The moon in June

Snail on Persicaria

Actually we are 3 days off a full moon, I just fancied a bit of a rhyme. Having had heat, heat, heat, today, the 1 June, has dawned drizzly and 15C, the slugs and snails are having fun, fun, fun!

The hot weather has been speeding things along, maybe too fast. Some welcome moisture will perk up emerging seedlings and newly planted out bedding plants like Snapdragon Black Prince which were put out last week.

Squashes and courgettes too (Buttercup, Striato d’Italia and Bolognese) have been removed from the greenhouse which was over 42C at the weekend. Chelsea Flower Show week last week and the TV presenters were talking about failed veg sowings due to the cold weather, I don’t feel so bad now,  it wasn’t just me, the hammering rain, cold and mole all conspired to scupper the March sowings, more sown last weekend.

Rose Gardenia

The roses have been blowing faster than I would have liked, the upside is that at least they are opening and not sulking in a mushy brown mess. This is Gardenia,  a vigorous small flowered climbing rose. Delicate creamy apricot in bud, fading to just off white. The glossy new foliage has bronzy tints which adds to the overall effect. Not heavily scented like its namesake though.  Rosa Louis XIV was the first in bud,  all ready to go, and then each bud balled or scorched in turn. So far all that promise has resulted in one nearly perfect black-red bloom today before the blackspot gets to him again – he lives up to his difficult reputation.

Spring garden

In this picture of the woodbed this morning you can see fronds from a self spored Male Fern (I think), a dark stemmed Polygonatum  cirrhifolium, Woodruff, and  browny leaved Saxifraga fortunei which won’t flower until the very last moment in October.

Last week a Cuckoo heard in West Berkshire.


Autumn enters stage left

Cyclamen hederifolium
Cyclamen hederifolium

Why? Because the first fitful blooms of Cyclamen hederifolium have appeared at the base of a birch tree. The weather has been autumnal too, rain, mist and dewy mornings. Some fabulous ‘low gold light after rain in the evenings’ moments,  and a great moon swung up into the sky to the east of Bath on Sunday last.

The August garden is given colour by Dahlias, Scabious not quite Chile Black, as cross pollination has given me a selection from seed; Gladioli of the smaller types, Diascia personata and Anthericum ramosum. The last of the Kniphofia are the bright yellow Dorset Sentry and white tipped green Ice Queen, I have had a succession of Tawny King and others going for weeks.  A large Ratibidia with yellow daisy flowers and a couple of unassuming pale yellow Cephalaria are waving above the wreck of the middle bed. The asters are still in the wings.

Fig Brunswick

Had my first of 4 figs this week which is a little luxury.  Yep a bad pruning regime,  it’s enough to keep Brunswick under control over the growing season it is so vigorous. This plant originally came from a nursery that used to be at Greenways, Agatha Christie’s house, now an NT property.

Allium angulosum is a good doer it has been in flower for weeks attracting the bees, think a sturdier version of a chive flower and strappy flattened ground hugging leaves (Mead Nursery and Avon Bulbs).

In the veg garden my fennel has bolted (boo!) The first tomatoes finally ripening, Tonadose de Conores a small cherry type and Vintage Wine,  stripey and beefier (Plant World). The courgettes continue to sulk with the mizzly weather altho’ the odd pale yellow warty Rugosa of Friuli seems a little less fractious than Striato d’Italia (which I think has a good flavour), both from Seeds of Italy. Also first aubergine and maybe last given the weather.


And finally – I have been enjoying the  scents from Heliotrope, Brugmansia Grand Marnier (evening) and Lilium speciosum, a heady brew indeed.


Last night a tantalising shower, water trickling into the  empty water barrel making an echoey plink plash sound. This morning dark clouds and now rain, the greens of the trees  look super saturated.

Mown grass has been browning off as if it is high summer although farmers have been busy making silage over the last week.

The only down side to rain is the legion of snails and slugs who have been waiting their chance.