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  • Writer's pictureThe Blooming Old Gardener

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

June means Fathers Day, Volunteer Week, Pride Month and the Summer Solstice to me. Also a busy time in the garden and we’ve had some lovely weather for it. Our small team of volunteers are back in action. Most our plants and trees need a lot of water, so we have started watering and weeding sessions this month. Everything needs a good soak, as so much water can evaporate in this hot, dry weather. We are also clearing out some of the plants that haven’t survived, and feeding the ones that have. As most of our plants are in containers, they don’t get nutrients from the soil, so we have to give them some in order for them to thrive.

We have scented roses in bloom in the garden. They are climbing quite high, so dead heading is getting increasing difficult. I think we need taller volunteers. There are lots of different scents now. I love brushing the salvia as the stems smell of blackcurrant. And of course our herb beds are full of different perfumes. These all give the garden colour too, some ‘pleasant sights’ such as Peruvian lilies (I cant spell their real name), the grasses. I’m really pleased to see how the alpines have settled into the rockery now too. I love the variety you can get with alpines and that you don’t have to water them often.

The edibles in the garden are doing well, though we aren’t growing as big a variety this year. We have cabbage, broad beans, rhubarb, Japanese wineberries, blackcurrants forming and our red gooseberries are fattening up. And the WI are very pleased that their apple tree has a lot of fruit forming on it this year. Our tomato plant seems to have disappeared from the raised bed, not sure if it was the pigeons.. One surprise was a purple sprouting broccoli growing in one of the flower containers. So we get things appearing as well as disappearing.

We had No Mow May last month, which allowed a lot of our wild flowers to grow. It was fun wandering round in the long grass trying to spot what was there. Tim, our friendly mower, has cut the grass now. But he knows we like to keep some of our taller ‘weeds’ so he cuts round them. It makes the grassy areas a lot more interesting.

Our garden can also be full of birds. We have our local blackbirds and robins. And lots of pigeons. They mainly roost in the empty buildings next to the garden and on the nearby bridge They like to stay in nooks and crannies anywhere cliff-like. Mostly feral pigeons I think, as they seem to love the takeaway leftovers in the High St. Apparently these are descended from domestic pigeons, bred for eating. Not sure I would want to eat one that lives on takeaways though. Personally I prefer doves, a symbol of the June Pentecost, Particularly the collared doves that I see in the garden.

For the Jubilee Bank Holiday, there was a blooming craft event held at All Saints Church with the help of Hazlehurst artists. I found myself making jewellery from UV resin, did some doodling. Mima was helped to create a natural mandala out of plants and flowers. We used grasses and flowers for cyanotypes. Of course we had to paint bloomers too. It was really funny to see a washing line of bloomers outside the church.. I wonder whether any of the mandala will self-seed there, just as it did in the bloomers garden? A lot of this will be displayed in the garden in the summer.

The Blooming Old Gardener

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