Its been a really good year for flowering plants and June is no exception with Roses, Delphinium, Peonies, Lupins, Campanula and Hollyhocks (to name but a few) all putting on fantastic flowering displays this month. ‘Flaming June’ describes the weather well this month with lots of warm sunshine and some exceptionally hot days where the temperature has reached over 30o C, making gardening pretty challenging! Earlier in the month we had a few really windy days which caused quite a bit of plant and bloom damage. However, there has been no rain although there is the possibility of some thundery showers later this week, which will be a welcome relief for both plants and people as long as the showers aren’t too torrential!
June in the Garden
With so much to enjoy this month its hard to know where to start! One thing I would definitely recommend doing is visiting other gardens. I took time out to visit some ‘Open Gardens’ locally last weekend which despite the fierce heat was very enjoyable, see my previous post – The delights of visiting ‘Open Gardens’ if you’d like to read more on this.
Flowers and Scent in June
I’ve decided to combine these two elements this month as I think that scent is a very important element to include in the garden, in fact designing ‘sensory gardens’ is an area I am working on expanding within my business. My first choice has to be roses and here I’m very lucky as several clients have them so I have been able to enjoy their scent whilst I’ve been working in their gardens. They seem to do well on the slightly heavier soils that some of my clients have and several of them have said this is the best year they’ve ever had in terms of their roses flowering and their overall vigour and health. Whilst I hope my pruning skills in the winter have helped with this, I’m sure the weather and feeding the roses has also had something to do with this!
I know there’s been many new cultivars developed over the years some with very showy blooms in a greater range of colours but for me you can’t beat some of the old-fashioned varieties when it comes to perfume. The one below is Souvenir du Dr Jarmain, a really old rose from 1865 with sumptuously velvet, perfumed flowers that open crimson red, deepening to a dark, almost purple-red; repeat flowering too!.
This second one ‘Aloha’ a fully double rose-pink climber with a strong, sweet perfume. It was introduced in 1949 and is also repeat flowering.
Lonicera or Honeysuckle is another favourite of mine that seems to have a scent that carries a considerable distance and is usually gets stronger as the day goes on. I have a wonderful one rambling over my side fence and gate in fact its gone rather mad over the last year or two so will need to be pruning back in the spring. The bees of course love Honeysuckle and I don’t think you can beat them for their ability to cover a wall or fence or to climb up and clothe a pergola.
If you are looking for a good scented flowering shrub then do consider Philadelphus ‘Belle Etoile’, easy to grow and with a great scent that like Lonicera tends to carry over a distance.
My final scented choices are actually a couple of bedding plants – Heliotrope and Petunias – I’ve used in my clients summer bedding pots and just love the colours. Heliotrope is something a bit different and you may have to hunt it out but Petunias need no introduction, my personal favourite are the single colours and I love this deep purple one, smells divine too and filled my card with scent on the journey home from the nursery!
Foliage in June
I have picked three plants for this month all which I think are great choices if you are looking for foliage interest. Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ flowered earlier in the year but I their foliage can be used to good effect and really lightens shady beds and borders. Likewise Lamium (below is ‘Pink Pewter’ and White Nancy’) which have been flowering for a while but if you deadhead should come back with another flush of flowers. Finally Hostas, available in an endless range of colour combinations and grown in pots can look quite special. The trick is to keep the slugs and snails away, never an easy task but this drier season has certainly helped with that! A client has used a combination of organic slug pellets and copper tape around the pots which appears largely to have deterred them!
And finally whilst in my own garden and out and about walking and working I’ve spotted a variety of insects hard at work amongst the plants and am share my favourites below.
Sit back, relax and enjoy your garden this month, whether you have a pot or two of summer bedding, an allotment or veggie patch or a bigger garden with beds and borders I hope you’ve found something to inspire you in my post. Please do contact me if you have any questions about the plants I’ve mentioned in my post and I’ll do my best to get back to you as soon as possible.