Looking Good 24th June 2016

We’ve had lots of sunshine and quite a bit of rain this week which has really moved things forward in the garden. Our plants have responded well to the warmth and water and they are beginning to do what I hoped when I started planning things. There’s so much looking good in the garden in June it’s hard to know what to choose this week. As usual I have to go with what draws my attention and this week it’s some plants that I’ve grown from seed.

Some of our early flowering Hardy Annuals are blooming. There’s Borago officinalis which is quite hairy and produces the most amazing blue flowers that the bees go mad for. I usually grow lots of them with Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’ in the herb bed with chives and mint which makes for a nice display as well as a useful patch for me to cut both for the kitchen and for cut flowers.



Sticking to the blue theme there’s one of my all time favourite annuals flowering away now. It’s Salvia viridis ‘Oxford Blue’ The intense deep blue/purple colour actually comes from bracts at the top of each flower stalk. If you look carefully at the photo below you’ll see the real flowers are blue and white and they are quite tiny. Even so they are also a magnet for pollinating insects. The common name for this plant is Clary Sage. It’s so productive I recommend you grow this if you want something in flower from early June until the end of October or even longer if the weather is mild where you live.


Our blue Irises are looking lovely too in various shades of blue from palest lilac to deep purple. I don’t know the name of the Iris on the left below… if you do please let me know! The middle photo is Iris sibirica ‘Flight of Butterflies’ and the deep purple bearded one on the right is Iris ‘Sable’. Their flowers don’t last long but they are quite lovely whilst they last. These weren’t grown from seed but I am wondering if it’s possible to propagate them like that rather than dividing their tubers. Certainly the vigorous yellow Flag Iris,  Iris pseudacorus in our duck pond seems to spread around by seed as we don’t divide them yet they are increasing year on year.


I always think it’s good to have a contrast too. When I’m growing flowers for cutting or simply for making a nice display in the garden then I try to include something with a bit of a zing. It could be lime green foliage such as Euphorbia oblongata or Alchemilla mollis or some pure white blooms such as Cosmos, Feverfew or Poppies.


And I’m loving the bright orange and yellow Calendula flowers with these blue flowers too. Orange in particular makes the blues seem so much more intense somehow.




Love GillianWhat’s looking good in your garden or neighbourhood this week?
Are you growing Hardy Annuals? I’d love to know.
Feel free to join in with Looking Good by adding a link to your post with a comment here and a link to this post in your blog post.

Happy Gardening! Gillian 🙂

13 thoughts on “Looking Good 24th June 2016

  1. I particularly love Clary Sage and grew it last year. This year I’m trying to grow annuals in whites, creams and lime to use in the church for my daughter’s wedding in September. I have Cosmos, Zinnia, Bells of Ireland and Amaranthus which are growing well! I also have some Nigella – horizontal from the rain – and some Gypsophila which has been eaten off. I am tempted to sow some more but is it too late?

    1. Oooh Your wedding flowers sound lovely. It’s not too late at all Sandra, both Nigella and Gypsophila are fast growing and flower quickly. I’d sow a couple of batches, one now and another in a week or 10 days time. From a spring/summer sowing they usually take 10 to 12 weeks to flower. In fact if you have some seeds left such as Cosmos I’d sow them again too just in case your first batch run out of steam before the wedding. Also … what about Sweet Peas? You could sow some now for September flowering. I have some pink Gypsophila seeds which you can have with my pleasure. If you want me to post them to you just send me a message with your address via my contact form (bottom of Home Page)

      1. Thanks for your advice and offer of seeds! I’ve sown some more nigella and gypsophila and have purchased some cream sweetpeas. As the colour scheme for the wedding is coral and cream I
        will decline your seeds but thank you for the offer!

      2. That sounds like a gorgeous colour scheme Sandra. It sounds like you’ll have plenty of flowers to choose from for the big day. Wishing you a good dose of sunshine to get everything going now.

  2. Gillian, your flowers are stunning, as always! I love the varied colors of your calendula, and the vibrancy of the purple clary sage is wonderful. I’d love to see some wide shots of your gardens, as I bet they are equally gorgeous. Here’s my post linked to here: http://wp.me/p3O3z4-18H

    1. Thanks very much Eliza. I love the pastel shades of spring but I really start to get excited when the bright summer colours appear from June onwards. Thanks for joining in this week.

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