The weather has been pretty changeable this month with below average temperatures and above average rainfall. Enough rain has fallen in May and June to even convince the Environment Agency to lift the water and hosepipe restrictions.
The meadows are looking very picturesque in their second season they are a sea of white daisies with spikes of mauve/blue Echium vulgaris rising above them and butterflies fluttering amongst the flowers, very pretty. There is also one little group of wild orchids in flower at the moment in the long grass.
This wet conditions have allowed all the plants in the newly planted areas to become well established and put on good growth without requiring additional watering. The downside is that the weeds have also flourished and have been in danger of outgrowing the garden plants so we have had our work cut out trying to keep up with the garden maintenance. The good news is that we have just about caught up and as plant growth rates slow hopefully the hardest work is behind us allowing time to focus on the finer details and the summer work.
The foxgloves (Digitalis) have put on a spectacular display this year with the weather conditions really suiting them. The massed ranks of mixed colour wild foxgloves on the bank as you come into the garden are quite a sight and many visitors have commented on them, these have grown from seed that must have been lying dormant in the soil awaiting favourable conditions. The National Collection Digitalis plantings have also come into flower in the past couple of weeks and can be seen around the garden. Thanks to Rosemary for all the hard work she puts in sowing seed and growing on the seedlings each spring for planting out in the garden.
The Thursday volunteers have been out in force this month despite the poor weather on some Thursdays and have made a huge impact on garden maintenance the lowest number of volunteers was 8 one week and the highest was 16 when we had a blitz on the Autumn border plantings that were particularly overgrown by weeds. They have also weeded along the stream, weeded and tidied in the Jungle Border, Tidied the White Garden and continued clearing brambles and tree saplings in the woodland. They have had a busy month, thank you all for your efforts.
The white flowered climbing roses in the woodland are in full flower and are giving off a lovely scent that drifts through the woodland on still days. The roses in the mixed border have also been blooming this month some of these have a delicious scent as well.
Many of the plants are coming into flower later than last season because summer seems to be late arriving this year but most areas are a lush green with plenty of new growth because of the ideal growing conditions so I think we can look forward to a colourful summer and autumn in the garden. The next Friends Open Day for charity is on Sunday July 8th.