The first two days of June (the first two days of summer) were more like October days. The wind was gusting up to gale force and it rained almost non-stop from Monday lunchtime until Tuesday afternoon down here in Devon.
The next day the wind dropped, the sun came out and the flowers bloomed. There has been great excitement as the Corn Cockles, which have been getting steadily taller and taller, have started to flower and they are so pretty!
Corn Cockles have been around in this country for centuries but are now so rare in the wild that they are one of a group of the most threatened plants in Britain. I have never seen a Corn Cockle as they are so rare in the wild and we have never grown them in the garden and now can honestly say that they are truly beautiful.
Mid June – The weather for these last few weeks has been warm with plenty of sunshine and as a result all the plants in the garden and in the cutting patch have been growing and flowering like mad. But there has been a distinct lack of rain down here in Devon apart from the humid stormy couple of days around the middle of the month. With very little rain in the forecast we have had to do a lot of watering.
To have unlimited tap water is a luxury that few people in this country really appreciate and most take for granted. The dilemma of whether to water or not always brings back memories from my childhood in the once leafy suburbs of Nairobi in Kenya. In the dry season the taps would often run dry for days or even weeks at a time. When the water returned, usually in the middle of the night, we all helped to fill up every available bucket, bath, basin and plastic water containers called mitungis. By dawn the water would be gone again until the next time. My mother always knew exactly how much, or rather how little she could spare for her plants to keep them alive until the next rainy season; she had it down to a fine art.
All the plants that we planted last autumn, that struggled to survive the winter, are now in full flower. The Sweet Williams are a wonderful mix of colours ranging from deep dark red to shocking pink and pale pastel pink. The Delphiniums are tall and strong and beautiful shades of blue. We have Cornflowers, Corn Cockles and Poppies and will soon have Ammi Majus as well.
The colours of the Calendula (Pot Marigolds) are really stunning and we now have fresh cut flowers brightening up the house every day. This is what it is all about.
Of the plants grown from seed this year, the plants in the edible flower patch are just beginning to flower.
Two out of the three Nasturtiums are flowering as well as the two different colours of Cornflowers and also the Calendula. The sunflowers are growing taller and taller; they are going to be amazing.
We still have lots to look forward to in July, Sweet Peas, Scabious, Nigella, Gypsophela, bright red Snap Dragons as well as the lime green Nicotiana Langsdorffii. The Cosmos are also doing well and will soon be flowering, we have five different varieties! Cant wait!
With so many flowers in the garden and in the cutting patch we have been able to have freshly picked flowers in the house every day! It has been wonderful to have a those bright vibrant colours brightening up every room! More information on how to make these flower arrangements can be found in the Flowers in the Home/May-June section.
It is now the end of June and what a fabulous month it has been. We have been reaping the rewards from the cutting patch daily and filling the house with the most beautiful sweet scented blooms, what a joy it has been!
Most of the plants in the edible flower patch are now flowering. The three different varieties of Nasturtiums are just a mass of colour with orange, yellow and red all intertwined. The Evening Primrose has just started to flower and what a beauty it is, delicate and sweet scented but sadly does not last long enough for cutting and arranging. Never the less it was well worth growing just for the experience. The blue Cornflowers and the dark purple Cornflowers are really tall and a waving sea of colour and the Calendula are a bright splash of orange right in the middle. It really is a feast for your eyes. I have had great fun making edible flower arrangements to have on the table outside for Al fresco dining. More information on these arrangements can be found in the Edible Flower section of this website.