July’s plant of the month at suburban-garden is Alcea rosea otherwise known as the hollyhock.
I just love the wide array of colours and really love the height they can give to a border. Some have already flowered while others are still waiting to open. These plants are also incredibly bumblebee friendly.
I know they do need some maintenance but a summer’s not the same without them! I’ve found that cutting off rusty leaves and leaving them pretty much to their own devices is much more beneficial for them. They are supposed to be drought-tolerant but when it is really hot I do make sure they are watered well.
What plants really make your summer come alive for you?
suburban-garden’s plant of the month for June is Achillea ‘Moonshine’
For some the brash yellow may be a little too much in certain garden planting schemes but it really helps brighten a corner of the garden that is shrouded in shade during the afternoon. Our achillea has been in the ground for four years now and goes from strength to strength. I love the flat heads of brilliant yellow that rise above mint-green downy leaves from May to September.
I’ve found that this achillea is less susceptible to slugs and if I cut it back after its first flowering, I may encourage a second flowering. This year I may also need to replace it with new plants grown from cuttings if the stems have started to go woody. It is a little extra work but as I couldn’t have a garden without this plant I don’t mind.
suburban-garden’s plant of the month for May is the striking Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpureum’. This ornamental thistle really does turn heads and is a magnet for pollinating insects.
We brought our first cirsium during a day-trip to the Isle of Skye about six years ago. We had visited Armadale Castle and marvelled at the beautiful plants in the grounds and found this gem of a plant in the gift shop. Suffice it to say we did get many bemused looks from the other tourists on the boat back to Mallaig as we transported this towering plant with us.
The cirsium then then spent several years growing happily in clay soil until we moved and it came with us. It was a tough job trying to dig it up but eventually the whole plant came up and it is doing well in its news home.
Read more about this beautiful plant at: tinyurl.com/k5d9w2t.
April for me is the month of geums. There is just something so adorable about their
drooping heads and bright green leaves. Geum ‘Bell Bank’ is one of the spring flowering geums that provides a wealth of colour just as daffodils and tulips are starting to fade. And I just adore the peachy- pink colour petals.
Geums are really easy to grow and extremely hardy plants. They grow well in pots and are suitable for all soil conditions except dry and heavy clay. If you have clay soil, you can still plant geums in the ground, I would just recommend that you add plenty of organic matter before planting as well as a mixture of grit and compost.
Geum ‘Bell Bank’ is more suited to being planted in more moisture retentive soil in dappled shade however other spring geums are more tolerant of full or part sun. Read more at: tinyurl.com/mecuyck.
I have started to ‘collect’ geums and grow at least ten different types in our garden. What plants have you started to collect?
March’s plant of the month is Pulmonaria ‘Opal’ bringing a welcome entry into spring.
There is just something really appealing about the green leaves with silver blotched all over them and then the flowers themselves are so dainty. This is a versatile, neat, low-maintenance plant that is happy to grow in shady places and will not spread like wildfire.
Pulmonarias are also useful early sources of nectar for insects such as bees who have just emerged from hibernation and are looking to feed growing nests.
February’s plant of the month is the colourful Primula ‘Tie Dye’. Really easy to grow, low-maintenance perennial that will grow in borders, containers, alpine and rock beds. This plant also flowers on and off for most of the year. Read more at: suburban-garden.
Now that the grey months of December and January are behind me I’m looking forward once again to rediscovering the garden and charting the emergence of plants in the borders. So far the primulas, snowdrops and hellebores are starting to flower in our garden. What plants are flowering in your garden at the moment?