Sunday, June 15, 2014

Garden Bloggers' Bloom's day June 2014

It always amazes me how quickly the 15th of the month rolls around and June 15th 2014 has been no exception.  So welcome to what's in flower in my small Plymouth garden this month.

Less than you might expect.  A number of plants are either just over or yet to come and I've got a bit of a gap.  It doesn't help that I rank good foliage higher than flowering abundance.  But, having said that there is a good bit of colour and interest as we approach midsummer.

Pride of place in the front garden goes to Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace'.  This elegant cut leaved black elder is full of flower right now.  Yes, I should cut it back hard to enjoy the finest foliage - but why bother when it can produce this:

Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace'
Close to it my Chilean Lantern tree, Crinodendron hookerianum, is also flowering well.

Crinodendron hookerianum
The main displays in the rear garden come from the clump of calla lilies, Zantedeschia aethiopica 'Crowborough' - the hardiest and most drought tolerant variety; my white, almost perpetually flowering Hydrangea 'Madame Emile Mouillere'; the flowering maple Abutilon 'Patrick Synge' which has threaded it's way through my Acca sellowiana; and a pair of ornamental onions, Allium christophii and A.moly.  I really must get some different Allium varieties for next year, they really do fill an early June gap.

Allium christophii

Hydrangea 'Madame Emile Mouillere'
Abutilon 'Patrick Synge'
Lower down some of the hardy geraniums are flowering.  Most of mine flower a little later but Geranium endressii and G.x magnificum are showing up well today.

Geranium endressii
Geranium x magnificum
June is the time for a couple of little bulbs.  Freesia laxa is slowly - too slowly - taking up the space I've reserved for it in a narrow little border alongside my Yucca bed.  I year or so ago I complained that I'd only got a red flowered Ixia left.  I've added more bulbs since then.  Not all have survived but at least I've got a cream one now.

Ixia hybrid
Freesia laxa
I mentioned for the last Garden Bloggers' Bloom's Day that four of my five Phormiums were putting up flower spikes.  'Tricolor' is the only one to have actually flowered so far, a quintet of tall, branched sprays which have produced a host of attractive yellow flowers.  No way could I fit the entire spray into a 900px long photo and have any image quality so here's a close up of a few of the flowers.
Phormium 'Tricolor' flowers
Perennials that are also flowering are Meconopsis cambrica, Saxifraga stolonifera, Fuchsia 'Mrs Popple', F.magellanica 'Alba'. F.splendens 'Karl Hartweg', and F.'Genii'.  Add to those a goodly number of bedding plants grown in pots - there's no room in the ground - and the garden, despite its foliage orientation - is looking quite colourful.  And in a couple of days, when my day lilies open their fat buds, Rosa 'Summer Song' opens its red buds, Trachelospermum jasminoides flowers by the entrance to the rear garden, and another of my hydrangeas opens its sterile mophead flowers it will be more colourful still.

Always remembering, of course, that green - in all its shades - is also a colour.

As ever, my thanks to May Dreams Gardens for hosting the Garden Bloggers' Bloom Day meme.  Head over there to see what's flowering in many more gardens round the world. 


  1. Fab selection John! Starting to think now whether to try Crinodendron hookerianum especially after seeing you pic!

    1. It's an elegant thing. I grew mine from a cutting I took nearly twenty years ago and, once to flowering size, its never failed me.

  2. I really like the lacy look and color of the sambucus nigra. What nice texture it must add to your garden!

    1. Thanks, Dorothy.

      It's bone hardy, tough as old boots - and extremely attractive. Well worth adding to any garden. I haven't tried, but the flowers should make elderflower champagne in exactly the same way as you would with ordinary elder.

  3. That abutilon, beautiful, and like no other abutilon I have ever seen.

    1. Not wonderfully hardy. Fine here in Plymouth - it's been in the garden for years - but riskier in colder areas. Even a single flower stands out.

  4. Thanks for the stroll around your lovely June garden, lots to see and admire, but I get what you say about a bit of a gap in flowers, I have that too right now. I so envy you the Sambucus nigra 'Black Lace', but at that size it is not a plant for my tiny 62m2 garden. I had a Crinodendron hookerianum many years ago, when I was just starting out gardening where I am now and didn’t know as much as I do now. It didn’t like where I first put it, too shady, so I moved it to a container to grow in the sun, and it died the next winter. Seeing how big it would have been by now, 11 years later, that might have been just as well, I could not have had room for such a big plant unless it could have been grown as a Bonsai!

    1. If you give it its head the black elder has got a decent size footprint. You can keep it small with heavy - almost ground level - annual pruning. You lose the flowers - but the foliage is fantastic.