June in bloom

May was very wet and cold here in the north of England, and the garden has taken much longer than usual to get going. Except for the ever-dependable cat mint, determined to push through and show off in pride of place, the flowerbed seemed quite a sad little spot last month. Some of the herbs pots have been thriving since April, but I have been longing to see some colour. June arrived, bringing glorious sunshine, day after day, and temperatures into the twenties. At long last, the first flowers have started to push through to greet the sun.

Last year I dabbled more with seeds than ever before because the garden centres were closed in the spring. I was so delighted with the results that I decided to carry on this year. The results so far have been variable. I started most of my seedlings indoors inside propagator trays and started transferring them outside from April, potting them on and leaving them to grow on the nursery shelves. Heavy rain throughout May meant covering the shelves with plastic sheeting much of the time. Many perished, battered by wind and rain when I wasn’t able to cover them, or rotted in too humid propagators. Nothing has been planted out yet but some cosmos and a few sunflowers are doing well and should be big enough to go into the flower bed in a couple of weeks. There are also some newly germinated nasturtiums, varieties I haven’t grown before and which I am so happy have come through.

Last summer, I sowed some calendula seeds directly into the ground and lavished time, effort and compost nurturing others from propagation. The results were identical, so this year – yes, you’ve guessed it – all have gone straight into the soil and all are doing well, considering recent weather.

It was the same story with nasturtiums last year, some shooting up in the poorest soil, between flags and stones or gate crashing in other pots, all performing as well as their pampered relations. They are classed as annuals but some have decided to come back. Wonderful!

For the first time I’ve decided to try growing some veg. I’m starting small. Very small. In this hanging basket I’m growing cucamelons, which I have never tried before, and chard. I hope they’ll be safe from slugs up there. There are more chard plants on the shelf. I have never been interested in growing fruit or veg up to now and this is just for fun. We’ll see.

Scabiosa is such a resilient plant, as well as gorgeous and attractive to butterflies and bees. They never fail to delight.

Salvia is another perennial favourite for me and the bees. I have bought a couple of new plants which will remain in pots, where they seem to do best in my garden. The bees are happy!

I tried to grow yarrow from seed but not one little shoot emerged. Imagine my delight when I found mature plants on sale at a good garden centre. The first florets are opening and I hope the pollinators will enjoy the feasting.

I picked up two Lady’s Mantle plants from the Pound Shop, both on their last stalks, yellowing and looking doomed. I was moved to try to rescue them. For weeks they seemed to be clinging on but showed no signs of growth. Earlier this week they were replanted together and the transformation has been astonishing. Within a few days they have turned from puny stumps to lush, green pot fillers, soon to be separated and given more room to spread.

Another new addition and a first timer in my flower bed is this delphinium, buds about to open as she rises above the cat mint. I planted three but only this one has succeeded. I can’t wait to see the flowers.

The little California poppy is ready to open again. I sowed some more seeds around it for company but it looks like it will be on its own again.

The fastest mover has been another new plant, this gorgeous erysimum, Bowles Mauve. It has thrived from the moment it was planted out and is a real bee magnet!

It’s such a joyful thing to be able to take pleasure in a garden, especially one as small as mine where every plant counts. Next week is looking lovely, if not so hot, and I’m looking forward to my morning pottering as my coffee brews and my evening cup of tea as the sun goes down. I wish everybody a lovely week!

7 thoughts on “June in bloom

  1. Eunice June 6, 2021 / 9:21 pm

    After the very wet May we’ve had it’s been nice to have some hot sunny days over the last week or so. My rhododendron has been very late this time, it only came into bud towards the end of May but within the last week it’s just suddenly burst into flower and is now looking gorgeous. I’ve spent three days this week roaming round Manchester photographing exhibits and installations on display during the flower show, got some good shots and I’m now working on my third post about it.

    Liked by 1 person

      • Eunice June 7, 2021 / 7:13 am

        The flower show started life in the 1950s but was held elsewhere in the city, it was only brought into the centre in 2018 though it wasn’t held last year for obvious reasons. The good weather we’ve been enjoying recently came just at the right time for this one 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  2. shazza June 8, 2021 / 7:06 am

    Your garden is thriving with your loving care. So pretty. I love finding scabious in the wild. A little early yet. I have some lady’s mantle in my garden and also at the caravan. The one at home just appeared ! And it’s hard to control. Hope your doing ok Amanda. Xx

    Liked by 1 person

    • Welcome to the Beautiful North June 8, 2021 / 11:12 am

      Thank you, Sharon. I’m well, thanks. I haven’t been on WordPress for some time but hopefully there may soon be more opportunities to get out and about and have something to write about. X😀

      Liked by 1 person

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