Well June was a funny old month, I think it must have clocked up the wettest and the hottest day. Not at the same time, though with the humidity in the latter parts of the month, maybe that’s not such an obvious distinction. We were away at the start of the month, and arrived back from Portugal and the wettest day. Of course, we were in sandals and holiday clothes and looked completely out of place in a grey and drab London, as we dashed from the DLR to the bus with our cases. I mean, it’s not everyone that carries their impromptu shopping home in a suitcase is it?
Checking the garden after a holiday is one of my rituals, but this time, no matter how much of a ritual, it had to wait a few days. But when there was a break in the weather one evening, I couldn’t put it off any longer and headed out there armed with my phone. Not only did I discover we’d had our best year for peonies, which were struggling in the rain, but I also remembered how fresh and inviting rain makes plants look.
The peonies were rescued on the basis that if we were to enjoy them this year, they’d need to be in the dry. So indoors, and into a vase they came, and they lasted a good week before being returned to the compost bin.
Rain made the cherries look all that more appetising too. I’m always surprised to find cherries on the tree, and this year was another good year, although if you read yesterday’s post, not quite so good for making the cherry compote for my gin and cherry trifle.
The foxgloves too did well this month, I heard Monty on Gardeners’ World say it was a good year for foxgloves, and while we have fewer than I think we had last year, I’ve pink and cream varieties, which are still going strong.
Our Gertrude Jekyll rose started well and gave us some big blooms, but despite deadheading (and despite evidence to the contrary in this photo) it wasn’t as prolific as I’d like.
The jasmine took over the garden during June, but not as you can see until later. The clematis is still going and looks great with its dark flowers amongst the sweet smelling spots of white jasmine flowers.
The Philadelphus, or Mock Orange, also treated us to weeks of flowers. And now since they’ve dropped fragrant ‘snow’ too. It’s time for this one to be chopped right back though, so that it continues to repay us with plenty of flowers. I need to sort that out, but I bet I’ll be saying the same again in next month’s post…
Somehow I missed the six or so agapanthus buds during a busy week and was surprised to see this, the tallest, standing so proud.
The sweet peas are starting to flower too, there doesn’t seem to be quite so many of these yet, but maybe they’re working up to a good showing. I’m hopeful.
And then after the rain came the sun. And high temperatures. And on that day there was nothing else for it but to down tools, in truth they hadn’t been lifted very much so it wasn’t so much trouble. And that weekend our sun loungers got plenty of use. After all, what’s the point of a garden if you don’t get to enjoy it? That’s the theme of this month’s The Garden Year, so do pop over and share how you enjoy your garden, as it’d be great to see you.
The other big news this month is that I’ve finally made it back into my greenhouse and finally I’ve sowed some seeds. I’m not sure why, but i’d temporarily lost the gardening, or growing bug, but I’m hopeful that with some tasty, and fast growing, crops I’ll be back on track. I’m also hoping to be eating our homegrown lettuce, herbs and beans in the not too distant future too.
Back in May at Grand Designs Live we bought ourselves a new hose, one of those self-retracting ones that extend to, in our case, over 100 foot. The thing is I’ve been paranoid about using it, as the lady demo-ing it did such a good job of scaring me into how powerful its retraction abilities are and I’ve visions of clumsy me getting caught up in it and being catapulted the length of the garden, along with the hose. I know it’s completely irrational, but the visual image is strong, and it even amuses me, but on the other hand, it could happen… (It probably couldn’t!)
And at the end of a day’s gardening there has to be a reward. Back in May I tried to persuade MOH to get on board with Bank Holiday Cocktails, and making that a thing. It seems, I’ve had less trouble persuading him more recently, so Aperol Spritz and teeny, tiny fava bean snacks it was (and yes, I know they look like peanuts, they’re not).
How’s your garden been this past month?