Six on Saturday – June’s Swansong

After an early walk with Ollie, it’ll be a quiet day sitting in the sun today and with temperatures in the West Midlands predicted to reach 30 degrees, factor 30, my hat and a parasol are must haves! However, one job that does need doing at some point is the cutting back of all the wallflowers I’ve put in temporary accommodation – they are looking extremely sad. I think there’s just too much foliage for the root ball to cope with in this heat particularly after their rude uprooting this week.

After such a wet June, it’s great to see it out with sunshine and flowers – strolling around the garden with my camera on this last Saturday of the month, there’s plenty of choice for six today, so here goes:

A lovely penstemon, this one is ‘Sour Grapes’ – a terrible name for such an attractive plant! I took cuttings from this and two other varieties last year – they’re still rather small and there’s no sign of any flowers as yet, keeping fingers crossed.

A view along the pastel border (there is an exception, the brightly coloured penstemon in the background is to be moved in the Autumn). The stachys byzantina to the right was actually in the border when we moved in 24 years ago, but I took it out shortly afterwards as I just didn’t appreciate its appeal at the time. However, as ever, nature is amazing – this plant reappeared a couple of years ago and at first I wondered what it was, but the soft young leaves were a giveaway and I decided to let it grow. I certainly appreciate it’s charms now – not only does the silvery grey foliage complement the other colours in the border, it is silky soft to touch, thereby giving it its common name of Lamb’s Ears! The shasta daisy, leucanthemum x superbum ‘Starburst’ in the mid-ground is just coming into flower – it’s a bee and butterfly magnet, so we’re all looking forward to it. This particular variety is a well contained plant, I remember one in my childhood garden that spread like wildfire, so you do have to take care when making a choice!

I originally grew Malva sylvestris ‘Mauritiana’ from seed – and it self seeds quite freely. It’s quite a tall plant, 75cm plus and flowers prolifically up and down the stem and so is a welcome addition to the garden – only for for some unknown reason, they always appear at the front of the border!

Talking of self seeding – this is an area of the garden that was home to a couple of shrubs and a rose that died last year – Chris dug it over and we hadn’t decided what to do with it, other than place a bird bath in the centre. This year, lychnis coronaria, verbena bonariensis, campanula persicifolia and a white malva have self seeded prolifically. I’ve added delphiniums and ammi majus grown from seed and we have a beautiful full display – with minimal effort!

This group 2 Clematis niobe has rich velvety flowers – I’ve found it difficult to do the colour and texture justice in a photo, but I would recommend it – it isn’t too vigorous and with a post-flowering pruning, it should have a second flush later this summer.

And finally – an unnamed clematis bought years ago in Morrisons, a tiny plant at the time and unfortunately, I didn’t make a record of the variety. This one rambles prettily away, up it’s support and into the hedge – the flowers are relatively small, but there’s a lot of them!

Enjoy your gardening week and for more gardening highlights, visit the home of Six on Saturday at:

10 thoughts on “Six on Saturday – June’s Swansong

  1. Lora Hughes says:

    I love that self seeded bed. Do you think the digging contributed to it all coming up so lovely? And how amazing that the lamb’s ear came back after all those years. Hopefully their blooms’ll make the cut in a future SoS. That’s a smashing penstamon, too. Maybe it was named more for the colour of sour grapes than the fable. Maybe. If not, I’d love to know that story.


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