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 !