The Gravel Garden
This month the Mount Etna broom’s (Genista aetnensis) weeping branches are covered in yellow pea-like, sweetly scented flowers, and thefat buds of Romneya coulteri (Tree Poppy) open into huge flowers with white, crinkled, tissue-like petals and a yellow centre. Stipa barbata, a beautiful grass, puts on a fairly short but spectacular show with it’s silky, silvery-white flowers waving in the slightest breeze. From mid-July, clumps of blue Agapanthus provide a welcome splash of colour. Helianthemum (Rock rose)and Nepeta get a trim back after flowering and should produce a second flush of flowers later in the season.
The Water Garden
Here there’s lush growth everywhere. Gunnera, Hosta, Darmera and Miscanthus amongst others, give contrasting foliage shape and texture, while Astilbe, Geranium, Filipendula and Hemerocallis provide colour. Below Beth’s house the Cytisus battandieri is covered in yellow, pineapple scented flowers.
The Reservoir Garden
Purple-leaved Cotinus (Smoke bush), silvery Eryngium giganteum (Miss Willmott’s ghost), blue Echinops ritro (Globe thistle) and the giant fennel, Ferula communis, are among the feature plants.
The Wood Garden
A quiet time of year in this part of the garden, but the red, glistening berries of Actaea rubra might catch your eye.Large swathes of Symphytum (Comfrey) and Geranium are cut back hard with a scythe after flowering, leaving large empty gaps, but within weeks new growth will emerge.
The Scree Garden
Beth’s collection of succulents is on display outside her house. Growing against one of the house walls is a Buddleja crispa with white-woolly arching stems and soft lilac, fragrant flowers.
How do we keep the slugs off our Hostas?
This is probably the most frequently asked question.
The combination of our low annual rainfall and plenty of natural predators (birds and toads) certainly helps.
Generally, the coarser, larger-leaved forms seem much less prone to slug-damage. Perhaps they are less tasty?
We do use slug-pellets sparingly just as the foliage is starting to emerge in spring and usually only once. Last year however, due to the exceptionally wet weather, we used slug-pellets three times, but only as spot treatment on those Hostas showing signs of slug damage.