June jaunt

Here is a video I put together of my garden in late June. Most of it was from the 26th.


I’m pleased with how colourful it’s looking. Pleased because colourful is perhaps the single most important quality I’m wanting from the garden. The colour mostly comes from flowers so there is the added dimension of it providing pollen and nectar for insects which add movement and more colour.

To keep the colour going in a small garden you have to use plants with a long flowering season. In the past that would have been provided by classic summer bedding but it’s a look that doesn’t seem to chime with the times. Penstemons, Dahlias, Alstroemerias, Salvias, Begonias, Fuchsias, some Geraniums plus a few annuals like Ammi and Ricinus provide the same service in a more informal way.

Most shrubs have a short flowering season, often in spring, and only a minority have a second string to their bow in the shape of colourful foliage or berries. They also tend to take up a lot of space. I have quite a lot, the Hydrangeas are flowering now, but I am fairly ruthless in not letting them take up more space in total than they do now.

I am fully aware, and totally unapologetic for the fact that it is a very busy, somewhat chaotic garden that is a collection of plants first and a garden second. One of the joys of gardening is that you can admire and enjoy a garden without the least temptation to reproduce it in whole or in part in your own patch. In a sense it’s the most selfish of activities; you make yourself a garden that gives you what you want, with no sense of the world watching over your shoulder. To the people who say you should do this and you should grow that I say blah!


21 thoughts on “June jaunt

  1. I don’t see busy, or chaotic. There is a rhythm; a cohesive theme. It may not have been planned, but the variegated foliage, stem structures and greens pull everything together. We gardeners forget that green is a colour. It is stunning – and no, it isn’t what I’d have chosen to do myself, but it works and is lovely.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you. I guess it’s a variation on the evolution v design argument, it’s evolved and continues to evolve, as to all gardens, even the ones that have a definable point of creation. Green is a colour and the science of colour and perception is massive, complex and fascinating and not much understood by me, but green is in the middle of the visible spectrum so we perhaps tune it out to a degree because it is ubiquitous and notice other colours more. Nature understands that and mostly uses colours that contrast with green for flowers to attract pollinators and for fruit to attract seed dispersers.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. A beautiful garden and sentiments that tie in wth my own. Your video really excellent, very professionally done, a joy to watch. Thank you for sharing your garden, especially as here in Yorkshire, it’s pelting down.
    Always enjoy your blog.


    1. Thank you. Creating videos is great fun but massively time consuming. Many of the clips had to be retaken because when I looked at them on the computer screen they were too jumpy or there was glare from the sun or whatever. Good thing it wasn’t on location in foreign parts. It amazes me what you can achieve with a mobile phone and relatively inexpensive software, I’ve only scratched the surface of what is possible. Adobe Premiere Elements being the program I use.


  3. It’s all looking so beautiful in your garden Jim. Thank you for the tour around. I always say that my garden is all about the plants, so totally agree with your last paragraph. How tall is the Begonia luxurians? I’ve tried one a couple of times and have finally succeeded. It’s in a pot (year two) but still quite small.


    1. I’m sure I read somewhere that Begonia luxurians can grow to 5m. We had one in a pot that wasn’t practical to pot on any further so I planted it out in the garden. It just loved it, so bedding out Begonias has become part of the gardening routine and I’m slowly adding to the range of varieties I am trying it with or intend to in the future. The plant on the video is about 4 feet tall but was one that was planted out last year, lifted, potted and brought into the conservatory for the winter, then planted back out in May. I think it has grown about a foot since so I’m hoping it will be six feet by the end of the year. I’ll then try to lift it so I can protect it for the winter. The supposedly hardy begonias are herbaceous and disappear for the winter, coming back up usually rather late in the spring. B. luxurians doesn’t come back if the top is killed.


  4. Somehow, . . . many of the modern cultivars and fads that I dislike are so much more tolerable in your garden where they are appreciated (and not just grown because they are modern cultivars and fads). I know I should at least try to be a bit more adventurous.


    1. I have another ten thousand plants I want to try and I’m running out of time (and space). A garden centre label shouting NEW! would be as likely to put me off as attract me, but I am a bit of a soft touch for things that are completely new to me.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Wonderful video and I enjoyed your garden tour. Your garden is amazing, and there is so much to see not only in terms of colour, but textures, the unusual, different structures – lots of interest. In particular I liked seeing the hydrangeas in your garden setting. I’ve mentioned before that I want to try one in my garden. What is growing on the tall trellises? That is an impressive succulent collection.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. We don’t always succeed with overwintering pelargoniums as well as we’d like. They’re in a north facing lean-to glasshouse in Cornwall so it’s often cold and damp, making botrytis our biggest problem. We keep them very dry, the zonals take that better than the regals and angels, which need a bit more water. We try to keep a bit of air circulation when it’s not too cold and try to pick off mouldy leaves. Control of botrytis is synonymous with reducing relative humidity. That comes down to raising the temperature without adding moisture.


      1. Thank you for your answer Jim, do you cut them down in the autumn for overwintering? I have received conflicting advice regarding the need to do this.


      2. You would get conflicting advice if you asked me and Sue. She favours cutting back, I’m less keen, thinking it makes them more vulnerable to rot. The RHS hedges their bets too, saying cut them back if you don’t have room to keep them at full size. Cut back should reduce the chance of disease in that the plants can be kept drier, they will have less foliage to get diseased and there will be better light and air around the plants. We’re not very consistent in our treatment of them.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s