Six On Saturday: Wilful nature

Plan as I might nature always has the final say. This week a fond farewell was said to two box shrubs as caterpillars triumphed. White foxgloves have turned out to be purple. Salvia mainacht did not survive the mild winter and slugs have reduced the number of delphiniums this year. The result is gaps in the border and new planting opportunities. There are careful choices to be made. But there are still six things to enjoy in the June borders.


I stay with delphiniums in spite of the risk of slug demolition. Their stately spires are a sight to behold. My most slug resistant clump is one that came from a division from the family garden – Dad’s delphiniums. These are a mix of those and some grown from seed.


The white foxgloves may be almost absent this year but the seeds of the Apricot foxgloves sown last year have come through to flowering and what a soft gentle apricot they are. I hope they can resist becoming muddied by the abundant purple foxgloves.


Wilful nature loves to grow geraniums here. Several varieties self-seed with great generosity. This one is g.psilostomen which has appeared under the roses. Nature often knows best.


This beautiful pink geranium is easy to divide and so there are several corners were its veined flowers give soft edges to the borders. This is geranium sanguineum var. striatum


Nature has also decreed that the lovely daylily ‘Good Shepherd’ is on its way out. Gall midge struck last year. This year it looked so much healthier with a good showing of buds but the midge was lurking and within days the buds shrivelled and turned black. Those that did open are a shadow of the former selves. The advice is to pick of all the infested buds which I fear will leave me with none. Something else will have to be found to fill the space.


So far the penstemons continue to reward without problems. This is a division of ‘Garnet’ (I think, or could it be ‘Firebird’) that I planted in a sunny spot. It’s looking fabulous although I may be in danger of overdoing the hot pinks here.

Nature has been sending in the squirrels to attempt to deconstruct the bird feeder and then to eat the unripe figs. Parakeets descended to take up where the squirrels failed. Fledgling goldfinches and blue tits came to feed but magpies have cruelly been taking baby birds from nests and the fox has appeared several times as I deadhead the roses. It’s all getting a bit much. A garden that looks so peaceful and tranquil is just jumping with action! But I guess that is what is so wonderful. It all takes place on the doorstep and keeps us on our toes. The veg patch has begun to deliver: lettuce and cucumbers and the first of the potatoes will be dug any day now. A sunny weekend beckons so I will be out again sharing ‘my space’ with who ever else is around.

Mr P shares his garden and the links to other SOS posts so stop by and enjoy more stories from June gardens. Have a fun weekend.

14 thoughts on “Six On Saturday: Wilful nature

  1. Very nice colour this Penstemon ‘Firebird’, a little flashy and darker than the one I have here. The caterpillars have been voracious (correction: are voracious!) this year and unfortunately we have to deal with them

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  2. It is so true that nature knows best. We can do only so much. I remind myself of this as I lost a second aging lilac this year – I think it was too close to the spirea, suffered too much shade from trees that were taken down when I bought the house, and just did not have the energy to go on. So of the five, I am left with three. I am trying hard to give them what they want, keep weeds down and now let them recover from hard pruning done over the past three years. I still need to get a handle on what is causing the chlorosis that appears in late summer. Iron deficiency? pH issue? Not enough water? Just too old? If they are replaced, it has to be with something that Japanese beetles won’t eat…

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  3. Are those white foxglove completely white, without spots? Someone else shared pictures of pure white foxglove, and even offered me seed from them. I had not seen them before, and would like to grow them, but really should not add anything more to the garden or landscapes right now.

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  4. Your garden is looking lovely. The delphiniums and those hot pinks are my favourites, I recognise your sentiments about sharing our gardens with wildlife. I sometimes think the garden has many owners, of which I am only one, and we are each trying to rearrange it to suit our needs.

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  5. I had to give up on Daylilies a few years ago for the same reason. This is also my second year with virtually no Fuchsias due to gall F. Gall Midge damage. Sometimes I feel that the beasties are winning 😂
    Your surviving Delphiniums look beautiful.

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