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Balmy Summer Days, June 8th

Jo Perry

May was an extraordinary month. After such a miserable spring with so little growth, our garden was still very bare at the beginning of the month but after just a few weeks everything really burst into life. I dreaded the week when all the Tulip pots would be taken out of the courtyard, there is always that feeling of anti-climax.

This year though, the border edging the vegetable potager has taken over the ‘wow’ factor baton. Of course, it isn’t so glamorous and the planting is very much in the cottage garden style, but it is so pretty. With late spring flowers such as sweet rocket, aquilegia, iris and lupin mingling with chives, rhubarb, mint and red kale it is a real haven for bees, butterflies and other pollinators.

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A really stunning and totally unexpected combination has been the gentle creamy yellow flowers of the Redbor red kale flopping over and growing up through a self-sown patch of Cerinthe major purpurescens. I’m sure if I try to replicate it next year it won’t be half as beautiful.

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Years ago, I planted a Wisteria against one of our covered compost bins. I had been working on another garden and the plant was surplus to requirements. It hung around the place in its pot for some time and eventually I stuck it in the ground without much hope, as the only Wisteria I had grown here before had finally flowered just before I accidentally garrotted it whilst trying to train it. So I haven’t done a thing to this one and for the second year it is absolutely
festooned with flowers.

Recently walking down to the compost heap, the combination of the scents of firstly the sweet rocket and then the Wisteria was wonderful. These balmy summer days of early summer are really special. The heat is gentle compared with the hot days of August but the greenness is what makes the difference. Everything is still fresh and lush and despite all the demands of the garden, we should really take some time to enjoy this wonderful spell of weather while we have it.