End of Month View: June

It is incredible how much a garden can grow in June. Not a good time to go away, you might think, but the call of the Alps was just too great – post following as soon as I finish a fortnight’s worth of weeding.


Darker bottom of herbaceous border with geraniums, poppies and erysimum.

It is also incredible how just a couple of hours spent mowing, edging, dead heading and pulling out the hugest weeds can make things look so much better again.

Top of herbaceous border

Top of herbaceous border

Like many gardeners, though, I am never completely satisfied with my garden.

However much you carefully plan plant combinations nature has other ideas. The lovely combo of Persicaria Red Dragon and Geum rivale ‘Leonard’s variety’ that worked so well (accidentally!) last year didn’t survive being moved to a new position, especially since the Persicaria got knocked back severely by a late frost. I know, I know, if something is working I should leave well alone, but I just can’t help myself.  Luckily a white delphinium missed being staked and fell over nicely into the Persiaria.

White delphinium with Persicaria Red Dragon

White delphinium with Persicaria Red Dragon

The bronze iris, Action Front ,should have made a stunning contrast to the Erica ‘Albert’s Gold’ except that this year it decided to grow twice as tall  towering above the heather and making a rather unpleasant combination with our particularly orange fence!  However with a cunning camera angle, you can see what I was hoping to achieve.

Iris Action Front

Iris Action Front

Some of you may remember the lovely dark leaves of the Iris ‘Gerald Derby’ earlier in the year. The colour of the leaves has faded a  bit, but they are mostly hidden now anyway and the colour has been repeated in the stems of this beautiful iris. Well worth its money this one, though it did take a few years to flower as a bare rooted specimen bought at a a plant sale.  If my photos don’t persuade you to get this plant have a read of Nancy from Pensylvania’s post  for ideas of pairings with this iris.

Iris Gerald Derby

Iris Gerald Derby

Another first is this little Iris (viola?). I only have one flower stem so far, but it is delightful. It is a small iris with little narrow leaves.

Iris Sibirica


My favourite irises still have to be ‘Black Beauty’ planted as bulbs several years ago. They come up as good as ever and the ones I managed to leave alone are beginning to multiply  – see main post image.

The other stars of the show this June have been the poppies. They have done much better than last year when some of them got covered in horrid black spots – the leaves that is not the actual poppies.

I have normal red ones, frilly red ones, white ones and a sort of coral pink one which I did try to remove at one time, but it wouldn’t go away.  I have now decided I rather like it after all! Just shows that it can sometimes pay to be persistent to win someone’s affection!  I found it difficult to reproduce the actual colour even though I photographed it from all angles and then tried all sorts of editing changes too. This is as near as I can get.

Coral pink poppies

Coral pink poppies with Astrantia.

I always like this rather wild bit at the corner of the house.

Rosemary and Foxgloves

Rosemary and Foxgloves, Mint and Chives

But the best views at the moment are sitting on the bench at the back of the chamomile path looking through the main border.

Looking right

Looking right

Looking left

Looking left

These plants look quite nice together.

Phormium and Erysimum

Phormium and Erysimum

But, to my mind, it is difficult to beat blue and yellow as a colour combination.

Geranium and Erysimum

Geranium and Erysimum

And I just love blue and white plants that don’t need to be matched with anything – they are just perfect on their own.

Blue and white Delphinium

Blue and white Delphinium

No matter how untidy a garden looks or how often plants don’t do as you had hoped, it makes it all worthwhile when you realise the wildlife just loves it as it is.

The bees are all over the geraniums at the moment.

And this little fellow seems to have found a good mouthful.

Robin with mouthful

Robin with mouthful just taking a break on the bench to admire the garden.


What plant combinations are you particularly proud of at the moment? Did you have any that didn’t work as you had hoped, not through any fault of your own of course!

Thanks to  Helen at The Patient Gardener for hosting this meme. I am usually late, but get there in the end!






18 thoughts on “End of Month View: June

  1. You are right Annette, blue and yellow takes some beating as a colour combination. I think your main borders look wonderful. Now you are back home and have done the weeding you must find the time to sit and enjoy them.

    • I did today Brian. It was just too hot to garden or do anything else for that matter. Probably not that hot for most people, but we are not used to it up here and I have a very low heat threshold!

  2. The garden looks wonderful Annette, it must have been a wrench to leave it. You have some wonderful combinations. I love the irises . Lovely poppies too. Have you tried growing poppies from seed? You may get some interesting colours from your plants after the bees have been busy.

    • Thanks Chloris. It is difficult to leave the garden at any time, but at least someone was watering it for me. I grow Ladybird poppies from seed every year, but they didn’t do very well last year. I am hoping they are better this year – they should be out soon.

  3. your garden looks lovely Annette and only 2 hours to mow and weed it! wow I wish, I wish, I like blue and white and at the moment in some areas of my garden the oxeye daisies and blue geraniums look nice (I think), I think blue and yellow look nice together too, I like your irises and delphiniums, the herb wild patch looks nice and must be loved by wildlife, your holiday in the Alps sounds great, there is never a right time to leave the garden and we must not become slaves to it, Frances

    • Two hours made a difference, with my husband mowing and me weeding, but I am nowhere near doing the weeding properly Frances. It has actually been too hot here today. Can you believe it! You are right the garden usually recovers from a bit of neglect. Thanks for your kind comments.

      • Ahhhh ……. 2 hours from 2 people = 4 hours from one person, I sometimes forget some gardens have two workers, I know my garden is ridiculously large for me, weeding seems to be forever I find, it wasn’t as hot here today as yesterday but at least it felt like summer, I hope you just enjoyed your garden today sitting on your nice patio with a cool drink, Frances

        • I did Frances. I just lied on a blanket at the bottom of the garden where I don’t see next door’s house. I was trying to do a puzzle, but I can’t lie for long in the garden. I kept jumping up to take pictures of the bees on the geranium. They are very difficult to snap.

  4. The garden is looking lovely. I think all of the combinations are wonderful, but there is something so uplifting about the blue geraniums and yellow wallflowers

    • Thanks Matt. The blue geraniums are just stunning at the moment. I have three big clumps of them. They spread so much that I will have to divide them again this Autumn. They always take a couple of years to look so magnificent again, but if I leave them they will take over the garden I think.

  5. You have some lovely colour combinations Annette, and Gerald Derby is really nice, I should like to try that one. I dug all of my bearded irises out this year and plan just to grow sibericas, I like the foliage and the seed heads look good in the winter.

  6. Your garden is looking great Annette, despite the fact that you’ve been away. I love the views from your bench, there is so much to take in.
    The naturalistic planting in your wild corner would be exactly as nature intended and they all seem to love it there. It’s a real struggle to do much outdoors and like you I am always distracted by taking pictures, most of which turn out awful because of the light! Have a nice weekend.

    • Thanks Angie. Yes thankfully the garden didn’t suffer too much from its neglect. I didn’t get as much staked as I usually do and a couple of things suffered a bit in the storm on Thursday night. This weather is crazy isn’t it – it is pouring with rain again today here. Still that saves a lot of watering.

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