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The June gap - fill gaps in the garden borders

June is the month when summer officially begins in the UK, and the month when - if we’re lucky - we get to see some sunshine and enjoy seeing the flowers flourish in the garden.

The month of May can see a proliferation of colour and flowers in the garden as the spring flowers reach their climax. In June, however, many of those spring flowers have faded, while the new wave of summer flowers is yet to bloom.


Apart from enjoying a colourful array of flowers in our gardens in every season, we all know that flowering plants are also crucial because they are pollinators. In June, the honeybee population are reaching their peak population, queen bees are laying eggs, and the colonies are having to feed many larvae. As responsible gardeners we should all be thinking about what we can provide for the bees to do their important work.


There may be a long gap between the last tulips fading and the first roses blooming in the garden, and if you would like plant recommendations for June to fill the floral gap, here are a few ideas....


Flowering in June:




Flowering from June into summer :

  • Roses - native roses such as Rosa canina and Rosa rugosa are great pollinators. From personal recommendation, my Rosa Alberic Barbier has been flowering since early May and is still going strong in mid-June.

  • Campanula porscharskyana is a pretty low growing and trailing plant with reliable flowers through summer.

  • Nepeta racemosa 'Walker's Low'

  • Astrantia varieties





Flowering from June to autumn

  • Achillea varieties - a useful flower for the garden border because it has quite a different shaped flower head than most others. The flat, horiozontal heads made up of tiny flowers rise above many other garden plants, giving height and interest.

  • Cerinthe major Purpurescens - pendulous, deep purple, bell like flowers from May through to August. This is one that isn't quite so showy as other summer flowers, but great in moist but well drained soil in full sun. Cerinthe major 'Kiwi blue' develops colour over the season becoming increasingly blue with time.

  • Erysimum 'Bowles Mauve' - a fantastic and reliable flowering plants which can flower well into autumn in the right conditions. Happy in sun or part shade, this is a great summer flowering plant for the border.

  • Erigeron karvinskianus - pretty pink and white daisy flowers on a low growing, delicate plant. As well as being a great little front of border plant, this is also a good choice for seeding in steps, patios or stone walls.

  • Geraniums - Perennial geraniums have a long flowering period and fill space towards the front of a garden border. Good choices for long flowering are Geranium 'Rozanne', which flowers from June to early autumn. Also try Geranium pratense 'Mrs Kendall Clarke' and Gernaium 'Max Frei'. You might like to give a 'Chelsea chop' part way through the year to encourage a second round of flowering and keep the plant from flopping.

  • Geums - some Geums don't have a very long flowering season in the garden, but some will keep going. I have Geum Mai Tai and this has stopped flowering now in mid June, but you could try Geum 'Mrs Bradshaw' (red flowers), Geum 'Borisii' (deep orange flowers), or Lady Stratheden (yellow flowers) which all flower well through the summer.

  • Salvia nemerosa - gorgeous spires of purple flowers in May/June, and sometimes flowering right through the summer. Try Salvia nemerosa 'Caradonna', or Salvia nemerosa 'Ostfriesland'.

  • Verbena bonariensis - a great flowering perennial. It's super power is that it is tall and skinny, so it doesn't take up much room in the border, but will grow through other plants with its small, pretty purple flowers on top of a tall stem.




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