June in the garden brings plenty of colour and scent including the final throes of Azaleas and Rhododendrons. Early in the month Rhododendron luteum will still be a mass of beautifully scented yellow blooms. Lining the path at the start of the Rockery, as well as being nestled in a dell at the south-west corner of the garden, their wafts of scent are quite intoxicating and well-worth a pause to take in the perfumed blooms.

Close to the glasshouses the Laburnum Arch should produce a good show of bright yellow pea-like flowers in pendulous racemes, and tree peonies will be in bloom along the 1st Dukes Glasshouse, as well as herbaceous peonies in the Kitchen Garden and in the borders surrounding the walls of the Maze Garden.

In the Maze Garden, the Lupin beds are undergoing maintenance so we are sowing these beds with a temporary annual Lupin which should be a carpet of blue later in the summer. Similarly, the herbaceous borders opposite the Orangery Shop are also undergoing maintenance and therefore, this year, once the tulips have finished flowering, they will be replaced with an annual mix of cut flowers in all manner of bright colours, including hot pinks and zesty oranges. Meanwhile, the borders directly outside the Orangery Shop have had the spring displays of hyacinths removed and will be planted up with a semi-tropical scheme once the risks of frosts has passed. All these displays should come to fruition later in the summer.

Elsewhere in the garden many wild flowers are out and in the wetter areas the spectacular giant rhubarb (Gunnera) is coming to life starting to produce its huge leaves alongside the exotic looking Skunk Cabbage (Lysichiton).

The Kitchen Garden is changing rapidly as everything is growing so fast. The beans are running up the canes, the salad crops are romping away, the flowers for cutting are starting to bloom and fruit is starting to ripen.
Of course one of the highlights of June is when the roses begin to flower. One of the best in the Rose Garden is 'Crown Princess Margareta' which has plenty of superb large apricot-orange blooms with an exquisite fragrance to match.

Horticultural Technician

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