I am behind on the gardening. I am typing this in the middle of a thunderstorm, complete with torrential rain, so I don’t need to feel guilty today. Or tomorrow, looking at the forecast. But with June arriving tomorrow there are some jobs I really ought to be doing. The overwintered chard is going to seed, and needs pulling out. I left the purple sprouting broccoli to flower and feed the bees and that needs to come out now, too. They’ll be making way for the summer crops – sweetcorn and courgettes, and there are leek seedlings to plant out as well. And I am behind on my seed sowing. There’s a list somewhere. I should find it.

But I’m not stressing about it too much. For one thing, the beast from the east meant spring was running a bit late this year, which means that things are only just starting to heat up, plant-wise. And for another, I have been too busy appreciating the succession of flowers the garden and my local area have been producing. Every time there’s a break in the weather and a chance to pop outside, there are new things to see.


This poppy is either wild or a garden escape. It is flowering in the exit from the garden centre. I imagine most people drive straight past it without looking, but it’s rather lovely.

White campion

This white campion is one of many that are springing up all over the local area. Mostly in areas that aren’t regularly mown, fortunately for them.


This was a new one to me – it’s broomrape, a parasitic plant feeding off others nearby. This specimen was very young and small; judging by other pictures, it will be worth going back to have another look when it has grown a bit.

We saw the broomrape whilst walking around the block with an expert from the Hardy Orchids Society. I mentioned a few years ago that this area is home to a population of bee orchids, among other species. It’s a little too early for them to be in flower, but last week Ryan and I spotted some white helleborines close to the house. Bill Temple surveys the local orchid populations, so we showed him our finds, and he showed us other places near here where they grow – in abundance! Fortunately a lot of them are in inaccessible places, so they will thrive in peace.

White helleborine orchid

There may well be other orchid species flowering nearby over the next few weeks, so we will be keeping our eyes peeled! And, of course, June is elderflower time 🙂


This post has been produced in collaboration with Flowers by Flourish, who are also big fans of fresh flowers.