End of Month View: June 2013

I start my June End of Month view with a sad tale.

About 10 years ago I was given a Hibiscus shrub as a leaving present, which has grown happily at the bottom of my garden until this year. I noticed a while ago that only half of the shrub, now a small tree, had leaf buds. The other half of the tree looked very dead, although there was still green on the bark when I scratched it. I posted a photo on Twitter for some advice but despite the myriad of gardeners, no one came up with an answer. I’m not sure if I then took the correct action, but I pruned the bare branches. To my dismay I saw this morning that the leaves on what I thought was the healthy part have withered and died. I will leave it well alone now and it may recover next year but if anyone has an idea as to what happened please let me know.

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Other parts of the garden are doing well, although there is still a lot of greenery and not many flowers. It is a little disappointing because I see blogs of other gardens with an abundance of flowers. Even the alliums are now green.

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The Gazinias are just about to flower which will bring some bright colour, and the Antirrhinums should join them shortly. I am delighted to announce that at long last I have ONE peony!!!

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The cosmos are white, which is not going to add to a kaleidoscope of colour, but the Agapanthus (blue) is in bud and together with the Vibernum Bodnantense will create height and add shades of blue.

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At the rear of this flower bed is a very pretty Ballerina Rose.

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In a desperate attempt to bring a sense of brightness into the garden I had a little on-line shopping trip at the Crocus website. I purchased :

Penstemon ‘Pensham Laura’ (beard tongue)

Monarda ‘Squaw’ (bergamot)

Rudbeckia fulgida var. deamii (Black-eyed Susan)

Echinacea ‘Summer Cocktail’ (PBR) (coneflower)

Hemerocallis ‘Pink Damask’ (daylily)

I did have one more plant failure this month, but I hope it has been rescued. The Geum Bell Bank collapsed – that is the only way to describe it, so I cut it back hard and covered it with a cloche to protect it from the local cats that seem to like to maraud in the borders. When I looked this morning there are lots of new shoots so all may be well.

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At the end of last year by boss gave me a box of dahlia tubers. I read that straw around the base helps mulch them, but I am not sure how aesthetic it looks but if it helps its worth a try. I have a feeling that the straw can also deter snails, which are the bane of my life. Those eagle-eyed of you will notice the hardy geranmium at the front that I have chopped back to the ground. It was getting very straggly and this will bulk it up and it will have a second flush of flowers in a month or two.

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I fear I may be a little negative about the flower borders, because the roses are marvellous this year as you will have seen from my earlier post Roses, Roses, Roses. The new border I made last year with Penstemons and Salvia Hot Lips is a profusion of colour, especially now the lavender is out.

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The Compasion Rose is splendid, and the perfume never ceases to delight. It is really a climber, I prune it right down every spring, but it still grows to quite a height. Fortunately the stems are really strong so it doesn’t require any support.

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I had decided not to grow any vegetables in the raised bed this year, so instead mixed together half used packets of seeds left over from 2012 and scattered them over the bed to make a cutting garden. I don’t remember a cornflower mix but there are an awful lot of cornflowers which are going to be pink. On close inspection there are some poppies and marigolds.

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I do have some fruit and vegetables. The Raspberries (at the back of the photo) are looking promising and the runner bean and tomato plant Totem have perked up so hopefully they will bear results. I already have some tomatoes on the Tumbling Toms in the hanging basket.

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When I wrote my post about my patio just 10 days ago, it was looking full of promise and on the brink of bursting into floral magnificence. Well we are getting there and the Philedelphus together with my other Compassion Rose and the Jasmine all add to a wonderful floral fragrence, especially on a warm day.

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Imagine my delight to see that the large white flowered agapanthus in a pot has three buds. It is a glorious plant and did nothing last year. Also, the gerbera has flowered again for the 5th year in a row, albeit only one flower at the moment so fingers crossed there will be some more.

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I will end this End of Month View for June with another question. A friend bought me a Silver Jubilee rose last year which according to the label is a fragrant lovely pink colour shaded with apricot, peach and cream. What has bloomed is an equally lovely rose, but with a very delicate fragrance and I would describe it as yellow with pinky/apricot edging. Does anyone recognise it as being something other than Silver Jubiliee? I suspect it had the wrong label. I love the shading and am more than happy with it, but puzzled all the same.

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Thank you Helen at Patient Gardener who hosts this meme. She is away at the moment at a Garden Bloggers get together in San Fransisco, but very cleverly wrote her post and scheduled it to be published today in her absence. Hop over to her blog and take a look at the links to other End of Month Views left in her comments box.

© Hurtlingtowards60 and Hurtled to 60 and Now Beyond ©AarTeePhotography; Unauthorized use and/or duplication of photographs without express and written permission from this blog’s author is strictly prohibited

7 thoughts on “End of Month View: June 2013

  1. You really have a lot going on! So sorry about your Hibiscus. I have no idea what is wrong.
    Lovely roses! Hope you can find the real name of that last one – it is too pretty to be uncertain about the name.
    Veggies looking good, too. Tomatoes are my favorite vegetable to grow.
    Happy Gardening!
    Lea
    Lea’s Menagerie

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  2. This is the first time I have left a comment on your blog but felt moved this time to say I’ve actually been following it for about a year now, with a mixture of both sadness and admiration since your diagnosis but also tremendous enjoyment with your writing and photos. Thank you for giving so much inspiration.

    I have just been for a wander round my own garden and felt quite despondent at the lack of flowers, particularly as you say, so many other bloggers seem to be enjoying lots of colour in their gardens. In some cases, they are the same plants as I’ve got. The Alliums spluttered into life and then seemed to give up and the sweet peas haven’t even started. Never mind, in a couple of weeks it should all be a riot.

    I was interested to see that you suspect your rose might have the wrong label (it looks a bit like ‘Lady Emma Hamilton’) because according to the label I thought I was buying the deep pinky red Penstemon ‘Firebird’ (grown and sold at a National Trust property no less) but it’s a pale sugary pink – not at all the look I was after. I am afraid I can’t help you with your initial query as I confess to knowing nothing about Hibiscus – and not a great deal about anything else really but I’m enjoying the learning.

    Enjoy your new plants!

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  3. Hi Ronnie,

    Lovely photos! I think you have plenty of colour… But I know how easy it is to fixate on the negatives sometimes – I do it all the time too!

    Sorry to hear about the Hibiscus, hopefully it’ll be OK… Hold in there. It might just be a bit unhappy this year.

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    1. It was only as I was writing the blog I realised there is colour in the garden. This year I felt I needed a blaze of colours rather than the delicate whites and pinks of previous years. Must be a psychological thing x

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      1. Hi Ronnie,

        I know how you feel… I was always the same with my Buddleja border. I’ve always thought there’s no colour, no interest and it’s so boring there. But when I look back on photos I realise that actually it did have colour! Strange. It’s like a mental block and I’m unable to see the reality.

        Perhaps your tastes have just changed – I’ve done the same and now have quite a lot of warm colours in the garden. I think also inspiration from other blogs has definitely affected my buying habits.

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