I love this time of year in the garden. Far from being the dry wasteland that early 2012 predicted, abundant rain means that plants are thriving. Once again, my garden has burst in vibrant life, with oriental poppies, lupins and iris putting up flower stems. The winds have caused some damage, but I’ve managed to tie everything in so that snapped stalks were minimal.
After the beautiful geums faded from last month, they’ve been replaced by single petalled and elegant geraniums. I love planting numerous species of plants in different areas of the garden because of the burst of life you get at the same time. Whilst last month the marmalade and strawberry geums lit up the garden, now it is the turn of geraniums. A. T. Johnson is a great little plant which seems to double in size as you watch it. Positioned in partial shade by the chicken coop, and interspersed with daylillies, the soft delicate pink flowers will continue for many weeks and clash wonderfully of the orange lillies waiting to erupt. You can often force two flowerings of this plant, and by heavily cutting back when they start to fade, another crop of flowers can be induced for the late summer and early autumn.
Meanwhile, towards the front of the garden where poppies and peonies lay, sits a lovely purple geranium. It draws the eye out from the living room and into the garden where bees actively suck up the rick nectar that these flowers provide. Once again, it has an abundance of flowers and seems to fill the space with its thriving growth. Alas, unlike A. T. Johnson, I’ve never been able to force another flowering season for this, but it still lifts the start of summer magnificently well.
If you’re looking for plants which are incredibly easy to grow, abundant in flower, and will offer a great summer perennial starter, then geraniums are ideal. And, by utilising several species, you can ensure that you’re garden is filled for beautiful blooms at this time of year.
Owning a conservatory is a wonderful asset during summer, even in the colder seasons if you have one heated. The days of plain conservatories are a distant memory, as you can now decorate and furnish one as though it was a room inside your home. What better way to watch the sun go down or entertain guests at a garden party than from a well-designed conservatory? Below are just a few examples of how you can achieve a fantastic conservatory with little ease.
1. Victorian Country Conservatory
The conservatory of this house is painted in soft duck-egg, vibrant lavender and gardenia to complement the garden. Matching duck-egg wicker furniture features blue striped cushions for contrast. The windows are large to let in maximum light and make the most of the garden views. Pale terracotta tiles hide the luxurious underfloor heating.
2. Conservatory and Interior Plants
Big architectural plants such as Palms and Yuccas make superb centerpieces for the conservatory. These allow you to play with different heights and make use of contrasting species forms to build an interesting design. If flowers are your passion, there’s an enormous range of possible plants. It’s worth remembering that thinking about leaf and stem texture before you buy can also add an unusual but interesting element to any conservatory or sunroom.
Wicker conservatory furniture isn’t exactly a new concept; it’s been around since the initial concept of the conservatory, but there are now many modern styles available that suit all styles of conservatories. This Chiswick suite is woven from rattan and abaca, and has enough units to make it versatile in arranging the perfect suite to suit your flooring area. The range includes two – three seater sofas, a corner unit, armchair, footstool and three different sized occasional tables.