The Garden in Early June
After a slow and cool spring build up the recent warm temperatures have allowed many plants to put on some great new growth and of course to flower. While some of that flower is now finishing, perhaps a little more quickly than usual due to the heat and the dry, nonetheless the garden continues to be looking rather lovely.
For example Luzula Snowflake, a Knoll Gardens selection of Luzula nivea, has been looking quite fabulous for many weeks enthusiastically offering its bright white flowers in the Rain Garden as well as the Spring Meadow.
Like the luzula in the Rain Garden the alliums in the Dragon are now finishing their impressive display, but others such as Allium Purple Rain in the Long Walk are still looking pretty neat.
Generally less exposed to the hot sunshine the Entrance border continues to delight with its lovely mix of aconitum, libertia, luzula, allium and white camassia. This area has deschampsia as a base which has yet to begin its long display.
Poa labillardierei is a fabulous more or less silvery blue mounded grass that we have used as the base of the Dry Meadow planting. It flowers at this time of year with a succession of gently pendulous flowers arising from the centre of the plant which are of the same colouration as the foliage. Beautiful and effective! A whole procession of other plants are also used in the area and currently dutch iris, some dainty Ixia and the very beautiful Libertia grandiflora are providing flower that is set off beautifully by the foliage of the poa.
The Decennium border has been bright with the strong yellow of Euphobria palustris for many weeks and while these are now fading the bright red of Papaver Beauty of Livermere provide a colourful accent against the more subtle shapes and tones of other plants.
Melica uniflora albida is a specialist of dry shade and is looking great just now in shady dry places such as the Shady meadow. However it is also doing pretty well in a quite sunny and open position at the end of the Bark Circle planting. While its foliage may be a little less dark green due to the sunshine it is making a super early season display; covering the ground very effectively in advance of the later season, sun loving grasses which will take over the display from the melica later in the year.
Hakonechloas are almost unrivalled for creating elegant and beautiful long lasting cover in dry and shady places, though many will tolerate sunny open positions as well as long as the soil is not winter wet. Hakonechloa All Gold has no green foliage at all and may burn in strong sunlight but when happy in shade it is a quite superb foliage plant whether in the ground or in a container. The green foliaged species, Hakonechloa macra, offers a more subtle but equally beautiful effect and we use it in various places including under some mature tree and shrubs where the ground is both poor and dry.
Another selection with white and green leaves is Hakonechloa Samurai. It is growing in the Bark Circle borders where it is making a virtual wave of exquisite foliage.
We have been busy replanting the Dragon Garden this last little while with the last plants being put in the ground at the very end of May. We now have to mulch the remaining bare soil and given the area involved we have bought in some ‘Strulch’; a commercial mulch made from mineralised straw. It looks good, handles nicely and hopefully will keep some moisture in the ground and the weeds down!