After some of the driest weather we have ever had the gardens still look great with many plants doing better than ever. At this time of the year most gardens go through a tricky period which is called the spring gap or June gap. Essentially it is when spring has finished and summer has not quite started and the garden is full of fresh foliage but maybe a little short on colour. At Aberglasney we have done a great deal of work to ensure there is plenty of colour at this time of the year and some of the best solutions are described below.
Alpine gardens or rock gardens can often be at their best at this time of the year above is an example of some wonderful tall Dutch Iris that flower during the spring gap. Our Dutch Iris display lasts for a good six weeks as we grow a number of different cultivars that flower at different times.
One of the best plants for the June gap is Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ (above) we drift these through our herbaceous borders by the thousand. They work well with the Anthriscus ‘Ravenswing’ which has a completely different texture and is another excellent June gap solution.
Most of the candelabra or japonica Primula also flower at this time. Above is Primula japonica which is an early flowering species, this drift has been in flower for over a month and still looks fantastic.
Above is a new border we have created with one of our favourite combinations which is Primula, Iris and Hosta which always puts on a great display through May and June.
Another excellent Allium companion is the early flowering Rose (above) many of which flower in May and June. What is nice about this combination is as the Allium finish the Roses come to their best making a an excellent over lapping succession of colour.
Bearded Iris and especially ‘Jane Philips’ (above and below) are excellent plants for the June gap providing fleeting but wonderful displays at exactly the time that you need them.
Another excellent Allium companion is the Siberian Iris in this case ‘Perry’s Blue’ which like many Iris is an excellent May/June gap plant.
Two other stalwarts of the early summer display and certainly June gap solutions are the Nepeta ‘Six Hills Giant’ which flowers for over six weeks and is excellent for pollinators and Lupins which add a wonderful vertical effect to the border.
One of our favourite succession combinations is above. The later flowering Camassia leichtlinii ‘Semiplena’, Allium ‘Purple Sensation’ and Siberian Iris. These three plants form the basis of our spring/June gap in the Upper walled garden.
Images Courtesy of Nigel Mccall.