Flaming (Almost) June

How I wish I could spend longer in the garden at this time of year! Everything is happening at once: the grass is growing like an express train, weeds are popping up from bare earth and suddenly the air is filled with wonderful scents from wisteria and viburnums and the last wallflowers. Even the burgeoning box hedges smell superb. Meanwhile in the hay meadow, the mix of grasses and wildflowers has changed; the first timothy grasses are showing their seed heads and meadow buttercups are everywhere. We’ll be making hay in less than a month, at this rate. So things are, at long, long last starting to catch-up. I reckon we’re only a month behind an average season, now. I’ve even decided to stop cutting the asparagus.

As always seems to happen, my non-gardening life gets frantically busy at such times as these. I’ve recently been away in York; before that it was the Hay Festival, then next week I’ll be off to film in Northumberland for a Time Team documentary (to be screened in the autumn/winter). And I must do some more work to promote my detective/thriller The Lifers’ Club, which still needs many more subscribers (currently we’re stuck at 54% of what we need). I’ve also just put the phone down after an interview with BBC Radio Cambridgeshire about an insane plan to cover 900 acres of Fen-edge near Peterborough with solar panels and wind turbines. The mind boggles at the archaeological damage they’ll do. Local opposition is intense – and yet the developer is the local authority, who also arbitrate on such matters as archaeology – so they can’t lose! The trouble is, all these things take time, and me, away from my garden – grrr!

So for this blog post I thought I’d like to give you a few glimpses of the summer garden as it starts to come into life. So far it’s been a wonderful year for woody ‘tree’ peonies (we’re particularly proud of our white flowered one which is about 15 years old), wisteria and the flowering rhubarb, which looked so rude in that picture I posted earlier in the season. The oriental poppies and pleached limes are always attractive – the latter demonstrating clearly what’s meant by ‘lime green’.

White paeony

A Japanese hybrid tree peony, bought many years ago (we’ve long since lost its name).

Wisteria waterfall

Wisteria sinensis on the front of the house, just coming into full flower.

Rude rhubarb

Flowering rhubarb, Rheum palmatum rubrum.

Oriental poppies

An old variety of Oriental poppy, ‘Goliath’.

Pleached limes

Pleached limes. These are the small-leaf native form (Tilia cordata).

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