Gardening Magazine

Flaming June (or Not...)

By Notcuttsuk @notcuttsuk

With all of the rain and windy weather that we have had over the last couple of weeks, our garden is looking a bit worse for wear. The Fatsia japonica reminds me of an inside out umbrella for much of the time! One of my Philadelphus (Mock Orange) has black tips to the leaves and the young, soft growth on the Choisya ternata (Mexican Orange Blossom) is the same. Not much can be done about this, so I will prune out the damaged growth, if it has not dropped from the plant naturally, once the weather changes. Luckily, gardeners are an optimistic breed!

All of the containers of summer bedding plants that had been growing so well have been moved together in a sheltered corner until the wind abates. They are full of soft growth, spurred on by the liquid feed and water that we had diligently given them. Some of the longer growths on the trailing Surfinia Petunias have broken, but the plants should re-grow and give a good show later in the summer and early autumn.

The bigger evergreens in the garden have done their job as windbreaks and the yellow berried Cotoneaster is full of felty gray flower buds that the bees love so much when they open to flat, white clusters. The bees work pays dividends for the Blackbirds in the winter when they feast on the yellow berries! The Arbutus unedo too, is full of fresh new growth ready to produce the white bell shaped flower clusters in late winter and spring. 

Big stars in the borders at the moment are our Rock Roses (Helianthemum). We bought these several years ago from our local garden center and they have made beautiful flat clumps in a sunny area near our sunken deck. Low to the ground, their crumpled, tissue like petals are not affected by the inclement weather and many are named after Scottish hills, so that gives a clue as to their upbringing! They can be short lived if they are not pruned hard back after flowering – a fiddly job but well worth the patience when the plants produce even more flowers the following summer.

Tricia Trelawny, in her exposed Cornish garden is used to windy weather and grows all manner of plants now that the initial planting of windbreaks is established. Her tip is to use small leaved and leathery leaved evergreens, such as Elaeagnus, Cotoneaster and Viburnum tinus – all very hardy plants. Once these are growing well, you can get a feel for the more sheltered areas and plant accordingly. Another tip is to use small plants rather than large specimens in an exposed garden; smaller plants will establish and grow away much faster than large specimens. These will need to be staked and take a while to get their roots established. 

Although the weather is unseasonal to say the least at present, it will improve and we will be able to pick up any broken pieces, add them to the compost heap and carry on as before! 

Mr McGregor

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog