Gardening Magazine

Perennials for Summer Colour

By Notcuttsuk @notcuttsuk

Perennials for summer colourThe warmer night temperatures and showery weather have meant that the garden is really starting to grow away now and there is very little soil showing in the borders between the perennials and shrubs as a carpet of leaves takes over.

I was anxious over the weekend because we had windy weather and I thought that all of the soft growth would be damaged. One of the Clematis came loose from its trellis but is intact so I have gently persuaded it to start climbing again with the help of some soft string. There was no other damage apart from a few bruised leaves. I am glad that I have not yet planted out my courgettes and runner beans on the allotment!

 As well as the jagged leaves of Border Cranesbill (Geranium) and Astrantia filling the shady perennial border, there are the upright leaves of Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ and Day Lilies with their arching clumps of bright green, strap like leaves. Some of the early varieties are already showing stout stems topped with green buds waiting to open.

In the green and white borders Soloman’s Seal (Polygonatum) is in flower, the small white bells hanging in orderly rows beneath the fresh green leaves. The white form of Geranium pheaum has been in flower for weeks and loves the dry, shady area where it is growing. I always love to see this staring to flower as it is one of the first Border Cranesbills and a sign the spring has started in our garden.

One of the plants that I cannot grow is Lily of The Valley and this is a big disappointment to me. I love the scent of the flowers in the house and have seen it growing in such abundance in one garden that it is sprayed off with weed killer to stop it spreading! I have tried growing it in several different places but it has not survived longer than a year so I have now given up. Soloman’s Seal is a close relative and has its own beauty but is no substitute for the dainty, scented flower spikes and heart shaped leaves.

The bog garden is a picture at the moment with golden orange Candleabra Primulas starting to flower, Hostas showing their boldly variegated, fresh leaves as yet untouched by snails and slugs, and the Skunk Cabbage (Lysichition americanum) flowering for the first time. The scent is most peculiar – slightly fox like but also reminiscent of Crown Imperial Lilies. Skunk Cabbage is a good name for it! The Siberian Iris are yet to flower but the clumps of upright leaves bring a fresh green to the area and the promise of more color to come towards the end of May and into June when the Clematis Flowered Iris (Iris ensata) also flower.

Once early perennials in the shady border have finished flowering, the leaf textures and shades of green that give this area a cool look take over – just the place to sit out of the hot sun through the summer months!

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