Tag Archives: papaver commutatum

June when borders are without flower Week 23

June when borders are without flower

June when borders are without flower
Mind the June gap. I have only become aware of this supposed null period in the borders in the last few years, but I have to ask “what gap?”

June gap refers to a period, usually June when borders are without flower.  It is the time after spring bulbs have gone, and before the herbaceous border kicks in. This is, in theory, boring for plantsmen and gardeners, and critical for bee keepers. Bees without flowers to feed on can be a catastrophe.

But in my Thames Valley plot I have to ask “what gap?” I am not without flower in any of my  borders with any aspect. In fact, I can already barely keep up with dead heading day lillies. It is a great chance to spend 10 mins morning and evening with a cup of tea (or glass of something cool later) taking in what is actually going on.

I have found one or two plants not maturing as they should, and hence being fenced in by their more vigorous neighbours. And a couple of gaps where there should have been something by now; that is where my pots of Dahlias will come into their own, as gap pluggers.

Non-stop flowering

Roses are starting to flower freely, there are foxgloves everywhere. Geranium Wargrave Pink is so prolific that I have had to make the first cut backs.

Not a “Chelsea chop”, but more a back to earth and start again.

There are late contributions from bulbs in the form of Camassia leichtlinii Alba, a happy mistake of packing as I am sure I ordered blue. The cream white flowers that progress up the stem ave reached halfway, whereas the blue form were finished in early May.

And the Alliums are in various stages of growth; Purple Sensation out and some nearly done, and Christophii just emerging.

June when borders are without flower
The East border with plenty of flower for bee and gardener

Plants to fill the June gap

Otherwise perennials have taken over with Digitalis, Verbascum, Geranium, Iris Siberica, Antirrhinum, Lupin and Papaver leading the way.

June when borders are without flower
Delphinium and Lychnis ready to join Iris and Geranium in flower

Here is a list of other plants that can help fill the gap.

 

Garden springs into growth Week 21

Garden springs into growth

Garden springs into growth
With temperatures up and the recent rain the garden will really spring into growth. Most of the later planting is done, but I still have a few more Dahlias and Cosmos to plant out.

And decisions need to be taken about those Dahlia and Canna roots that have not done anything. It’s always a puzzle that some perfectly healthy looking specimens just refuse to shoot.

Those that have gone soft have already been discarded, but the remaining few still take up space. I should adopt a time limit for them, rather than allow them to clutter up the planting plans for other beds and the greenhouse.

This week I watched daily as the greenhouse springs into growth. I have sown some French Marigold specifically as companions for them, and they are now planted, along with Coriander and Basil  to keep the Cucumbers and Chillis free from at least a few bugs.

In the borders the task of dead heading has started. Hemerocalis, Iris Siberica and the bearded Iris all need attention. Poppies are another that will flower all summer if they can. Leave some pods to turn though, and let them self sow through out the border.

Many “annual”  plants have made it through the last few winters here, including Poppy Papaver Comutatum, the one with black spots like a ladybird. Snapdragons and Scabious are also popping up where I had them last year, a most welcome and pleasant surprise.

Garden springs into growth
Ladybird poppies are a spectacular red

Early crops a winner

The peas I started in the greenhouse have produced an early crop, and encouraged me to make it really worthwhile next year. those outside are not really far behind. The broad beans though are several weeks ahead, and the first pods are ready to pick now.

Other crops have started to bolt with the extra heat, and so they should have a planting companion to provide shade. Not quite sure what that is yet though.

Now I am watching for fading planting and the inevitable “June gap”.