It’s Official

18 June 2019

It is now officially summertime when the garden will be at its most colourful and interesting. It will also be the time to make the most of and enjoy the garden and obtain the benefits of all the hard work put in during the less favourable periods.
Most plants are a bit more lush than last year if slightly behind in maturity due to the later season we have just experienced. One area that is particularly better looking this year is the East drive last year it dried out very quickly. This year gave us a much better mix of rain and sun and has given a much better show of the wildflowers. What has been very interesting is that last year the end nearest the east lodge as part of its revamp was sown with a fresh wildflower mix, we were quite disappointed as the germination was very poor. It does now seem that a lot of the species sat in the soil and have come up in abundance this year species such as birds foot trefoil kidney vetch and most spectacularly Vipers Bugloss or in Latin Echium vulgare.
The Vipers Bugloss usually prefers an alkaline chalky soil and is not commonly found in Scotland however I have seen it growing on the Fife coastal footpath, but I guess it could have been introduced. It is in the Borage family and has a big cousin that comes from the Canary Islands which we have in the Gardens in front of the house standing at about 10 feet tall they have huge blue flower spikes that attract hundreds of bees.
The weather has also been of great help for the improvement of the lawns Gavin has been able to keep a program going of scarifying, aerating and feeding which is all working well and is managing to stay very green and lush. Very recently the Clematis montanas of which we have quite a number on the upper terraces had their annual prune back mostly done with the hedge trimmer and a bit of finishing off with secateurs. June is the best time to do this let them finish flowering then do it fairly soon afterwards they will very quickly recover and regrow always remember Clematis montana are very different from the hybrids and should never be pruned in the winter or early spring.
All climbing plants will need lots of attention now especially roses and we have spent a bit of time re-wiring and tying some of our older varieties on the middle terrace. Whilst doing this I recognised a familiar variety that I had not noticed before Felicite et Perpetue A very neat pompom flower of creamy white which is pink in bud it has a primrose fragrance is almost evergreen and is very healthy, not bad for a variety that was raised in 1827. This variety is a once flowering type, but with repeat flowering roses it is very important to keep dead heading not just for tidiness, but to keep the succession going.

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