• The Blooming Old Gardener

It is the month of June, the month of leaves and roses

“It is the month of June, The month of leaves and roses, When pleasant sights salute the eyes and pleasant scents the noses. “ Nathaniel Parker Willis

The garden is certainly a pleasant sight. And our roses and lavender have been adding to the scents of the garden. After such a long dry spell, the rain seems to have been spring cleaning the garden.

The moon this month is known as the dyad moon, meaning ‘pair’. This is connected to June being named after Juno, the Goddess of Marriage. It’s the Summer Solstice on the 20th. This was the time kids used to make Midsummer Cushions out of mud decorated with wildflowers. It’s a tradition that has more or less died out, though. I think the alternative, of making cup cakes and decorating them with petals from edible flowers such as marigolds and lavender, is even better. I’m planning to give it a try, might need to have a few goes at it though. Yum.

We are seeing more plants coming into flower and bees and birds paying a visit. We have a container with lilies in. These are always admired by visitors and volunteers. Not sure where the Calla lilies came from. They just seemed to appear, like so many of our plants. The Peruvian lilies will flower all summer, as long as the flower stems are regularly pulled. So if you want to brighten up your home and help the garden too, hold a stem at the bottom and pull, to pick your flowers, and take some home.

It’s worth having a wander in the garden, touching plants. Watch out for anything with thorns or prickles though. Our herbs and lavender are very fragrant. We’ve been cutting some of them for Claire to dry. We have plans for these. But you will have to wait to see what we do with them.

The beans in the veg garden have been doing well and both the runners and broad beans are flowering. The seeds sown have been springing up too. So now we have salad leaves, radishes and spinach to pick. Not seeing many slugs yet, but I know they are hiding in wait ready to eat what they can. So if you see one in the garden please pick it up and take it away. I don’t think we need to social distance with slugs.

As well as our veg, we have fruit appearing. It’s looking like the crab apple trees are going to have quite a few apples this year. Our blackcurrants are getting blacker and our gooseberries getting more purple. Not sure what our Japanese Wineberries are getting, as they are hidden. We have taken cuttings of all 3 berry plants so that we have some to sell.

We keep getting asked about the angelica plants, with people wanting seeds. The plant in the garden and the one at the station make a great impact. I assumed that they would die down in the autumn like last year and we could collect seeds then. But I’ve been reading up on them and it seems that now the plant has flowered, it will probably die. So we can start collecting seeds now. And cut the stem if we want any more candied angelica. If we can get the seeds to grow it will give us plants for next year.

There are still a lot of autumn leaves on the shaded side of the garden. In the past I have put them into our containers as mulch. But I’ve read that you shouldn’t do that if they are near a road. The leaves absorb the pollution and can poison the soil. So I’m just piling the leaves up behind the bug hotel. I’m hoping that the bugs will be more resistant to any nastiness in the leaves. If cockroaches can survive a nuclear bomb, surely they and their relatives can survive Runcorn traffic?


The Blooming Old Gardener

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