End of Month View – June 2012

As you can see from the photo above June has been an unusually wet month.  This  has resulted in a lack of weeding and very lush growth on the plants.  Whilst the rain has meant a reduction in gardening time I haven’t been that bothered by it as I prefer the rain and cool any day to a hot and humid day.  Surprisingly despite the definite increase in slug activity which has been evident on the seed trays my hostas seem to be fairly slug free.  In fact this hosta is rarely attacked by slugs; I have had it many years, divided it lots but have no idea what variety it is.

The view from the other end of the patio border shows my horrid patio.  The slabs are actually those pink and yellow ones in a checked pattern.  I only realised this a few years back when I pressure washed it and wished I hadn’t.  I want to replace but have no real funds so keep trying to come up with alternatives, maybe something to cover it.  Oh and it also needs weeding – again.  I have tried to have a limited colour pallet in this border – greens, yellows and purples and I think it works quite  well.  However this border has been an exercise in trying to work with foliage more than flowers; trying to mix both leaf shapes and colours.  I am quite pleased with it and what to try to use the same approach elsewhere, less reliance on flowers and more on foliage

Above you can see what I call the back of the Cottage Garden Border.  The border is along the top of the wall at the back of the Patio Border and therefore could be seen to have no real front and back and I have struggled with this.  It isn’t wide enough to have a border where the height is in the middle and I decided last year that I really needed to find a way of creating a back so the border only really faced onto the ‘lawn’.  Eventually after much consideration of hedges, low fences etc etc I decided to use step over apples.  This was something I wanted to try for some time, it will provide in time a back and also provide an interesting top to the wall – I hope.  The trees went in over winter and in the last month I have had to start putting in a framework to train them on.  This would be fairly easy if I didn’t have to balance on top of the wall to build the structure and tie in the apples.  It all looked level and lovely after an hour of balancing but as you can see it is not level  and there needs to be adjustment – I am working myself  up to another balancing session.

The Cottage Border is filling out but it’s not quite there.  It may be better when the Delphinium and Anthemis open and the plants planted this year bulk up but I think it is too bitty.  I have repeated plants throughout to try to achieve some sort of rhythm so I am not convinced it is that – I suspect that it’s the foliage and I prefer planting in the Patio Border above.  I  think it needs more substance and less airy fairy plants (for want of a better expression)  I will see how it goes this year.

The Slope/Daisy Border has gone mad with all the rain we have had and whilst there are no daisy type  flowers to be seen yet, the border is looking very full and I am rather pleased with it.  It will be interesting to see how the border changes in the next month since the intention was that it peaked as a late summer border, hence the Daisy Border, and it is meant to be all asters, echinacea, heleniums.

I like that the planting is thick and full and I think this is what I am trying to achieve in the Cottage Border.  Now I am looking at the photos I wonder if the problem is that the Cottage Border is just too narrow to achieve the look I am after .

You may remember that I filled the pond in over the autumn/winter and planted the area up as a bog garden.  Here it is so far.  I only replanted the plants that were around the original pond and I am waiting to see how they work in the space and whether I need to edit or add.  Again I really like all the contrasting foliage.

The Woodland Border one year on.  The border is intended to look its best in spring with lots of spring bulbs but I want it to be interesting the rest of the year and again I am trying to get foliage interest.  In fact I hadn’t realised just how much I had moved towards being interested in foliage until I did this post – how interesting.

If you would like to join in the End of Month View meme you are very welcome.  I find it very helpful to look critically at my garden but you can use it for whatever reason you wish and in any way you wish.  Just leave a link in the comment box so I know you are joining in and can pop over to visit.


23 Comments Add yours

  1. Helen I am intrigued with the structure and planting as a wall. I do like all the foliage and how it works together and the bog garden is looking wonderful…we have had cold, rain then heat and dry so hard to do any weeding, trimming etc. Only veggies are tended at this point. I’ll be joining in on Monday.

  2. Yvonne Ryan says:

    Yvonne – NZ – In just a few months from almost bare to rampant growth – nature amazing!

  3. Libby says:

    Lovely foliage 🙂 this provides food for thought as I think I might tend towards having too much ‘airy fairy’ foliage too.

  4. What is the plant in the next to last pic with the reddish tone to the leave….I have this but don’t know what it is. I’m guessing Ligularia of some sort. Thanks,

    1. patientgardener says:


      Its ligularia britt marie crawford – has orange daisy type flowers

  5. I want to fill my garden with flowers, but realistically speaking this would only be possible if I replanted all the flower beds several times through the year, so foliage has to be equally important as flowers. I’ve just planted a bed purely for foliage interest; hostas, astrantias, Siberian irises, sedums. Sure, they all flower beautifully, but their leaves are definitely the stars of the show.

  6. Helen you have some beautiful foliage and I can see from you photos what you mean about the cottage border, perhaps though it’s just the style as cottage gardens were about food and flowers not foliage, the daisy border looks lovely with foliage of different textures, colours and height,

    I’ve posted my EoMV here’s the link
    thanks for hosting, Frances

  7. hillwards says:

    It’s all looking wonderfully verdant and rich, especially the daisy border. Some wonderful foliage contrasts. I’m looking forward to watching your step-over apples develop too.
    My end of month posts seem to have wandered rather from your format, I must reign myself back around next month and concentrate on the bigger picture again, especially now that the structure of our main borders is in place!
    Still, here is my post: http://wp.me/pXRuN-1oy

  8. Healthy looking Hostas. I’ve never dared plant them in the ground because of slug attack … I feel safer knowing I can move the pots about … silly really!

    Here’s my post: http://woodlousehouse.blogspot.co.uk/


  9. Alison says:

    Your garden is looking wonderful and lush at the moment. This rain has brought some benefits as well as sadly the slugs. My EoMR is here: http://ozhene.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/end-of-month-review-june-2012.html

  10. anna says:

    It’s a lovely garden! I think the Hosta is a Hosta Patriot.
    Regards, Anna

  11. Hi Helen, your garden is looking fabulous, and in Alison’s words, “wonderful and lush”. You have a very special hosta for it not to turned into a doilly, mine have been stripped into nothing. Here is my EOMR http://hurtlingtowards60.wordpress.com/2012/07/01/end-of-month-view-june-2012/

  12. kate says:

    Helen, you have some beautiful, beautiful plants – a few less-than-beautiful paving slabs seems a small price to pay… so lush, and so gorgeous (I particularly like the cottage border – delightful).

    I’m battling slugs and snails like never before, but here is my EOMV post: http://beangenie.wordpress.com/

  13. Lovely garden Helen, and I can see you share my passion for herbaceous perennials. Have you considered covering the paving with chipped bark? Alternatively, one positive of all this rain is that it will soon colour with the earth and algae again – trouble is, it gets slippery then.

  14. easygardener says:

    I must say that the upside of the rain has been the luxurious growth in the garden borders. I still have Geranium phaeums flowering and they would normally be finished by now. You are quite right about less weeding being required. Perhaps there is a need for more positive thinking when the rain lashes against the windows 🙂
    My post is now up:

  15. You garden is so lush and full, and I am envious of all the rain you have been getting. It has been somewhat dry this month in my garden. And then when it does rain it seems it is some powerful and destructive storm. Thank you for hosting.

  16. Christina says:

    In truth I think all gardens depend on foliage for their overall beauty. Flowers are the icing on the cake but if the cake’s (foliage’s) no good then the garden will dissapoint . Not a very good metaphor but you understand what I’m trying to say. All your rain has certainly made your garden look wonderfully lush! Christina here’s my link http://myhesperidesgarden.wordpress.com/2012/06/30/end-of-month-view/

  17. shirl says:

    Hello again, Helen 🙂

    Great to see your borders bursting with growth and flowers – foliage always gets my vote and if it is evergreen it gets a gold star. Heuchera’s are one of my favs – bees buzz about feeding on their delicate stems of tiny flowers so that’s a double bonus for me 😀

    My garden has always had a foliage focus with many shades of green in all different textures. Now I am spreading deep reds around to join the yellows and greys already settled in.

    Interestingly now, I’m on the opposite side to you as I add more flowers to my plantings. Lol… a good few years ago I joined our small town garden opening for a local charity. My garden was pretty green then and my Mum tried hard to encourage me to accept some of her pots with lots of colourful flowers to brighten up my garden 🙂 Needless to say, I didn’t budge and as it rained on the day anyway my foliage plants looked great.

    Bit late here in adding my contribution (nope pond build not complete yet but getting close) here it is 🙂

  18. Claire says:

    Hi Helen

    The daisy border looks great. I like the way you’ve gone for tall plants in what looks like some narrow borders. I made the mistake of some tiny plants in the small borders in my garden and have become obsessed with trying to create some height in the planting.

    I’ve some some gardens recently where there were plants growing in the gaps between paving stones and it looked nice and natural. Possibly they were weeds though!


Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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 )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ 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