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Last Month in My Garden, June 2018

Geraniums star in June at Brockamin and this year has been no exception. Recent acquisitions, flowering for the first time, included dark violet and velvety G. nodosum ‘Tony’s Talisman’, planted under a conifer; this came from HPS Geranium Day last year. From HPS Variegated Plant Day this year came G. nodosum ‘Eton Mess’, as yet still in a pot but destined for another position in dry shade, where the pale colour should show up well. G. ‘Ivybridge Eyeful’ (Desirable Plants) is a hybrid from G. psilostemon but very different from that parent: the flowers are smaller, with separated petals, and the lax growth is shorter. It, together with G. Patricia, has been planted in a bed where the symphyotrichums had spread too far and have been reduced from a clump 8’ or more across to 5’.

Geranium nodosum ‘Tony's Talisman’

Geranium nodosum ‘Eton Mess’

Geranium ‘Ivybridge Eyeful’

The view from my kitchen has been dominated by tall pale pink Campanula lactiflora ‘Loddon Anna’, which is a similar colour to some old shrub roses several yards behind it and Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ in front. It contrasts with two crimson and one deep violet clematis. At the end of the month, the peony finished flowering but perennial sweet peas, Lathyrus latifolius, and then the pink rose ‘Blush Rambler’ began. The same border includes Lychnis coronaria ‘Blood Red’, which comes true from seed. For most of June, light blue Clematis ‘Prince Charles’ flowered profusely in the background; it is a recent planting and I was really pleased. Alas, one day I found it looking brown and ill; I suspected that it had clematis wilt, which, fortunately has not occurred here for many years. The wilt had struck very quickly, possibly speeded-up by the hot weather. June has been exceptionally hot so I have spent many hours watering and less time than planned on weeding. The border has a bad outbreak of convolvulus, which is romping away.

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sarah Bernhardt'
with Geranium 'Azure Rush’

Campanula lactiflora ‘Loddon Anna’

Paeonia lactiflora ‘Sarah Bernhardt’



Rosa ‘Blush Rambler’

Lychnis coronaria ‘Blood Red’


Rosa '​Königin von Dänemark'


Early in the month, it became clear that there would be few pears this year, presumably because of frost at flowering-time. However, apples are abundant and the June drop has not reduced the number sufficiently so I have had to start thinning them. I never do this as thoroughly as I should – I just pull a few off when passing. Peaches and apricots also need thinning and there are just not enough hours in a day! In 2016, my crop of summer raspberries was poor: many of the berries were small. I took them out and planted new canes in November. I had ordered two varieties, 25 of each, but when the plants arrived, one group were much better than the other. The weaker plants are still that and their first fruits have been borne on lax growths drooping down to the ground; the berries are small and appear to be suffering from drought. I have not watered them this year but the better plants, Rubus idaeus ‘Glen Ample’, are not suffering: the berries are good and at a sensible height for picking. I am surprised at how early they are, fruiting from Midsummer. They have made strong new growth for next year. Perhaps the weaker plants did not root deeply enough to access good supplies of water. I also grow an autumn raspberry (given to me unnamed but probably ‘Autumn Bliss’). Last year some canes of this had spread beyond their allotted space and I intended to move them in the winter so did not prune them back. It was another task I did not get around to (my excuse being snow and endless spring rain) so they have fruited early. Asparagus was the crop for daily picking until Midsummer Day but now that has finished, courgettes have started and the garden is really producing again.

Margaret Stone

Posted by Margaret Stone

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

2 Comments To "Last Month in My Garden, June 2018"

Cathy On 25.07.2018
Margaret's garden sounds delightful. I agree it could be the drought that has affected the Clematis. A plant of Clematis triternata Rubromarginata which I thought I had lost about 4 years ago suddenly reappeared last year and is growing strongly Reply to this comment
Stuart On 04.07.2018
Here in Bournemouth like many areas, I suspect it has been so dry and even efforts to water mean that some areas are not priorities. My raspberries too are small and the redcurrants, though plentiful are small. Your clematis death may not be wilt for I find an increasing number of plants are just giving up. We will see by the autumn how long the casualty list is. It will include Photinia, Azaleas and many more. Large trees are suffering and it will be interesting to see if they recover next year. Let's not believe Monty Don on his heavy clay when he says you don't have to water certain plants. On our sand I have to prioritise in spite of mulching. Reply to this comment
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