Plants in June

This guide to the garden in June is reproduced from the leaflet used by visitors to the garden.

We are currently in the process of re-labelling the garden, please bear with us as this will take some time. Meanwhile, we hope the selection below will be of interest. * Plants marked with an asterix should be available in the sales area.

Starting in the car park

*Roscoea cautleyoides; a hardy member of the ginger family growing just opposite the house with orchid like pale yellow flowers. It needs a moisture retentive soil in sun or part shade, and is always very late to come up in the spring. *Geranium ‘Bevan’s Variety’ is a mass of bright pink opposite the tractor shed. A really tough ground cover plant, it is a good choice for problem areas such as dry shade, though it will grow almost anywhere. Here, it is growing under an old Robinia tree ­the favourite tree of Mrs Murray-Usher, late owner of the Cally Estate.

Turn left after entering the garden to walk along the south wall

Amongst the many irises in the garden, Iris variegata is a particularly distinctive yellow flower with netted maroon falls; this will be available in the next mail order catalogue. Nearby is *Iris forrestii, a more delicate flower of clear yellow amidst grassy green leaves. Introduced from Yunnan by George Forrest in 1909, in whose footsteps Michael has followed on his own trips to South West China over the past few years.

Continue along the south wall, passing the clove-scented Dianthus ‘Sops in Wine’, and the honey-scented cloud of white flowers that is Crambe cordifolia. Seeding along this bed and the beds opposite is Tragopogon, or the root vegetable ‘Salsify’. We grow it for the starry purple flowers, and seedheads like giant golden dandelion clocks.

Down the west-facing wall are a number of cultivars of Wisteria, including the scented double ‘Black Dragon’by the side gate. A less familiar climber is Actinidia pilosula, a member of the kiwi-fruit family with leaves that appear to be dipped in white paint. Although long grown under this name, it’s true identity is not certain.

Beds 24-21

Opposite the wall in bed 24 is the bright pink *Erodium manescavii. Normally thought of as alpine plants, this is the giant of the tribe, and much more reliably perennial. In bed 23 are two forms of the popular black iris, I. chrysographes. ‘Black Form’ at the bottom of the border being more floriferous than ‘Black Knight’. They will be available in the next catalogue.

Beds 9-16

At the bottom of bed 9 is *Geranium ‘Shepherd’s Warning’, a compact form of the native Bloody Cranesbill that grows on the shore locally. A similar plant, *G. ‘Jubilee Pink’ is at the top of bed 8; both were raised by Jack Drake.

Futher up bed 9 is the evergreen shrub *Fabiana imbricata ‘Prostrata’. Reminiscent of heathers both in it’s tubular white/mauve flowers and resinous feathery foliage, it is actually a hardy member of the potato family from Chile.

At 6’, the indigo spires of Delphinium elatum dominate the top of bed 13; this is the wild species, and the parent of many garden hybrid delphiniums. Nearby, in bed 15, bright scarlet poppies of Papaver nanum ‘Flore Pleno’ (also known under the name ‘Fireball’) are growing under the big bamboo Phyllostachys vivax.

Beds 1-8

A number of garden pinks are growing at the top of beds 6, 7 & 8. These are hybrids developed at Cally, and are the result of a cross between *Dianthus superbus alpestris, collected in the Tatra mountains of Slovakia, and the old garden variety D. ‘Caesar’s Mantle’.

‘Tatra Bull’s Eye’ (bed 8) with a dark central eye, ‘Tatra Blush’ (bed 7) with flowers that darken in colour as they age, and ‘Tatra Fragrance’ (bed 6). Dianthus superbus alpestris is growing further down raised bed 8, as is the curious plant, *Codonopsis cardiophylla, whose smokey blue bells must be upturned to reveal intricate markings.

Walking along the bottom of beds 1-8 towards the east facing wall, the brown-leaved *Geranium ‘Nunnykirk Pink’ is growing along either side of the gravel path. An unusual colour, the bronzed leaves form a spreading carpet studded with pale pink flowers. In bed 3 the rich golden flowers of *Trollius chinensis have a crown of fringed petals, making it a distinctive member of the buttercup family for moisture retentive soil. This form was collected in Russia.

Beds 17 - 20

At the bottom of the east facing wall the bamboo towering overhead is Chusquea culeou, grown from seed collected in Chile in 1987. Cut to the ground by a hard winter in 1996, this is only 6 years growth! Underneath grows Dactylorrhiza foliosa, a bright purple hardy orchid from Madeira, and the scented yellow trumpets of *Hemerocallis lilio-asphodelus.

Bordering the path between beds 19 & 20 is a compact form of ‘Angels fishing rods’ ­ *Dierama ‘Tiny Bells’, a dwarf plant with upward facing flowers, whilst nearby is the black leaved cow parsley, *Anthriscus ‘Ravenswing’




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Illustrations by Clare Melinsky. Photographs by Michael Wickenden

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