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  • Robin Howison

Early Summer

It’s summer. The garden has come alive. In fact I think it’s the beauty of the natural world that it rewards us each year with the huge spurt of growth culminating in in the abundance of summer. Its been a late season with cool nights so everything is still growing well including the weeds. Still no complaints as there are lots of new plants out there benefiting from the regular rain and cooler conditions.

Down in the Old Orchard garden with its large areas of perennials things have really filled out in the last month. Every year I look at the garden thinking what I can do in each season to make it better. This year Salvia silvestris cultivars are beautiful but I think I still need more. Some are coming on and will be better this time next year but I think it is the sheer number of them that has the most effect

The pink Salvia x sylvestris Amethyst as well as Salvia Mainacht or May Night are some of the best but they are all beautiful. I should also mention Salvia Caradonna for it’s incredibly rich dark blue flower spikes but also its upright more compact habit.



I have started to interplant the perennials with seasonal bulbs to add more interest at this time of year. So far I have added gladioli choosing the early flowering clump forming varieties over the midsummer single spike so well known as cut flowers. Later in the summer I will add Ixias which will also flower at this time. The later flowering perennials meanwhile are shooting up and soon there will be many more combinations in the garden. The Filipendula rubra is in bud already promising it’s beautiful pink spires by Christmas I hope. I love this plant for the way it slowly spreads intermingling and occupying an area producing flowers before most midsummer perennials but leaving beautiful rust coloured spikes from the dead flowers which blend so well into the summer garden catching the light in the summer sun.



The Heleniums are also growing upwards and getting ready to flower. I always love them but this year I have some new ones from Marshwood Gardens which they have selected from seed they grew from Europe a number of years ago. so I’m waiting for these to flower and will put some photos of them here when they flower. I think the weeds are still growing……… so I must get outside

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