Six on Saturday – June begins

There are so many lovely things happening in the garden at the moment that it has proved really difficult to decide what to include here today.  I’ve tried in this six to simply give an idea of six contrasting parts of the garden.


One:  Hesperis matronalis (Sweet Rocket)

I am delighted with how this bed of sweet rocket has performed this year.  Growing to about 4 feet in height this mix of the white and purple plants has flowered for weeks.  As a biennial planted last June it is well worth the effort and the space.  The scent, particularly in the evening, just hangs in the air and always strikes you as you pass the summer house.

It is nearly time to start sowing again so I can enjoy it all again next year.  I usually sow biennials around the summer solstice so that the plants are large enough to plant out by the autumn equinox.

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Two:  Cornus kousa

This Japanese (or Chinese) dogwood is a small tree that seems to start the year well and then later in the year starts to struggle a little.  Perhaps its position in the garden is not ideal but it has survived for many years now.  It is particularly striking at the moment and is ‘flowering’ well.  I say ‘flowering’ as it is the crisp white bracts against the fresh green leaves that produce the show rather than the small yellow-green flowers that are rather inconspicuous.  I think it looks really good against the grey-green leaves of the eucalyptus behind.  All planned of course!

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Three:  The new flower garden

Regular visitors to the blog will know that we have retired from commercial flower growing and are converting the old (rather utilitarian) production space into a new more aesthetically pleasing flower garden.  It has been a lot of hard work but this year it is really taking off.

The Chandelier (yellow) and Noble Maiden (white) lupins sown from seed last year have established well and look wonderful.  Here they are planted amongst dutch iris in blues, whites and yellows and set off by the lime green of the Euphorbia oblongata which seeds itself freely around the plot but sets off other plants beautifully.

The delphiniums, Aconitum and roses are all budding up and can be seen here as well and will create the follow on display.

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Four:  Anthriscus sylvestris in the copse

Some may consider Cow Parsley a weed but we love it, encouraging it to grow freely in the dappled shade of the woodland areas of the garden.  It is a delight to walk through this area in the early morning sun.

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Five:   Amsonia

One of our pleasures in life, when we are not gardening, is to visit other peoples gardens!  This time last year we came across Amsonia when the village of Wasperton opened its gardens in aid of the local church.  We just had to have one but struggled to find it in any of the local nurseries.

However, as usual, Avondale nurseries came up trumps.  This nursery in Baginton on the outskirts of Coventry is always worth a visit.  Take some money with you though as I promise you will be tempted with something.

Having found Amsonia at last we could not buy just one.  I am happy to report that both have survived the winter and started to flower.  I am really looking forward to seeing them develop over the years.

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Six:  Valerian

I have always known Valerian as Centranthus rubra but Wikipedia seems to list it as Valeriana officinalis at the moment.  It is very common and easy to grow but placed in the right location it can create a stunning display especially when you mix up the slightly different shades of red, pink and white.

Here we have a patch in a very dry area of poor soil in hot sun just above the garage.  It creates a beautiful cottage garden display at this time of year growing amongst the self sown Aquilegia, the Bearded Iris and Oriental Poppies.  The white of the Spirea immediately behind provides a lovely back drop.

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The Six on Saturday meme is hosted by The Propagator. Click on the link to see what other plant lovers are chatting about.

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6 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – June begins”

  1. I also grow a cornus Kousa and yours is much more flowery. But mine is young (planted last year). By cons your foliage is green while mine is yellow-green. Like your leaves that seem droopy while mine are horizontal. > It may be the variety that does this.
    Nice Six full of flowers!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Lovely Six. I’ve grown some Hesperis matronalis from a free packet of seed this year. Looking at yours I can’t wait for it to flower next year.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Lovely cornus kousa and what a fabulous shot of the lupins and irises, they make a great combination. I love hesperis too, I have a friend with hesperis in white striped with lilac which is very pretty.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Wikipedia are right to have Valerian as Valerian officinalis but probably should cross reference Red Valerian, Centranthus ruber, to avoid confusion. My wild flower book calls Valerian officinalis Common Valerian. They’re in the same family. I’m trying to grow Amsonia from seed; so very slow, lovely plant though.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Really love the new flower garden. The rose blooms & foliage give it just that bit it needs to look stunning. And cow parsley, what’s not to love? Such a beautiful plant w/no effort whatsoever. Great six.

    Liked by 1 person

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