Spring into Summer

– Posted in: Garden Design

This flower arrangement, picked from our garden somehow encapsulates the place. We had Daniela Coray staying, who used to be a florist, hence the arrangement.

The wild garden is at its best now, in fact just going over – a brief moment of glory, like so many real wildflower spectacles. Iris sibirica seems to have flowered for an even shorter period this year than ever. Aquilegias still going strong.


Thalictrum aquilegifolium taking off, a few seedlings, I hope this very useful early summer flowers will spread. They have height which little else at this time does.

Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’. I’m not a great fan of red foliage, but it makes a great focal point for  a picture. Geranium x monacense (right) picks up the colour.


A lot of the garden in general, and the wild garden in particular, is very diffuse, very difficult to capture on film. Densely intertwined Geranium, Aquilegia and wild cow parsley (Anthriscus sylvestris)> big leaves are Telekia speciosa.


I like this giant buttercup for the way it links with the more natural environment beyond, Ranunculus acris ‘Stevenii’. A very good garden plant, surprised it’s not better known.


Hesperis matronalis – the dame’s violet is at last naturalising –  a biennial, a giant stock really, fantastic scent. And i’m pleased we have all shades between mauve/purple and almost-white. I remember seeing this naturalised at Great Dixter a very long time ago and always wanted to achieve the effect.




Noel Kingsbury

Noel Kingsbury

Noel Kingsbury is a gardener and writer based in the west of England. Author of over 20 books, including four collaborations with Dutch designer Piet Oudolf, he is passionate about wild-style planting and bringing nature into the garden.

Noel Kingsbury

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ann June 14, 2012, 5:23 am

I just never knew hespris to be named matronalis so will look it up. Our mother loved this flower called it dame’s rocket and seeded it all over the country. The fragrance will ever be the sweetest in all the world to me. All things wild are hard to capture on film, maybe that is why we call them wild.

Jennifer June 14, 2012, 10:25 am

What a lovey garden. I would like to create one but we have too many rabbits who would find one delicious.

ricki - sprig to twig June 14, 2012, 1:01 pm

Clever of you to have that bright jug on hand for when you bring a bit of the wild indoors.

Sara June 15, 2012, 6:00 am

I liked your title and I can also say that the garden is at it’s best right now.Unfortunately my Aquilegias are not going very well and I miss the pink-purple color.

Jason June 15, 2012, 10:59 am

Yes, this is a sweet time. Spring flowers fading, summer just starting. The columbines here are done, penstemon fading away. The butterflyweed and clematis is blooming, and the purple coneflowers will be ready to open in a week or so. Later summer bloomers – the sunflowers, Joe Pye Weeds, etc. – are forming their flower buds in preparation for high summer.

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