Saturday, 2 August 2014

End of the month view - July



It's sad to see the end of July, as, harbinger of doom that I am, I start to see that the end is nigh ! The end of long warm evenings and sunny days. Yes, I know it is still high summer and there are some weeks yet to come, but the best is behind us now. Oh woe is me. Best make the best of every second that is left !

Everything is still madly growing due to the heady mix of warmth and rain, so the season gallops on apace. I'm sure that growth has usually slowed right down by this point in the year, but this is an exceptional year .

Pots and tubs are at their best, and our few bedding petunias are enjoying the conditions and flowering well. They hate wet summers and hang their heads, but they are all perky and smiley at the moment. The cannas are ones we overwintered and their flowers are huge.



This is a mix of house plants  enjoying their summer holidays - tradescantia and Spider plants; sempervivens, a young agave, a young tree fern and aeoniums.


The host at the front of the photo is just about the only one which the slugs and snails haven't turned to lace ! The bright red flowers are on a newly bought Diplodenia (sounds like a dinosaur!), which I have yet to read up on. I know they are very tender and don't like lots of water, but having killed one off already, I think I need to learn more.


This is an area which was newly planted only a matter of weeks ago, and the plants are filling out reasonably well. Geranium 'Rozanne' is flowering on the right of the photo, and Nemesia 'Confetti' on the left. Cosmos and dahlias fill in gaps, and the red behind is Acer palmatum Dissectum.


The big dahlia is 'Arabian Nights' is several years old, and I have left it (lazily) to overwinter in the ground. it does not seem to have suffered, and we do get severe frosts here.


This is the first year that the clematis has flowered properly, and it is a most unusual shade. It is Clematic Purpurea Plena Elegans and the rose is  'The Attenborough Rose', another one in its first season.


Ligularia is providing the tallish yellow flowers, and there is a lovely new rose 'Greenall's Glory' just getting into its stride. Sshh! Don't tell the big conifer, or the fern, but their days are numbered, come the autumn, they will be gone !


The fernery has acquired a large new stump, and an awful lot more of the small Euphorbia which has plans for world domination, I'm sure ! It marches steadily on, taking no prisoners !


In the sub tropical garden the gunnera has returned to something of its pre-2010 vigour, and the Cotinus 'Grace' is having its smokiest season ever!


I collected Lychnis seed last autumn and grew it in the greenhouse, planting it into every available space this spring. Although some is not in the right place, the majority is lending bright pops of colour to the beds as it sashays through them.



The new Tree Fern (Dicksonia Antarctica)) seems happy in its new position, and the newly moved Tetrapanax (far left) has recovered well and is continuing to grow.


All our veg had a shaky start this year, as we were away for two weeks at a crucial stage, and it was small and a bit pathetic, but, not any more ! The courgettes and pumpkin are beating their chests in a muscular sort of a way, and the beans are flowering.


The beech hedge is now in its fourth season, and it has always been the intention to create an arch over the gate. Up until about a month ago, the plants on either side of the gate had been left to grow unchecked, but once they reached the desired height, the time came to shape them into an arch. I researched it on the internet and read lots about wire frames, then promptly discounted it, and tied the tops in together with lots of twine! Heath Robinson lives on ! I'm hoping that the whippy wood will harden over the winter, and the interweaving branches will give stability and rigidity. We'll see !


We have not been idle for the last few weeks and have been chopping down old elders at the bottom of the garden which are all dead and only held together by the ivy choking them. A lot of the ivy has turned Arborial, and is cutting down the light to the Cornus shrubs beneath. They had to go. This one sacrificed itself by plunging face down in the pond before we even took the bow saw to it ! It must have seen us coming.

So, all in all, a very good month in the garden, mainly due to the perfect weather combination of wet and warm. The overall feel of the garden is a little blowsy now, as things go over and get past their past, but there is still lots of colour and interest ... and work to be done !

Do visit Helen's blog,  'the Patient Gardener', to see lots more EOMVs !



















29 comments:

  1. Do you find that the slugs like to nibble the ligularia?

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    1. Hi Sue, weirdly the slugs prefer the hosts for preference but the ligularias come a very close second.

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  2. I love the tropical feel to the first picture - what a magnificent statement the stone wall makes Jane. Fab-u-lous!
    I'm really impressed with the beech hedge, good on you doing it you way rather than what the experts say. I can't see why your way would fail. Another great statement that is going to be. Glad to read your veg is now happy and well on their way to harvest.
    I certainly don't envy you the job of sorting out that Ivy - it didn't make life easy for you did it?

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    1. Hi Angie, must hop over and see what is happening in your garden ! There is solo much to do at the moment ...

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  3. Now don't go dismissing summer just yet, I am still kidding myself there's plenty of time to do all the work I need to do and find time to sit and enjoy it. Your garden is still bursting with colour and looking very good indeed. I love all the places you have just to sit and relax too.

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    1. Hi Jessica, I am a terrible merchant of doom, and always see the negatives on the horizon ! My rational mind knows that there are a good few weeks of summer left, but my heart says that it has reached its zenith.

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  4. Hi Jane, That was a nice tour of your garden. It looks huge! The Cannas would be beautiful with just the foliage but the flowers are pretty too. I have a thing for garden ornaments and you have some great ones.....Your brick and stone walls really make a statement. There are some in the cities here but nothing that dramatic in the towns......lots of low stone walls.....
    Why does August bring a sense of impending doom?? I feel it every year.....the weather is still nice and the plants are happy but the air feels different.....

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    1. Hi Flower Freak, I am glad I am not the only one to sense impending doom in August! I agree that the air feels different ...

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    2. Hi Jane, I've been thinking about our sense of doom in August.....perhaps it's an instinct that's built into us humans and some are more sensitive to it than others.....the growing season is coming to an end and our ancestors had to hustle to make sure they had provisions for the winter.....what do you think?

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  5. Your garden is looking amazing Jane, thank you for taking us on a tour! Love all the touches and ornaments you have in between your beautiful planting.

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  6. I am torn between berating you for calling time on summer and cheering because it means I can order and plant autumn bulbs, and move plants around. Magnificent cannas, and your dahlia is clearly very happy too, you encourage me to consider putting dahlias in my park border and just let them get on with it. You have loads of colour left, but mostly I find myself admiring all the lush foliage. And the beech hedge, glad I am not alone in my love of the Heath Robinson approach!

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  7. Hi Janet - feel free to berate as I know I call time waaay too soon ! Realistically we have six or seven weeks left. Know what you mean about the bulbs though, and the bare root stuff, I always love that !

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  8. I think, like your houseplants, a summer break in your garden would do me good too! It looks so incredibly green and lush, but so colourful too... a real paradise. :)

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  9. Your red leaved Canna are so striking! Such a very nice combination of color shades. Your vegetable plot look so stunning, the squashes and corns look so healthy. Hope the summer would never end... :)

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    1. Hi Endah, I totally agree, I hope this summer never ends - we are having such a good one.

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  10. Jane, lovely beds! Your clematis is enough tall for the first year and I hate snails as well, they eat my clematis flowers..
    I love your beech gate, good idea!

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  11. Hi Nadezda, gosh, I didn't know snails ate clematis flowers, is there anything they don't eat!!

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  12. Your garden is looking great Jane, full of colour and the exotics too! Cotinus 'Grace' is one of my favourites other than it is late coming into leaf and the growth can be somewhat lax. I rarely see flowers on mine as I have kept it hard pruned but the neighbours have built an unwanted extension so I am going to give it its head from now on so I should get "smoked" next year.

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    1. Hi Rick, thanks for comments. I'm sure your Cotinus 'Grace' will love having its head, and will smoke like crazy!

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  13. I have written 2 comments which went into a black hole so at the risk of repeating myself- I can' t think why you are doom laden when your garden looks so wonderful. You have so much colour and so much of interest to enjoy. We haven' t had a drop of rain for weeks so I feel a bit doomy when I look round my poor thirsty garden.
    Wow! I love the tree fern. Will you wrap it up for winter?
    Clematis purpurea plena ' Elegans' is one of my favourites. A gorgeous colour and always full of flowers.

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  14. Hi Chloris, sorry you lost 2 comments in the ether!
    I'm full of doom because I can sense the end of this gorgeous summer , and I NEVER want it to end. Hope you get the rain you need to keep your poor plants happy!
    The Tree fern has its own special winter jacket and it moves into the greenhouse when it gets cold.
    That plum colour of C. P Plena Elegans is so unusual , I just adore it , one of my favourites too!

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  15. I really like the beautiful flowers and foliage and all the nice garden finery....the succulent pots are beautiful.

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    1. Thanks Donna, the succulents are having a good summer and loving the heat!

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  16. I love those deep red cannas! I'm also sad to see signs of the end of summer (saw an aster blooming this morning) but I do enjoy fall so I'm trying to stay positive. Things don't have that tired look of August either in your garden or around here. Rain and mild temps are a nice thing.

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  17. Hope I can overwinter those cannas, they are too good to lose !
    It's funny but I think the garden has suddenly acquired that tired look in the last week ! The photos of EOMV look very different to how it is now (9th Aug). Things can change so quickly!

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