The Sunday Gardener's Blog

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  1. There is so much to enjoy in the garden in June when all is still fresh and beginning to bloom. What is in flower in June still depends in part on the prevailing weather in the different parts of the country. This year we enjoyed a very warm spring, which set everything in the garden growing at a gallop, which since been slowed down by the cooler, unsettled weather during late May and June. Still the garden is looking very lovely.




    Peony are looking good at this time of year and whilst the flowers are relatively short lived, they are very beautiful and blousy. By late in June we may think that Peony time is over but the different varieties of Peony will flower over quite a long period and there are some later flowering varieties, such as illustrated P.'Bowl of Beauty'. Different types of Peony will flower from May to June, so you can have successive flowering.
    allium with butterfly 310

    June is definitely Allium time, they make a great statement in the border with their tall large flowers, some like fluffy pom poms others architectural and spiky.

    There are so many to chose from and a good number are illustrated at How to Grow Alliums. There is a gallery of images to help you chose the right Allium for your garden together with planting and growing advice. That said, however, Allium are a fairly self sufficient type of plant not requiring a great deal of attention

    Clematis crystal fountain

    This is Clematis ' Crystal fountain' and I  love these patio style Clematis . 

    This is a compact variety, less rampant than many clematis and so easier to grow, maintain and prune.

    There is also a chance it will repeat flower, especially if a good good summer weather wise, if it is deadheaded during this first flowering. Fingers crossed but it is making a fabulous showing now.


    Rosa Rugosa starts to flower in June and will flower for at least a month or so. It is a tough rose, will still flower if neglected and is much loved by bees.

    It will produce lovely hips later on in the year and is tolerant of most conditions including salt leaded winds making it ideal for a sea side garden.

    yellow flag iris

    There are lots of different types of Iris, about 300 species in the genus with different types of flowers, and with beards, or not beards ; this is the semi wild variety the Yellow flag Irish latin name Iris pseudacorus. 

    It is a woodland plant which likes damp areas and streamsides. It flowers best in the sun but will tolerate dappled shade. It makes a lovely addition to a wild area, which is where I grow it or alongside a pond.


     Tall graceful stems with the delicate flowers of mauve and white illustrated is Thalictrum delavayi, a stunning plant which is just irresistable.

    Easy to grow it adds height and colour the borders, mixed well with cottage plants such as Delphinium and Achillea but also looks good with grasses as its seed heads are attractive and I always leave them on the plant for as long as possible . Growing Tips.


  2. Scented Sweet Blue Scented Clem

    Image Thorncroft

    A lovely new Clematis was launched at Chelsea by Thorncroft and the good news, it's scented.

    Clematis SUGAR SWEET™ BLUE 'Scented Clem' is early flowering in April and May. It has pretty violet blue flowers and said to have an almond scent, more pronounced early morning and evening.

    Given its flowering time, I am assuming it is a group 1 which means little or no pruning and so one of the easier Clematis to grow.

    If you want to try something new for next year take a look details on Thorncroft website.



  3. Nepeta and Artemisa 310 (2)

    Sedum takesimense Atlantis

    This year has already proved to be quite dry and it makes sense to think about drought resistant plants. If you live in a part of the country with low rainfall drought resistant plants will be easier to grow and less maintenance, and as our summers seem to turn warmer, these plants are invaluable in the border. 

    We need to preserve our natural resources and water is on such resource. My guest blog on Thompson and Morgan's web site called 'Drought Resistant Plants' is packed  with information about drought resistant plants, including drought resistant bedding plants and how to look after your plants in a drought. 


  4. bedding plants

    Just a few tips around the perennial question of when to plant out bedding: not yet.

    This question comes up regularly and the important point is that almost all bedding plants are tender, which means not frost hardy.

    But there is more, it is not just frost, most bedding plants do not like cold and if planted out in a chilly spell it can set them back,  slow down their growth, and a prolonged cold spell may cause the leaves to discolour.

    Its testing, but time to wait. As a general rule of thumb most parts of the country are frost free by the end of May but still check out the forecast and if temperatures are low, keep the bedding plants tucked up warm. Our weather has become very variable, one week it's unseasonably warm, another week the east wind bites. 

    We can still have an unexpected late frost, and if so you need to cover the bedding plants, if you can, to protect them. Predicting the weather is not easy but as gardeners we must do our best!

    More tips about growing bedding plants

    Which are the best bedding plants to grow?