The Garden Guide

Book: Colour schemes for the flower garden
Chapter: Chapter 5 The June garden

June garden

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The garden in front and at the back is mainly a June garden. It has Peonies, Irises, Lupines, and others of the best flowers of the season, and a few for later blooming. The entrance to the Hut is through Yews that arch overhead. Close to the right is a tall Holly with a Clematis montana growing into it and tumbling out at the top. The space of garden to the left, being of too deep a shape to be easily got at from the path on the one side and the stone paving on the other, has a kind of dividing backbone made of a double row of Rose hoops or low arches, rising from good greenery of Male Fern and the fern-like Sweet Cicely {Myrrhis odorata}. This handsome plant (Myrrhis odorata) is of great use in many ways. It will grow anywhere, and has the unusual merit of making a good show of foliage quite early in the year. It takes two years to get to a good size, sending its large, fleshy, aromatic roots deep down into the soil. By the end of May, when the bloom is over and the leaves are full grown, they can be cut right down, when the plant will at once form a new set of leaves that remain fresh for the rest of the summer. Its chief use is as a good foliage accompaniment or background to flowers, and no plant is better for filling up at the bases of shrubs that look a little leggy near the ground, or for any furnishing of waste or empty spaces, especially in shade. From among the Ferns and Myrrhis at the back of this bit of eastern border rise white Foxgloves, the great white Columbine, and the tall stems of white Peach-leaved Campanula. Nearer to the front are clumps of Peonies. But, as one of the most frequented paths passes along this eastern border, it was thought best not to confine it to June flowers only, but to have something also for the later months. All vacant places are therefore filled with Pentstemons and Snapdragons, which make a show throughout the summer; while for the early days of July there are clumps of the old garden Roses - Damask and Provence. The whole south-western angle is occupied by a well-grown Garland Rose that every summer is loaded with its graceful wreaths of bloom. It has never been trained or staked, but grows as a natural fountain; the branches are neither pruned nor shortened. The only attention it receives is that every three or four years the internal mass of old dead wood is cut right out, when the bush seems to spring into new life.