Gardener's Almanac: June 2016

Well, its started.  We are a week into what is being hailed as the best, sunniest weather of the last 30 years in Dublin.  And it is AMAZING, perfect weather.  So it should be great growing weather but I'm concerned that the cold Spring has taken its toll.  Some of the veg seeds planted still aren't sprouting, and I cannot tell if I haven't given them enough time or if something more sinister (pests) is/are afoot.

I'm also rapidly typing this while I'm waiting for the kitchen floor to dry and hurriedly trying to get a few jobs done before heading out to the annual garden show, Bloom In the Park.  This is my fourth year in a row attending. I always bring something home that adds colour to the garden.  In past years, I've brought home clematis, a lily and a hydrangea.  This year I am specifically looking for allium bulbs, particularly christophii.

So how's the garden actually doing? Well, here's a look...

The huechera continue to impress, especially as I planted them to bring colour to the garden in winter.  The Coral Bells huechera is in full bloom and the Dark Chocolate Coral Bells is now starting to flower.  They do very well in shade and add lovely structure in addition to colour.

Last year I took out all the herbs I had growing in pots and planted them along the raised beds in the back.  I am very happy with this change - the parsley, sage, rosemary & thyme (!) are all thriving and I'm happy to let them reseed themselves to build up that border.  I'm also going to try some German Chamomile to see how it does.  There's a good amount of marjoram in there, for the kitchen, also.

The stand out so far in the garden this month are the miniature pansies.  They are absolutely thriving and giving a great amount of colour between the last tulips dying off and the roses and peonies which have budded but not yet bloomed.

Also looks like its going to be another great year for clematis.  This clematis I brought home with me from Bloom 2013.
So far the only little seedlings are mixed lettuce and peas in the front garden (I've my fingers crossed in a big way for the miniature cucumbers and heirloom tomatoes to come up any day now) and one pumpkin (barricaded against slugs), onions, leeks and beetroot in the back garden.

Last Autumn I finally took over a wee bit of green space behind my house and its really paid off as this is how it looks now.  The maple tree sapling is settling in well and the ornamental grasses and lavender were the right choices, I think.   The catmint (purple flowers) and snow in summer (white flowers) really stand out, I may add more ground cover/herbs as I go.

The alliums, both front and back garden are in bloom and they are a delight to behold.  So much so that I'm keen to get a few more bulbs today from Bloom.  The two types you see here are purple splendor and christophii. The christophii are so delicate looking, I am absolutely enchanted.

Well, that about rounds it up.  The apple trees look like they're going to have a banner year and while there's still a few things I want to move around in the garden (and maybe replace one of the lavenders in the front garden!) I'm content, on the whole, and very grateful.  I adore getting my hands dirty and get a lot out of it, which is good.  Its a fairly thankless taste otherwise!

Happy gardening and enjoy the bank holiday weekend, everyone!


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