June in the garden
I missed the first few days of June in the garden as we went away at the end of May, but my goodness, what a lot of changes can happen in just two weeks. This is the month that everything starts blooming in earnest with fresh colour, fragrance and fruit everywhere you look. Yes, summer’s here at last!
What's flowering now?
Roses, roses, and more roses. June is THE month for most roses in our garden. We’ve got a lovely fragrant Paul’s Himalayan Musk scrambling through our peach tree, and a vigorous unidentified deep pink/red climber at the front of the house (it was meant to be a yellow shrub rose but the labels must have been switched at the garden centre…) Both a vibrant scented pink and a white climber wind their way through the honeysuckle at the entrance to our orchard. And we also have several shrub roses in various colours: white, cream, pink, and yellow. All fragrant and all blooming their hearts out – so I’ll need to spend a few hours deadheading to encourage more blooms for as long as possible.
The peonies are also beginning to flower – they don’t last that long but their blooms are so exotic and voluptuous that the little space they take up is well worth it. And our aquilegias, foxgloves, cerinthe, wallflowers and poppies are flowering away happily too.
Our purple alliums are nearly over but blue and yellow alliums are beginning to open up in their stead – I may have cracked successional planting at long last, at least where alliums are concerned anyway. Under our hedge are the delicate blue/purple shade tolerant geranium nodosums flowering alongside the red valerian and yellow flowered alchemilla mollis. And last but not least, we have masses of frothy white cow parsley (or bovine breath freshener, as a farming friend calls it!) under our weeping pear.
What's fruiting now?
Tomatoes, cucumbers, and peas are growing well in the greenhouse (a couple of tomato plants were from our February Mud and Bloom box, the peas from our April box). All I need to do for now is keep tying in the tomato and cucumber plants to stop them flopping under their own weight, and keep pinching out the side shoots on the tomato plants to encourage taller growth.
Outside, the kiwi bush and pear tree have masses of baby fruits, as do our raspberry and blueberry bushes. The birds have already had some of our cherries but I have an unspoken agreement with them that they’ll leave the rest of our soft fruits alone if I don’t net them. (I netted them one year and a blackbird got in and ate ALL my blueberries and most of my raspberries – I caught him in the act and the cheeky little sod waited until I was just about to trap him before he flew out of a gap).
We’ll be eating fresh rhubarb crumble a few times over the next couple of weeks and I can decorate it with a few yummy wild strawberries as long as Flora doesn’t swipe them all first.
Seeds to sow now
Now that the frosts are over, I can sow my French beans. They should start growing away fairly quickly and as long as I keep them watered and tied in, we’ll be able to harvest them in a few months’ time – fingers crossed and slugs permitting…
Deadheading, tying in, weeding and watering
There’s plenty of garden maintenance to keep on top of this month. I may not be planting out any more seedlings but all our flowers will need deadheading on a regular basis to encourage them to produce more and more flushes of blooms. If I can manage it, I like to spend 30 minutes deadheading each evening – this is also my time to myself to potter, think, and generally enjoy the hard work I’ve put in over the preceding months.
While I’m pottering and deadheading, I can also see which plants need to be tied in to their supports as they grow – our sunflowers and sweet peas in particular at the moment.
Weeding, alas, is a never ending job but in some areas I’ve decided to let nature take her course and enjoy some of the longer feathery grasses. Partly because they look very pretty as foliage fillers when picked for a vase, but mainly because life’s too short.
And of course, all this lovely sunshine is great for growth as long as I keep on top of the watering. It takes me about 45 minutes every other evening when it’s hot but, again, it’s my time to appreciate what we’ve been growing and espy new treasures at the same time.
We still need to keep our ponds topped up because we have plenty of baby frogs as well as tadpoles now. Soon they’ll start trying to leave the ponds in search of new homes – at which point Alan will have to stop cutting the nearby grass for a few weeks! And we’re keeping our bird tables and feeders well stocked too, to help the parent birds feed all their new nestlings.
I do hope you’ve enjoyed this quick tour of my June in the garden – don’t forget you can see more of our flowers throughout each month over on my Instagram :) What will you be doing in your green spaces this month?
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