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Friday, 2 June 2017

Summer Shiners

This is such an easy subject because the summer months have the most abundance of colour and these plants will flower until the first frosts. It’s all about Flower Power.

Geranium Blushing Turtle

We Love Cranesbill Geraniums they are top of the list.
The long flowering period of Geranium Rozanne gets a lot of press and deserves it. Once the Brookside has finished in my garden, the blue Rozanne geraniums that I have planted in waves throughout will create a sea of blue for the rest of the summer, edging my borders like lavender. It is great ground cover in mixed borders. Carol Klein recommended this classic geranium as her centenary plant on Gardeners World in the last episode. It also won centenary plant of the decade’s people’s choice overall in the Chelsea Flower show centenary a few years ago. This is a geranium that flowers prolifically makes great spreads of ground cover 60cm-1m and you can clip it back.

Geranium Rozanne
Many other cranesbill geraniums will also make a good backbone of colour and merge so easily into most borders
If pinks your colour the pink flowering Geranium psilostemon or Gernium psilostemon 'Patricia' or 'Dragon Heart' again copes well in sun or partial shade. It may need a little support. In fact many of these geranium  can be a bit floppy so a few plant supports, bent hazel stick or dog wood cut from the garden when pruning in the Spring just helps to keep them in place. You can easily clip them and they will come back. If these are too still to big we have a few others also very useful ground cover. Great new varieties like ‘Blushing Turtle ‘(pink 30cm height spread) pictured above and ‘Sweet Heidi’ are a little more contained than Rozanne but also have really long summer flowering periods coping well in sun or partial shade. These geraniums are also recommended for containers and  I am tempted to try one and see if it tumbles over the pot.

Roses are out

The roses in my garden began opening last week. I always champion Munstead Wood in the David Austin range of new English roses because the deep burgundy multi petaled rose with a fruity fragrance perfect colour it seems to just keep coming in my front and rear borders.
Rosa Munstead Wood
They look gorgeous with the soft shell pink Wisley 2008 I have planted side by side.
They get very little fuss. A splash of muck between flowering and a tidy up in the autumn and spring yet they consistently reward me from early summer into the autumn. I do recommend you use a rose spray on all roses as soon as we see sunshine in the spring every couple of weeks. Some of the lovely flowers I was admiring on the Nurseries where:
The Poets Wife with lemon flowers with a lemony fragrance and Lady Emma Hamilton with a fragrance  that reads hints of pear grape and citrus. It is also good for cutting. Dark pink Princess Ann is a rather good choice with small but rich pink flower and a long flowering period.

Classic tall Spikes of Salvias

Salvia nemerosa and its varying forms from sensation to caradonna provide a great candles of colour adding structure and form to borders. Most forms are variations of blue but Amethyst is purple pink.

 Salvias add a finishing polish to herbaceous borders and for that reason are seen in so many Chelsea show gardens with the alliums and foxgloves, lupins and delphiniums to provide the spiky height. They will do best in a well drained soil as they prefer more Mediterranean conditions. Tall blue salvias always look fabulous I mixed them in my borders with burgundy David Austin roses above with the blue cranesbill geraniums.

Penstemons are Gorgeous

Raven, Sour Grapes, Garnet, Amelia Jane, Hidcote Pink or Wedding Day and Phonix Magento are some of the penstemons we have in now.
Penstemon Raven
 Rich colours, whites pinks, two tones, they are simply unsurpassable for colour. I noticed  how lovely they looked planted in the borders in the herbaceous mix with the roses at David Austin Nurseries. They feel very cottage garden. Look after you Penstemons they require you to leave them tatty over the winter and only cut them back when new shoots are coming through in the spring so don't be tempted to tidy them up too early. Rather similar care as that for lavender which is also looking fabulous at the moment.

Tuesday 20th June 2017 we have a Cottage Garden Plant Workshop with Rosy Hardy

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