Joyous June

Lovely lupins. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

From the last few days of May, I think my garden looks at it’s best. There is so much colour, so many fragrant blooms, it is a real joy to be outside, and even the weeding seems less of a chore! The weather has been kind, and I have been outside more than I have been indoors. The lupins are great value in the garden; the flowers with their rich, spicy aroma, are in bloom for a long time, and once the long heads have finished, cut them off and smaller blooms appear for a second showing.

White and pink lupins. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

The last of my spring bulbs are in flower now. I planted alliums for the first time a couple of years ago, so this is their second late spring showing. I love the intricate web of tiny star-like lilac flowers that make up the globe shaped bloom.

Allium cristophii. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

It’s been a fine year for rhododendrons and azaleas. Most have past their best now, but this scarlet beauty stands at the bottom of the drive-way and is always one of the last to flower. It makes a stunning display. The later varieties are particularly sweet-smelling. The peachy-pink one below is heavily scented although sadly not quite so many blooms this year. The pure white azalea and the apple blossom-pink rhododendron, on the other hand, are almost overloaded with blooms.

Scarlet rhododendron. Image: Kathryn Hawkins
Later flowering rhododendrons and a white azalea. Images: Kathryn Hawkins

One of the finest trees in the garden is the laburnum. On a bright day, the rich yellow glow from the petals is quite dazzling, and the heavy scent is intoxicating. The flowers look particularly glorious against a blue sky. Sadly it’s not in flower for more than a few days before the petals start falling like vibrant confetti, all over the garden.

In full flower, laburnum tree. Image: Kathryn Hawkins

I have been patiently waiting for this iris to come into flower. For the first time, I split the rhizome back in the Autumn and was delighted (and relieved) when the buds started to form about a month ago. This variety is a real beauty called Iris Pallida; the pale sky blue flowers have the aroma of slightly spicy bubble-gum. It’s planted in a dry, sunny corner by the front house wall, and flowers from the top down. I believe the rhizome of this particular iris is used as a botanical in some gin varieties.

Iris pallida. Images: Kathryn Hawkins

My final image to share this month, is from a crop of plume thistles Atropupureum which are growing in the back garden. Not only popular with me, but the bees love them too 🙂

Plume thistle (Atropupureum) and bee. Image: Kathryn Hawkins


4 thoughts on “Joyous June

  1. It is so delightful to walk around your garden, Kathryn! Thank you for the tip on the lupins: we have one in flowers right now and it would be nice to see it bloom one more time. As a new retiree, I am discovering the joys of gardening this year and will take all the advice I can get!
    It is so important to provide bees with plants they like in this day and age; I had this in mind when I picked the very first plants (crawler plants, I think that’s what you call them) I put in the ground this year. The tag said they would attract bees. I hope they will!

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    1. Hi Joelle. How are you? Are you on the mend? I’m so glad you can’t see the lupins today; we had very heavy rain followed by strong gales, and the poor things are all bent over now 😦 I don’t think the bees will be collecting much pollen here at the moment as it’s raining again. You’ll have to take a picture of the crawler plants – I’m not sure what they are. Best wishes 🙂

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      1. Thank you Kathryn for asking. The mending process is going to take longer than I thought 🤕 (details in my next post). I will take a photo of my crawler plants and post it too. They are nothing special, but they did take and hopefully once they cover the slanted ground I won’t need to do as many acrobatics ! Our house is on top of a hill, hence slopes… and treacherous walls for the careless gardener!

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