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ACG Year June 2022: Pro Gallery
ACG Year June 2022: Text

I have never thought of myself as a person who likes the colour pink in any hue. Inside my house, over the years, have appeared all shades of purple, green and red, the more vibrant the better.  But look at my garden in June; it’s pink - all hues of pink, and not something I consciously planned. 

I fell in love with and planted lots of peonies; then foxgloves self-seeded; and then I let my parents pick a rose each to plant.  Guess what - they choose pink ones.   It’s not all pink now because my mother pointed out to me one year, “I might not like pink but my garden shows there is a place for pink in my life”.

My garden is a summer one and June is the month I spend propping up the peonies, wondering why I did not stake them earlier in the year, and watching the ants run all around them, reminding myself that they are “good” insects, helping to keep aphids at bay while sipping on the peony nectar.  I currently have about 14 peony plants in my garden, a mixture of pink and white - but mainly pink!  They grow well on both sides of my long skinny garden and have been for about 12 years now.  I have moved a couple of them around the garden over the years, risking loss but, so far, they have survived.  I do very little, in fact nothing (except stake them too late) to care for the peonies but they seem to thrive on my neglect.  During stormy Junes and some not so stormy, I have been known to run bunches of peonies to houses in the village so that they provide enjoyment to others.  They are too beautiful to get destroyed by the wind and rain. 

Despite my love of peonies, I do have other flowers and plants in the garden, but I am not a garden planner. I buy plants I like and then find a space for them.  I am not particularly good at reading the labels for height and breadth either but if something does not work one year, I move it the following year.  I never seem to get my fox gloves timed to populate the garden in a more regular and tidy way to fill the gaps, there are always to many on one side of the garden.

June is also the month I spend looking at the leaves of the spring bulbs itching to tidy up but knowing I should leave well alone to allow the bulbs to take in energy. I also never lift my bulbs, this year the badger has taken care of my tulip bulbs for me. Last year, I put in a small tin bath pond and I am waiting for the frogs to start visiting as they did last year,  I also enjoyed lying in my hammock last summer watching dragon flies flutter around, something I had not seen until I put in the pond.  

I am a tidy gardener I like my edges neat and my borders pristine but will be trying this year to be less tidy to support wildlife and a more sustainable way of gardening. Check out the Gardening Sustainably article here and the Gardening for Wildlife article here.  

This year I have decided to grow a lot from seed including tomatoes, which I am attempting to grow in the allotment this year rather than my garden.  So far, as I write this, my tomato seedlings are not looking great, so I have bought a couple of plants and June is the month to remember to start pinching out the side shoots (if you have any that is!).    At the allotment, I look enviously at my fellow gardeners who planted broad beans and peas last autumn as they will soon be enjoying their first crop.  Will try and get my act together this autumn.

Paula Anderson

Things to do in June


Gardeners' World

ACG Year June 2022: Text
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