Saturday, 28 June 2014

There's never really a time of year when there isn't at least a dozen places needing attention in the garden. The autumn and winter are the seasons to direct, reorganise and prepare, the qualifying rounds so to speak; but it is the spring and summer where the real competition is. Spring is the group stages and then the struggle to keep the show going, the knock out competition, is summer. Summer is where the work is relentless, slow down now and you'll be over run; but ask anyone where their job is vocational 'what they would wish for' and the answer every time would be ' to see action, to be blooded and to overcome the challenges of their chosen career'. This is what I wanted, even as a teenager, and at this time of year the challenges are many and not always what you would expect; but to work in a garden such as Barnsley can be immensely satisfying. At this time of year the workload is at it's highest, as are the rewards and gardeners must take a little time to look at the results of their labours...yes there's more work to be done; but occasionally stand up, turn round and look at the view. Team members today Tony, Ben, John, Mark and myself, jobs done....
  • Hens cleaned out.
  • Fruit cage weeding.
  • Net put on top of fruit cage.
  • Tunnels and greenhouse watered.
  • Veg' picked including Summer Cabbage and Broad Beans.
  • All lawns cut.
  • Emails checked and answered.
  • Enquiries made regarding speakers for next year's calendar of events.
  • Last of the Pub's beer garden hanging troughs planted up.
  • Beds cleared in Potager.
  • Box clipping in Potager.
  • Dead heading of Roses etc as well as weeding (Nettle removed from amongst Hydrangea 'Annabelle' in Bed 4).
  • Laburnum Tunnel swept.
  • Sites for three bee hives paved. Bees arriving Thursday evening.
Detail of bed 1 Viola cornuta 'Icy but Spicy', Golden Feverfew, little green spikes of Wild Mignonette and the white bells of Campanula persicifolia.
Bed 1 is the bed just outside the bay window of the restaurant and has always been themed with blues, yellows and whites. White Campanula persicifolia has large bells and the white Wall Valerian(really a Centranthus to us pedants) has been pruned back to encourage more flowering, some flowers have been left to keep the show going. One plant to take a whack soon is the blue Geranium 'Brookside', flowering; but past it's peak and starting to intimidate the young Margeurites and Salvias that have been planted near to it. These new plantings should be the late show and the Geranium regrowth the supporting act. Geranium 'Brookside' also grows to the left of the steps that have a pink Gallica Rose nearby. this Geranium awaits the same fate.

Holodiscus dicolour with Hybrid Musk Rose 'Felicia' to it's right.
A few short steps across the Yew lined central path from bed 1 is bed 2, the section next to the terrace filled with a blue, pink, purple  mix of perennials, Roses and tender species. Pink Rose 'Wild Edric' is one of David Austin's, it's thorns and leaf arrangement show that Rosa rugosa was amongst it's parentage, just keeps on flowering. The flower of the moment in this area has to be Phlox 'Blue Paradise', white Lilium regale will give good evening scent. In the same bed; but further away is the frothy cream shrub Holodiscus discolour, it has been in this spot for at least twenty years. Behind it on the corner is the richly coloured and scented Gallic Rose 'Charles de Mills' and stretching up behind it is the Dahlia 'Rip City'.

Dahlia 'Rip City'
Along the back straight of bed 2 the starburst heads of Allium schubertii, destined for Christmas decorations in the house, purple Viola cornuta 'Spider' sits on the edge.

Allium schubertii with cleared ground behind planted with Cosmos and Nicotiana.
It is June, just, and there is still substantial garden growth ahead so much of our time is spent cutting back and deadheading, this not only promotes fresh (less tired) growth as well as more flowers, it also makes room for new plantings that will extend interest. Cutting back and dead heading also improves the presentation of the garden. The Broad Border received this treatment last Monday (23rd June).

Tatty old flower stems on Saxifraga hirsuta as well as inappropriate Allium stems
That's better!

In the Broad Border as well as Saxifrages being dead headed we also cut back, quite hard, drifts of Tellima grandiflora var rubra to remove old leaves and flowering stems. The result will be clumps of fresh leaves that persist over winter as sulky bronze clumps. Like anything in life timing is key; but at such a frenetic time of year, missing the boat is a real possibility.

1 comment:

  1. What an incredible lot of work! However did RV ever manage to keep everything looking so good, even with the help she must have had? But such a world-class garden demands such upkeep. I'm so glad you are able to continue (and improve) her garden. Thanks for the update! -Beth