June is the most sumptuous month in the garden, bringing the velvety and silken delights of peonies, irises and roses. Roses are of course my absolute favourite June flowers but I wrote about them in my last post. There are so many glorious June flowers that choosing just ten is difficult. But fragrance in June is always wonderful so let’s start with a philadelphus. I have quite a few because I like to have their wonderful sweet fragrance following me round the garden Most of them are over now but the gleaming white flowers of Philadelphus ‘Snowbelle’ are still looking lovely. This one is perhaps not quite so fragrant but with large, double flowers it is much showier than most of the others and the bush is nice and compact.
And now the lilies have started and my first into bloom is also the most fragrant. Lilium regale produces copious amounts of seed and blooms after only two years from seed so once you have it you never need be without it. I love the contrasting rosy pink buds and pink on the outside of the reflexed trumpets and the poached egg centres.
My Himalayan giant lily. Cardiocrinum giganteum is blooming this year. When it has finished the bulb breaks up into lots of bubils and you have to wait seven years for it to bloom again. It produces large, dramatic seed heads but even I am a bit daunted by the long wait for blooms from seed. I have had it for nearly twenty years and this is the third time it has flowered. I bought a new one this year and I will buy one every year for the next few years so that in future I will always have one in bloom. This lily likes plenty of moisture and copious amounts of rich feeding. I buried a dead hen under it the first time I planted it. Obviously, I didn’t sacrifice it on purpose for the lily; one of my hens had died as hens are likely to do on a whim, for no apparent reason. I don’t keep hens now so the lily has to make do with lots of home made compost and manure. It is not as big as it was so I really think it needs a dead hen.
It’s just as well that I grow plenty of deliciously scented flowers because I can’t resist aroids and the the most sinister looking one Dracunculus vulgaris smells of rotting meat to attract flies as pollinators.
Another aroid, Ariaema costatum doesn’t smell disgusting but it looks even more sinister, like a cobra which is just about to strike. It likes a damp soil and is great in a woodland setting.
Let’s have another scented plant. Cistus ‘Ladanifer‘ is one of the showiest and most beautiful of the Cistus species. I love white flowers with dark purple centres and these look like crumpled taffeta.The flowers themselves aren’t scented but the whole plant is gummy and smells of the maquis and transports you to its home on the shores of the Mediterranean. It likes a sunny spot.
For the next plant we have to go to another continent. Carpentaria californica is another sun loving shrub and this time the white flowers are more like those of anemones with lovely golden anthers. They look lovely against the glossy evergreen leaves. Unfortunately there is no scent.
And now for something a bit more dramatic. The tall bottlebrush flowers of Eremurus x isabellinus ‘Cleopatra’ look like rockets. These plants need good drainage and plenty of sun. I grow them in my gravel garden. You have to be very careful not to damage the roots when you are planting them or weeding. The roots look like starfish and are easily broken.
Campanulas are ringing their bells all over the garden and they are very good at seeding themselves into the just the right spot to make a lovely picture. The peach-leaved Campanula persicifolia is everywhere here, in both white and sky -blue and I love their cup shaped flowers.
I love the huge violet blue bells of the hybrid Campanula ‘Sarastro’ This does not seed about but the clumps get ever larger.
The nettle-leaved Campanula trachelium can become a little over -enthusiastic when seeding around. But I was pleased with this next one because it appeared with double flowers.
Another double campanula with a pretty hose in hose effect is Campanula punctata ‘Wedding Bells’ This spreads into a nice clump and here it has seeded into a pot but the seedling is not double although it is still pretty.
I am not so keen on Campanula glomerata although the lilac coloured ‘Caroline’ is pretty.
So far I haven’t featured any bright colours so let’s have a look at the snapdragon which I grew from seed last year. It is called Antirrhinum majus ‘Black Prince’ and the plants came out various shades of red. But they are all lovely. And this year they are nice big plants. This one looks good with the dark red leaves of Eucomis ‘Sparkling Burgundy’.
Whist we are talking about black foliage let’s look at this lovely elder which is called ‘Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’. The pink flowers keep their colour and make an attractive looking pink elderflower cordial.
Perhaps I should finish with one or two clematis as they are looking so good right now. I bought this one as the velvety wine coloured ‘Niobe’ and so I was rather disappointed when it bloomed as it was clearly wrongly labelled. Still it is pretty. I think it could be ‘Mrs. N. Thompson’.
This next one is Clematis ‘Piilau’. I love the colour and it is always full of blooms. Some of the flowers are double.
Viticellas are really useful for this time of the year and unlike the large flowered clematis they rarely suffer from wilt. The lovely dark pink ‘Madame Julia Correvon’ has been beautiful for ages on the trellis in the secret garden and now it is joined by ‘Tie Dye’.
I could go and on because June flowers are wonderful and it is hard to select just a few. But never mind there is always another day. Please join me and share some of your Top Ten June Blooms.