I wrote a post called The Rose Garden at the start of June, so I thought I should write one about it at the end of June.
I’ll go around anti-clockwise, the same way I walked last time. Rosa ‘Emma Hamilton’ first.
She is lush, isn’t she?
You can see how in the bottom right of the next picture the planting is new, and so you can see a bit of bare earth. Next year this will not be the case, and I will be struggling to find space to creep through to deadhead. I may need some stepping stones.
For me, the star of the photo above, is Rosa ‘Young Lycidas’, in the centre bottom. If you want to see more pictures of this rose, see Getting to know you… where I review my six new roses. Let’s get a little more intimate:
I really like how the Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ has a halo of blue geranium around it. Another happy accident. It may never be repeated, because next year, this newly planted salvia will have bulked up and there will be more of a thicket of stems. That’s gardening: never the same picture for long.
At the beginning of June, the tall spires were provided by lupins. Now the penstemons are taking over. I utterly love the graceful nodding bells of penstemons. You can see the sealed lips at the top of the spires, whilst the flowers at the bottom have opened up to show their lovely white throats. Penstemons are always jingling as bees visit. They provide a lovely soft movement in the border.
My garden is all about sensory pleasure, and so I think in terms of the (more than) five senses.
Colour, texture, pattern, form and structure come under ‘sight’, as do the myriad ways plants interact with one another and the light conditions.
‘Sound’ comes from swishing stems and rustling leaves, and bees buzzing, as well as the wider sounds that are unique to each garden. For us it is regular trains going by, a certain amount of traffic going over the railway bridge on the lane, light aircraft from the nearby airfield, the occasional clip-clop of a horse-rider, and various dog-, children- and alpaca-related sounds.
Sound is linked to movement, and all plants dance to their own beat. Whether there is a breeze, or rain, or even snow will influence sound and movement, as will little critters which visit the garden. Salvia stems are stiff, and spring back into place. Penstemons jingle. Geraniums waft and nod.
‘Smell’ comes not just from flowers, but leaves and stems, the earth and how wet or dry it is. Hot sun smells different to a sudden downpour. ‘Touch’ is related to texture and form, and can also come from the structures around the planting: stones, fencing, walls. Admittedly ‘taste’ doesn’t play so much of a part in this garden, though I have been known to lick a raindrop.
Here is the other penstemon I grow in the rose garden, ‘Sour Grapes’.
Can you see the very fine down on the petals? This gives a little sparkle. The colour of this penstemon reminds me of the inside of an oyster-shell.
Also new at the end of June, is the wonderful Hemerocallis ‘Zagora’. I love the texture of the petals, like brushed silk.
‘Zagora’ is looking fantabulous with its neigbouring roses, the purplish ‘Young Lycidas’, which picks up the colour of the splot in the centre, and ‘Boscobel’ which picks up the peach.
Rosa ‘Lady of Megginch’ has been outdoing herself. Here she is with a light morning dew.
‘Lady Meg’ has a soft-leather petal texture. You can see it in the veining of the petals opening out on the left.
It’s not all about flower texture and form. I utterly love peony foliage, which provides jungly structure once the flowers have gone over. I love the repetition of shadows cast on the leaves.
Once the flowers of the Gallica roses have gone over, they too provide lovely foliage, and support for their lax neighbours. I don’t stake my geraniums: I rely on the roses to hold them up. Roses make good friends.
This year, I am having a bit of a thing with spiky, steely blues. I have planted them around the Bourbon climbing rose ‘Madame Isaac Pereire’ to offset her ridiculously soft pink plushness. First I have planted Eryngium alpinum:
This is blueing up by the day.
Then there is Echinops ritro. These spiky balls look like they belong in medieval warfare. They will get bigger and more threatening.
And finally, another slightly softer texture, and looking distinctly mauve, Agastache ‘Blue Boa’. Is that another marvellous Marmalade hoverfly? His wings look like they are made of clear Perspex, like a space-buggy.
Here is Salvia x jamensis ‘Nachtvlinder’. This time backlit and seductive, in her negligee.
I’m going to have to include Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ again. It was fab at the start of June, and it’s even more fab at the end.
This lovely soft mauve creature is Geranium ‘Sirak’. It only flowers for about a month, so I need to catch it now.
Rosa ‘Roald Dahl’ has had his first flush, but there will be a steady succession of flowers for the rest of the summer and into late autumn.
Geranium ‘Orion’ makes a soft cloud, with a couple of spikes of late lupin. I love the way the petals of the geranium overlap to make a little star.Can you see the pea-pods at the base of the lupin spikes?
Here is Rosa ‘Princess Alexandra of Kent’ with Geranium psilostemon.
And Erodium manescavii, showing its spider-like form. Actually it looks like a desk-fan, just a bit wonky.
I have to do another Geranium psilostemon and Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’ combo.
And here with the last blooms of the Gallica rose ‘Tuscany Superb’.
The Rugosa rose ‘Hansa’ continues to flower well. This is right in the middle of the bed, and has a proprietorial air. I love its bright green foliage, which will continue to look fresh throughout summer.
Ah. To finish, let’s have the glorious Rosa ‘Princess Anne’.
I am writing this post with the most enormous bowl of raspberries in front of me. Our youngest daughter is ‘Chief Picker’. She goes out with a bowl and ten minutes later is back for another. I noticed the other evening when I was dead-heading roses and she was furtling in the fruit cage, that the strongest smell in the garden at the moment is not the roses, but sun-warmed strawberries and raspberries.
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