June has been rather a manic month for us, with lots of preparation for our final groundworks to be done here, alongside my more distant bridesmaid duties for my best friend, which took up rather more time than anticipated.
During these weeks, we snatched what limited time we could to keep up with the garden: daily watering of the greenhouse, weeding, planting and, of course, harvesting: salads, beans, mangetout, potatoes, beetroot, chard, raspberries and the last of the strawberries. There was little time for composing pictures or writing though, so apologies again for a rather sporadic presence at the minute.
Having missed the mid-month bloom day, and indeed rapidly approaching the end of the month, here are a few of my favourite flowers in the garden at the minute. The yellow rose (top) is flourishing since we cleared the shed end of the border; its buds emerge bright yellow streaked with red, then open into blooms of the lovely sunshine yellow above, which then fade slightly and blush with pink around the edges.
The tiny vermilion flowers on the achillea ‘Walther Funcke” are yawning in the sunshine, exposing their yellow hearts; from a distance this makes them appear a more orange/brick-red which more closely matches the plant’s description.
The knautia macedonica that I bought a few weeks’ ago at a nursery stand at our local farmers’ market is bedecked with beautiful burgundy buttons. Nearby, the red hobbit aquilegia brought back from Malvern is sprinkled with a second flush of flowers, its wine red and white complementing the tones in the knautia – though starting to clash rather with the achillea that is also nearby as it becomes more orange. Walther Funcke may need repositioning!
The first cosmos are beginning to bloom too. I sowed tall mixed Sensation and Candy Stripe: above is the first of the Sensations, adorned with a ladybird; across the garden the first Candy Stripe is already proving just as popular with the local wildlife.
The ladybird poppies have also embarked on a second flush of flowers, resplendent in scarlet and black.
Around the vegetable patch, the first bright blue star-flowers of borage have begun to emerge, the hairs on foliage and stems forming a halo when backlit by the sun. In the strangely flat light of dusk yesterday, where the twilight was reflected back to earth from low clouds, the borage flowers shone electric blue alongside the luminous orange calendula – positively electrifying in the gloaming.
Buds on the red phlox paniculata, bought in the Malvern spring show, have begun to peep through the dark glossy leaves.
Not normally a fan of pelargoniums, which I associate with fussy gardens and the showy displays of annual bedding that don’t inspire me, I nevertheless grew on a few plants that I was given earlier this year at the village seed swap. I put three in a planter, figuring that they could be useful in brightening up the expanse of new paving that is now starting to be laid around the house, and the first buds are just fattening up.
Willow obligingly threw herself down for a few moments before racing off again, no doubt in search of more mice or field voles.