Summer at last?
June 3rd was a perfect June day. In fact, June is probably the best month for gardens in England, and when the weather is as perfect as it has been today, a garden is one of the very best places to spend time.
As the garden faces east, it receives the morning sun which, at this time of day, is slanting and has the effect of stage lighting. So, as the sun rises, successive parts of the garden and planting are in the spot light. I enjoy this performance from the patio, which is quickly in full sun light. At the bottom of the garden, the bamboo foliage is back lit, and then plants in the border, as captured in photographs on my Flickr site: http://www.flickr.com/photos/gravelhill/. Quite rapidly, different plants and flowers take their cue and for a few minutes are centre stage. It’s quite magical.
Sitting in the garden on a low chair also provides a new perspective, since the plants are much closer and instead of looking down at them, one is looking at them eye to eye. This is quite different from the viewpoint obtained when visiting most gardens, as such visits usually involve walking around and observing rather than simply sitting and enjoying (few gardens have much in the way of garden furniture). So, today has been a day for sitting and being on close terms with the flowers.
This morning they were joined by Betty’s iris, which has put out its first flower. This is a deep ‘iris’ blue, adding to the blue geraniums that are also in flower. Although there are already plenty of plants in bloom — notably the geraniums — there are quite a few yet to flower, anticipation being one of the pleasures of gardening.
As is making use of existing garden stock. The lower part of the south, north facing border has become somewhat bare as the early spring plants have died back, and although the ferns are now well advanced, a couple of them have yet to produce significant new foliage. I didn’t want to buy anything to fill the empty spaces, and was reluctant to plant more hellebores as the potted seedlings are destined to go to my son’s garden when he moves in this weekend. Fortunately, at the top of the garden by the steps from the patio there was quite a large bergenia (elephants’ ears) which was almost completely obscured by pots and acanthus. So, I dug it out, broke it up, and planted some pieces while putting others into pots to accompany the hellebores to their new home. Problem solved and money saved.
In fact, bergenia is one of those work horse plants which will grow in a wide range of conditions, doesn’t seem to need any TLC, and can be split up and plonked in the soil and still thrive. In short, a plant that fully meets my criteria for a place in the easy care garden. After all, on a perfect June day, who wants to work in the garden? Today has been a time to sit back and enjoy it.
- 10 Jun, 2010
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