Head Gardeners notes for June and July 2018
Wow! What a few amazing weeks of weather we have had! June and July are traditionally a bit of a mixed bag of weather for us which is great, as plants are growing rapidly, using every ounce of water provided from above. We sit on a sandy peninsula and therefore the soil drains very quickly, so whilst it has been absolutely wonderful to work in, the plants have struggled to pick up the vital moisture required. Even our reserve of a harvesting tank fitted during the restoration works of some 12000 litres, whilst great to have, seemed to disappear out of the ground in no time at all!
That said, the plants are still trying their very hardest to put up a wonderful display, shorter than they would normally be by some 25%, but flowering and putting on a display to hearten and please.
The Rose Garden
The roses have certainly been putting on a show for us this year. When the beds were redesigned by Landscape Architect Alistair Baldwin back in 2012, we introduced a different way of doing from my “norm”. To explain, we changed the beds from a very Victorian style of planting, to a more contemporary planting, using a group of ten shrub roses in each bed, randomly planted, but surrounded by herbaceous perennials which complimented the new plantings, existing plantings and the colour palette chosen to reflect the colour hues of the Scottish countryside. This all to compliment the older existing rose arches from the old garden and to work in perfect harmony. It is simply a delight to behold at this time of year!
Many ask me my personal favourite, and for me it has to be the Mortimer Sackler, a fantastic shrub rose, growing 4 to 5ft (depending on soil and conditions), with a beautiful double pink flower which is abundant and the most wonderful scent! Perfection!
Of course the garden is primarily based on the herbaceous plantings, and again we can enjoy the wonderful colour combinations within both the borders and parterres, such as here with the Sedum, Molinia, Callunas and Veronicastrum. It reminds me every time why I chose horticulture as a career.