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Last Month in My Garden, June 2017

A month of contrasts: cool and wet at first and then, mid-month, too hot for me to work outside . Watering has been time-consuming. The month ended cooler and wetter but, by then, the rain was much appreciated.

Before it got too hot, I had an Open Day. Tidying the garden involved moving the many pots that had crept onto the paths in the last few weeks. (They seem to do it by themselves!) I had some magnificent clumps of Erodium manescavii growing between paving slabs but accessibility demanded that they go – sheared off with a spade.

Erodium manescavii

Open Day

shady border

Early summer is the main season for the geranium family and I went to Norwell in Nottinghamshire for the Hardy Geranium Group study day. Members wilted a bit in the heat but the geraniums looked good and I returned with new treasures to plant out. The heat meant that I could work in the shady borders only. The photo shows part of the border I started to plant in spring 2016; in the foreground is Geranium x oxonianum ‘Wageningen’, which has so far escaped the rabbits. I went away for a few days late in the month; just before I left, I saw a rabbit inside the gate. I could only hope that it would move out again, onto the common. However, when I returned, I saw the rabbit feeding happily on grass at the back of the house; I am still dreading the damage I shall find in the borders because I cannot believe that it has eaten grass only.

Campanula latifolia var. macrantha ‘Alba’

Sisyrinchium striatum

Anthemis ‘Cally White’

On Open Day, two people asked about a white campanula – Campanula latifolia var. macrantha ‘Alba’. I think it came from HPS seed many years ago; I now have three clumps, one of which is self-sown. It is a slow-growing plant and seedlings are rare but it is no trouble and has looked good this year. The height is ~1m and I have planted it in semi-shade. Other plants which have made a useful contribution for years are Alstroemeria ligtu hybrid (also from HPS seed) and Sisyrinchium striatum, which I was given when I admired it in a friend’s garden. I do weed out a lot of the latter and try to dead-head it, because the seedlings are plentiful. Both plants are good for cutting and combine well with Erigeron annuus (which started to flower mid-month), or leucanthemums, and Hemerocallis, of which my largest clumps are of Hemeraocallis fulva, another under-rated stalwart. For cutting, I also use Anthemis ‘Cally White’, introduced by the late Michael Wickenden. It was given to me when I was making a new border; planted immediately (not always the case!), it soon made a good clump. I was inspired to buy ‘Cally Cream’ but, sadly, it did not do well, possibly because of too much competition. Growth is fast at the start of June and plants have to be tough to hold their own!

Alstroemeria ligtu hybrid

Hemerocallis ‘Black Emanuelle’

Hemerocallis fulva

Margaret Stone

Posted by Margaret Stone

Vist Margaret's garden on one of the NGS open days.

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