June: Wet, Wet Wet
Lovely day at Hodnet Hall despite a whole day of heavy rain. Many people came along and enjoyed the peace in this beautiful garden.
June: Hodnet Hurray!
Lots of sun, lots of immaculate garden, lots of plants! My idea of heaven today at Hodnet Hall with 1450 people agreeing with me.
June: Perfect Partners
It may be classic, it may even be clichéd, but gold-apricot and blue-purple go together so well. This is Geum Lady Stratheden alongside Salvia May Night in our front garden today.
June: More beautiful buds
Centaurea glastifolia is in full bud now and aren't these silvery, little parcels a joy? Let's hope they're open for our Centaurea Weekend on 16th & 17th June. Why not come along and see? Entry is free.
June: Even more beautiful buds
Centaurea ruthenica is also in bud now and it is attractive not only to us but also to ants. Many Centaureas seem to exude something sweet from their buds attracting ants, bees and wasps.
June: Hosta La Vista
Our Hostas are looking good thanks to a helping hand from our population of frogs who keep the slugs and snails largely at bay around our two very small ponds.
June: Culland Hall
I have been at the charity plant fair at Culland Hall today and after I'd packed up I took a look around the gardens. They are lovely: with magnificent views, intimate corners, and free-flowing planting.
Make a note to come along next year to come along and see for yourself. We will publish the 2013 date on our Plant Fairs page as soon as we have it.
Our Erodiums are looking very good at the moment. These are really reliable in a sunny, free-draining spot. This is Princess Marion that is very similar to Erodium manescavii but is bigger and bolder in every respect.
Most can be propagated by division but a few such can only be propagated successfully by seed.
June: Heuchera surprise
Walking round the garden today and looking at our Heucheras like Ruby Bells here I was quite surprised. Not by the colourful flowers but by the number of bees visiting them. I'd never noticed this before neither have I ever seen them listed as bee plants.
Its always worth taking a fresh look at plants, you never know what you'll discover.
June: Perfect Partners
I think that red centre to the Gaillardia adds just a little bit of excitement to partnership, don't you?
June: As Cold As Ice
Not the weather, (although hasn't it been a cold June?), but the icy beautiful of Eryngium bourgatii caught my eye today. I love the marbled leaves as much as the spiky flowers. We have some young plants coming along so hopefully we can offer it for sale later in the year.
June: Ellenbank Damselfly
Iris Ellenbank Damselfly is looking lovely today. Slow to bulk up though, so it will be some time before we can add it to our catalogue.
She is a sibirica type but with very fine, waxy leaves.
June: Green tips
This lovely Astrantia with large, green-tipped petals is a chance seedling that came as a passenger in another pot of plants we bought and is very lovely.
June: What Geranium is it?
I got the Geranium on the left from a garden club labelled pratense plenum Violaceum (Double Violet) and I've been waiting for it to flower.
Now it has I'm not convinced its right - the true plant has pointy petals and a looser flower shape. (picture centre) On the right is the new variety Summer Skies. The flower shapes are the same but the mystery plant has more striking veins and a deeper overall colour. It is also more vigorous and taller (2ft 6in rather than 1ft 9in).
Any suggestions on its true identity?
June: Guess Who's Coming For Dinner
Ladybird larvae are voracious eaters of greenfly and this one is just about to get his (or her) dinner on a Knautia macedonica plant in our garden.
June: Star Plant - Knautia macedonica
Star plants don't have to be unusual, rare or newly introduced. At the moment I'm really enjoying that cottage garden favourite Knautia macedonica, previously known as Scabiosa rummelica. The scabious-like, wine-red flowers are a magnet for bees and as they mature become dusted with white dots from he anthers.
It is a tall, rangy plant so not one for the overly tidy gardener, but it fills in gaps in plantings admirably.
If you want a shorter, tidier plant then choose the variety Mars Midget that gets to 2ft tall and stays bushy.
You can get the seed mixture "Melton Pastels" which produces plants with lavender, lilac or pink flowers. We have a lavender coloured plant in our garden. I don't really like them so much.
Cut back the stems as soon there are more deadheads than flowers and stand back while it quickly grows new stems and soon has more flower.
It will self seed particularly into gravel paths and it can also regenerate from its roots.
June: Day Follows Night
The very warm, muggy nights we've had recently are ideal for day lilies (Hemerocallis).
The flowers develop perfectly, open fully and have bright colours.
Its just a great time to enjoy them right now.
Here are a few open today.
June: Perfect Partners
Our first day open for the NGS and as per usual it has been showery with blustery winds. At times we had to shelter with our visitors in the garage to avoid the torrential downpours but at others the sun was warm and the garden sparkled.
Sparkling together in our front garden and much admired today are Salvia Lubecca and Hemerocallis Leabee Orange Crush