Early summer is a delight with flowering shrubs aplenty and perennials looking at their best with fresh foliage before the garden starts to get a bit tired in mid summer. With dry winter and spring weather this year the plants are coming along earlier than last year.
Shrubs are the backbone of the garden and many flower in June. Scented Philadelphus conronarius Aurea (golden yellow foliage) and Belle Etoile both have white scented flowers in June that smell gorgeous. Weigela florida Variegata is an easy shrub to grow. It has cream and green leaves with pale pink flowers in summer and often again in early autumn. Both shrubs like almost any soil, can take exposure to wind and will grow to about 2m tall and 1m wide. Prune after flowering.
If you want a complete contrast in foliage colour try pairing Physocarpus Darts Red or Diablo with two or three Spirea Golden Princess around the base. The Physocarpus has deep purple red foliage, white pom pom flowers in June and grows to about 2m. In contrast, the Spirea has golden foliage and zingy magenta heads of flowers. It will grow to about 75cms tall and wide. Trim back in winter to keep the low mounded shape.
Perennials are wonderful for no fuss flowers that give colour every year. How about the easy to grow Lysimachia punctata or Yellow Loosestrife. It is clump forming with stems about 45cms tall for sun or light shade in any soil except sandy soils. In my garden the previous owner planted it in clumps with bright blue Geranium magnificum in front of it. Both flower together and look very attractive. A little gem of a plant is the Silene vulgaris or Bladder Campion which enjoys a sunny spot with well drained soil. It is a wild flower growing on cliff paths growing up to 30cms tall. Grow on the edge of borders or rockery.
Work to do in your garden this month includes watering your vegetables. Prune shrubs that flowered in spring such as Forsythia, Rhododendrons and Viburnums. Early potatoes may be ready to harvest. Continue planting seeds of salads, carrots and French beans to extend the season.
If you would like to visit gardens, look out for gardens open under the National Gardens Scheme where all proceeds go to charities including Marie Cure Cancer Care and Macmillan Cancer Support. In Chester, 150, Barrell Well Hill, Boughton gardens are open on Saturday 22nd and Sunday 23rd June. A terraced garden overlooking the River Dee is filled with unusual shrubs, perennials and a stream garden. Bowmere Cottage in Tarporley is open on 23rd June with borders and courtyard gardens filled with perennials, shrubs and especially roses in June.