End of month view – June 2016

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What with my Northumberland jaunt, last weekend’s party and working in London every week, I’ve calculated that I’ve spent only ten whole days chez Duver Diary during June (and four of those working) and, whilst certain wonderful things carry on despite my neglect (roses, lavender, self seeded this and that) I do have a definite sense of the garden getting away from me.  If you look closely in the photo below, for example, you’ll see convolvulus growing up rosebay willow herb, surrounded by a fringe of couch grass.  So please don’t!

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Taking a circuit round the garden from this point takes us first to the troughs.  These still have the very leggy Matthiola incana that I can’t bring myself to bin, but these have now been joined by seedlings of the (slightly shorter than ‘Purity’) white Cosmos, Cosmos ‘Sonata White’  and Salvia horminum ‘Oxford Blue.’  I’m hoping it’s going to fill out into a wall of blue and white, but it’s very early days and I do think this trough, being south facing and metal, does suffer if the weather’s warm (some chance!).  And no, I didn’t line the front panel with polysterene as you’re apparently supposed to. IMG_1105

On to the veg patch and the most obvious ‘crop’ below is the Sweet Peas, definitely not edible!  Otherwise, from front to back, I have (under fleece) Purple Sprouting Broccoli ‘Early Purple Sprouting’,  and Cavolo nero ‘Black Magic’, and then Chard ‘Pink Flamingo’, Mange tout ‘Shiraz’, Dwarf French bean ‘Safari’ and Runner Bean ‘Lady Di’.  And running along the front edge (right of photo) Courgettes ‘El Greco’ and ‘Gold Rush’.  I think these are all new varieties to me except ‘Lady Di’ and ‘Goldrush’ so it will be interesting to see how they all do – and how they all taste.

On the left, out of site, in the highest raised bed, I planted Squash ‘Sweet Dumpling’.  This bed isn’t easy, as whatever’s there has to compete with the bay trees which were there first and obviously suck out lots of water.  I thought planting upturned bottles together with each plant and watering directly to the roots should solve this problem.  I was a little worried that I only had one plastic bottle kicking about and so was going to have to go on a San Pelligrino binge, but no!  Slugs ate all but one plant, so turns out my single bottle will be sufficient…

Meanwhile, if anyone has any bright ideas as to what veg would be happy in a very dry, south facing raised bed, please let me know, because there’s plenty of space now!IMG_1106

In front of the main veg patch is a smaller bed holding strawberries and rhubarb.  I planted out some Agapanthus I’d grown from seed along the back wall last year as I thought they’d enjoy a good cook against the south facing wall.  And look – over a dozen flower heads.  So exciting!

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The Swing Beds definitely need a sort out.  Since their creation in 2011 it’s taken some time for them to fill up, but now, all of a sudden, I feel they’ve got rather unbalanced, with certain thugs taking over at the expenses of other things.  I definitely have too much of the pink geranium along the front, so I need to thin that out.  And then I also have a number of annuals I’ve grown from seed which need to be slotted in.

I live in hope that this weekend might provide time for a BIG SORT OUT, but we’ll see…IMG_1131

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The grass bed has been completely dug over and emptied (apart from the Stipa) and has also been planted with annuals.  I’ve taken inspiration for the first year we were here, when I simply planted Cosmos in this bed.  This year I’ve included Cosmos bipinnatus ‘Fizzy White’ but have added Ammi visnaga ‘Green Mist’ to the mix.  I’m hoping for a white/green froth to echo the cow parsley in the field opposite.  We’ll see.

And in the interim, I’ve planted a few marigolds I had kicking around along the front edge.IMG_1111

I have been quite busy planting up pots post the big bulb throw out, but the one below is a new one, one of a matching pair given as a gift from my sister.  The concrete post is by the old (empty) chicken shed and the metal chicken normally sits on it but, as she’s not attached, she spends most of her time blown onto the ground.  I think she looks rather more settled amongst the pelargoniums and ipomaea!IMG_1110

In the Mid Century bed the Rosa ‘Falstaff’ is getting established on the obelisk, but you might remember I had good success with Rhodochiton atrosanguineus here last year, and I have now also planted some seedlings to see if they’ll cohabit with the rose.IMG_1112

There are a couple of pleasing combinations here – Dahlia ‘La Recoleta’ together with Dianthus ‘Sooty’

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and Digitalis ‘Mertonensis’ with (rather flopped) Rosa ‘Jubilee Celebration.’   (I do wish ‘Mertonensis’ was taller – I’d have it everywhere)IMG_1114

On the other side of the garden the Oak Bed has now developed into a wall of shrubbery – the Cercis in particular has really filled out this year.IMG_1128

Closer to the house the Bronze Bed, new last year, is also exhibiting a rather floppy rose – Rosa ‘Pat Austin’.  I’m sure she wasn’t this tall last year and I pruned her pretty hard.

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She may be a rather ungainly girl, but she’s certainly pretty.IMG_1127

In the greenhouse I’ve finally planted out my tomatoes, cucumbers and aubergines, but I couldn’t bear to pull out the Sweet Peas as they’re still flowering really well, so the toms have been relegated to each end of the bed.  IMG_1123

There are still a few seedlings kicking around inside the greenhouse – see below a third wave of Sweet Peas – but that is nothing

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….compared to all this lot outside!  Roll on the weekend….IMG_1120

With many thanks to Helen at the Patient Gardener for hosting our End of Month views.

9 thoughts on “End of month view – June 2016

  1. Sam

    It’s still looking pretty marvellous, Jen, even if you think it needs a big sort out. I love that dahlia and dianthus combo and look at those agapanthus! Wonderful. I, too, am hoping for some good weather and time this weekend to have a big sort out! Fingers crossed x

    Reply
    1. jenhumm116 Post author

      Not sure my garden activities exactly constituted a ‘big sort out,’ but I certainly got plenty planted out, and have a sore back to prove it! I hope you had a productive gardening weekend.

      Reply
      1. Sam

        I managed a few hours yesterday but I could spend 12 hours a day and not scratch the surface (that’s how it feels at the mo anyway!). Hope your back isn’t too bad.

  2. Yvonne Ryan

    Hi Jen – You have a lovely garden! We don’t need glasshouses to grow tomatoes here in Auckland. My sweet peas are only about 10cm tall so will flower in the Spring. We don’t treasure agapanthus now as become a thug in Auckland and smothers our native bush. Unfortunately people have thrown it over the banks also kahlid ginger and a real mennis! I had aggy in my last garden that held up a volcanic bank and was good there. We also have some here in whangapararoa and not getting out of hand. You can see my mid-winter flowers on fbook. A sub-tropical garden. Very soggy at the moment! Clay (like concrete) with weedmat over (yuk) Battle to pull up and make a garden to grow flowers. A raised veg bed.

    Reply
    1. jenhumm116 Post author

      Hi Yvonne, do you know I actually thought about antipodean gardeners when I was blogging about the Agapanthus because I’m aware it’s not exactly treasured there, so was quite funny when I received your comment!

      Reply
  3. Christina

    From your photos the garden looks fine, really lovely, don’t worry about the weeds, just enjoy the weekend I’m the garden. I’m inspired by your Agapanthus from seed, I must try some. Did you sow as soon as the seed was ripe or on spring? How long did they take to flower from when you sowed them?

    Reply
    1. jenhumm116 Post author

      Hi Christina, I think they took 4 or 5 years but that was completely my fault as they languished in a seed tray for too long while I was trying to decide what to do with them!
      I planted them as soon as they were ripe (I remember I put old tights over the seed heads so I didn’t lose the seeds)
      I also have some seedlings still in 9cm pots I grew from a white Agapanthus, that also need to get planted out, however, I’ve noticed that of the ones growing along the back of the strawberries, some of these are definitely white, so, as their parent was definitely blue, they certainly don’t come true.

      Reply

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