and probably next door’s too. I really cannot allow it to cascade all over the Azara even if they do look good together,
So there are my Six on Saturday. Alright, I know I slipped in a few extra irises but I really cannot confine myself to just one iris. Otherwise I have kept to the rules for once. Thanks to the Propagator for hosting this meme and for being very tolerant of rule benders. If you go over to his blog, you will find what many other bloggers are enjoying on this lovely June day.