April 2009 | July 25th 2009 | All Chronicles

Late June 2009

"A weed is a plant that has mastered every survival skill except for learning how to grow in rows." Doug Larson

It’s now the end of June and it’s possible to note a transition from early summer to late summer, and scents are beginning to fill the garden – lilies, honeysuckle and roses. A few years ago I took the decision to plant as many scented flowers in the garden as possible. One might think that with the arrival of scents in the garden and the longer, lighter days, a period for relaxation has begun, a time for lethargic moments idling in the garden hammock. But we don’t have a hammock, and the summer heat is incredible, so instead of reclining with a good book in one’s hand, it’s a matter of standing with a garden hose in the hand. As I’ve said many times before, as far as gardens are concerned it’s a question of work and hope. As long as there are plants, life goes on.

As I’ve already mentioned, it’s now a question of watering. It’s also time to take out the plants grown from seeds and make sure that everything that has been patiently waiting finally gets down in the ground. All the dahlias must also be planted out in the borders. This year I’ve concentrated particularly on Garden Wonder. As its name implies, it IS wonderful, standing about 1.5 meters tall and bearing large, velvety, rich crimson flowers. At the same time, it’s important to take time to enjoy what nature has to offer, to enjoy one’s garden, one’s balcony. Merely to enjoy the feeling of being outdoors and breathing fresh air. Even weeds are pretty in the early summer. It really is true that one person’s weed is another person’s wild, wonderful flower!

A captivating month of June is now almost over. The lilacs have been beautiful, the magnolias have put on their finest show, and the blossom of the laburnum trees has been magnificent; the rhododendron, too, have put on a dazzling display. Particularly beautiful has been the interplay between one of our large laburnum trees and a rhododendron Belle Heller (which stands almost immediately beneath the tree) which have been in flower almost simultaneously; the tree’s yellow flowers have been matched perfectly by the golden pinpricks in the centre of the rhododendron’s white blooms. Incidentally, here in the Stockholm area it has been a fantastic year for rhododendron and magnolia.

We are now entering yet another month; one can only hope that things will calm down a bit. Nevertheless, there’s still so much that is happening, and it’s a case of looking after shoots and plants. Newly planted perennials must be watered thoroughly for the first three years, otherwise they will never take. It’s enough to be away for a couple of days, and the plants are history.

As I said at the beginning, we’re now in a transitional period. Living as we do in the middle of Sweden, it’s difficult to really grasp how these radical changes take place. Winter, spring, early summer, late summer, autumn and winter. Now, looking at our lilac hedges and laburnum trees, I think “My goodness, I’ve been waiting for you for so many months.” But as with everything in life, plants go on as usual and a garden is a garden. It’s a question of keeping up. There’s always so much to admire and think about...

Closing greetings to all of you good people out in the gardening world.
Don’t forget to stop and enjoy your gardens and balconies.

Because the summer doesn’t stay
And most things get rained away…

A Gentleman Gardener