Europe Garden: mid to late June
The concept of a designed and heightened meadow aesthetic as the basis for the plantings in the Europe garden really becomes apparent in June. The fantastic cultivar of the Shasta Daisy, Leucanthemum x superbum ‘T. E. Killin’ comes into full flower. This cultivar is sturdy and upright and very floriferous, and mingles throughout with main grass in the plantings, Achnatherum calamagrostis, which is also in full flower, with exhuberant arching stems and flower heads. The vibrant red of Lychnis chalcedonica punches through to add height. This illustrates one of my core principles: at any one time it is just two or three species that generate the main visual impact. In this case, the combination of white and red against the green backdrop is really striking.
The Euphorbia palustris, which was the key visual plant in May, is no virtually invisible, over-topped by the grasses and other plants. The Giant Scabious, Cephaleria gigantea is now at its flowering peak.
The original planting of the Europe Garden for the 2012 games had a high proportion of the grass Deschampsia cespitosa ‘Gold Veil’ which created a hazy matrix for the Shasta Daisy, producing the enhanced meadow effect. Deschampsia cespitosa was an ephemeral element in the gardens creating a dramatic display in the early years, but it is relatively short-lived in productive conditions, and its place has been gradually taken over by Achnatherum calamagrostis in the longer-term.