End of month view: July 2015

I am joining in with Helen, the Patient Gardener and her EOMV.

The view from a bedroom window first thing this morning. I'm sure I'm not alone in that the first thing I do every morning is look at the garden.
The view from a bedroom window first thing this morning. I’m sure I’m not alone in that the first thing I do every morning is to look out of the window at the garden.
My view from the kitchen window. Anemone x hybrida ' Honorine Jobert' are late into (single white) flower this year, probably a combination of drought and chilly nights. The hosta has been flowering for weeks although I did find three snails within its leaves the other day.
And the view from the kitchen window. Anemone x hybrida ‘ Honorine Jobert’ is late into (single white) flower this year, probably a combination of drought and chilly nights. The hosta has been flowering for weeks although I did find three snails hiding the other day. This bed is all about the survival of the fittest with the anemone slugging it out with Cornus ‘Midwinter Fire’.
Moving around the corner of the garage and this east-facing bed with Acer palmatum 'Purpereum' is also showing signs of the unusually dry summer we've been experiencing in the south-east UK with crisping and falling of leaves. This tree has been in for a good while and was planted as a foot-high specimen bought from Polesden Lacey via Lanhydrock so I am not worried about it.
Moving around the corner of the garage and the east-facing bed with Acer palmatum ‘Purpureum” is showing signs of the unusually dry summer we’ve been experiencing in the south-east UK with crisping and shedding of leaves. This tree has been in for a good while and was planted as a foot-high specimen bought from Polesden Lacey via Lanhydrock so I am not unduly worried about it, but I am really pleased with the under-planting, a combination of Rosa glauca ‘Rubrifolia’ (grown from seed) with Astrantia ‘Roma’. I love dusky pinks in the garden as well as intense blues and purples and clear yellows  and all shades of white.
Woodland border looking very dry. Perhaps this is the time to say that I do not use mains water on my garden and that the water butt ran out weeks ago. The all day rain we had last Friday and for part of Sunday has barely penetrated the top layer of soil, but my clay sub-soil is in good health and I know the plants will recover and survive.
The woodland border is looking very dry. Perhaps this is the time to say that I do not use mains water on my garden and that the water-butt ran out weeks ago. The all day rain we had last Friday and for part of Sunday has barely penetrated the top layer of soil, but my clay sub-soil is in good health and I know the plants will recover and survive. The two soft shield ferns (Polystichum setiferum) in pots are re-locations from another part of the garden and are awaiting planting when I can get a fork into the soil. They are potted up in home-made compost and have been soaked thoroughly about twice this summer and are still alive. There are a couple of clumps of Crocosmia ‘Honey Bells’ here and elsewhere in the garden just waiting to come into flower. This is a very well-behaved crocosmia with beautiful clear yellow flowers and tidy upright foliage which I bought from the grower at one of the first Wisley flower shows.
This is looking dry, and teh Hemerocallis 'Hyperion' flowerd for only about three weeks but my transplanted self-seeded agapanthus are flowering and yesterday I gave them and my one new planting of this year, Anemone nemerosa 'Vestal' (bought from Sissinghurst in March) a good soaking and a mulch of home-made compost.
This border is looking very  dry, and the Hemerocallis ‘Hyperion’ flowered for only about three weeks but my transplanted self-seeded agapanthus are flowering and yesterday I gave them and my one new planting this year, Anemone nemerosa ‘Vestal’ (bought from Sissinghurst in March), a good soaking and a mulch of home-made compost. I lifted the lower branches from an overgrown euonymus in the spring and while considering what to do with the extra planting space I put in some bulbs of white-flowered acidanthera
A close-up of a bed which has had no watering.
A close-up of a bed which has had no watering.
The classic view from under the pear tree.
The view from under the pear tree back across the garden.
Rosa New Dawn and Clematis Mrs Betty Corning. Both could probably do with watering but I really don't mind waiting for my plants to flower. I am never disappointed and patience is a great virtue.
Rosa New Dawn and Clematis Mrs Betty Corning growing up and around the pergola. Both could probably do with watering but I really don’t mind waiting for my plants to flower. I am never disappointed and patience is a great virtue.
Wisteria pods and Trachelospermum jasminoides. Love it!
Wisteria pods and Trachelospermum jasminoides. Clematis Madame Julia Correvon is just about to come into a second flowering.
I think I'm finally getting on top of my wisteria. It took me a morning a couple of weeks ago to give it its summer prune and it's looking ok.
I think I’m finally getting on top of my wisteria. It took me a morning a couple of weeks ago to give it its summer prune and it’s looking ok.
I love the dusky hue of Physocarpus. It is such a good foil for green. A few years ago I 'lost' all of my mature planting along this south-facing fence, including ceanothus. I more or less had to start again and planted at least a foot forward of the fence.
I love the colour of Physocarpus. It is such a good foil for green. A few years ago I ‘lost’ all of my mature planting along this south-facing fence.  I more or less had to start again and this time planted at least a foot forward of the fence. Rosa ‘A Shropshire Lad’ is just starting her second flush. The new foliage of a blue geranium and the cool green foliage of sedum are stalwarts of my garden and have been faithful flowering companions for more than 30 years. The agapanthus is my latest Sissinghurst purchase bought when I thought I was going to have to start again with growing agapanthus in a pot. But my 20 year-old plant is today sporting 15 stems of flower buds on the cusp of opening and I put it all down to comfrey tea and a sunshine holiday at the allotment.
Penstemon
Penstemon “Apple Blossom’ looking much pinker than usual (I often find dryness in the soil intensifies colour) growing with Stipa tenuissima, Euphorbia mellifera and seed heads of Allium ‘Christophii. Alchemilla mollis has just been cut to base, hopefully before it had a chance to seed.
A similar view showing a clump of calamagrostis. It was labelled as Karl Foerster, but I'm not convinced. I split a big clump into four a few years ago and now I have two sections in this bed, one on the corner of the garage bed (grasses always look good on corners) and one under the pear tree in place of miscanthus which I decided was just too big.
A similar view showing a clump of calamagrostis. It was labelled as Karl Foerster, but I’m not convinced. I split a big clump into four a few years ago and now I have two sections in this bed, one on the corner of the garage bed (grasses always look good on corners) and one under the pear tree in place of an enormous miscanthus which I decided had to go.
A long view across the garden from the oak bench.
A long view across the garden from the oak bench. The agapanthus is an evergreen variety and over-winters in the garage. I bought it several years ago at a wonderful garden near Fishguard called Dyffryn Fernant. In the pond the Pontederia, Sagittaria and water hawthorn are all flowering and they are all white. No flowers yet from my two water lilies (white and yellow) but the water forget-me-not and water buttercup have been flowering non-stop since late spring. The schizostylis around the pond will erupt into colour very soon.
And back to our starting point under the kitchen window. The hedgehog tap was a present from my mum and Rosa Sussex in a pot was one of those spontaneous purchases from my local nursery when my daughter was working there over Easter.
And back to our starting point under the kitchen window. The hedgehog tap was a present from my mum and Rosa Sussex growing in a pot was one of those spontaneous purchases from my local nursery when my daughter was working there over Easter. I am surprised to see that Clematis alpina is still flowering, although I probably like the seedheads more than the flowers, and the leaves of Geranium maccrorhizum are already turning a fiery red, again in response to the dry conditions. I’m beginning to realise that there are as many upsides as downsides to the lack of water.
Another Trachelospermum jasminoides growing with Clematis 'Maris Boisselot'.
Moving round to the front I have another Trachelospermum jasminoides growing with Clematis ‘Marie Boisselot’.
My collection of succulents and a spiky agave.
My collection of succulents and a spiky agave.
Rosa Lavender Lassie and self-seeded lavender on the other side of the bench. I made this small seating area one long Easter wekend when my daughter was one year old. My three and a half year old son was mad about cycling and they both used to whizz up and down in front of the house quite safely. We have always cycled with the children, my son's first birthday was marked for me by my husband with the present of an off-road bike and child seat so we could cycle up to Polesden Lacey for a run around. I carried on cycling until a few weeks from giving birth and was back in the saddle when my daughter was four months old and big enough to be strapped into the bike seat by which time we were all confident enough to cycle to the library a round trip of three miles. Sadly I don't think I would do thesame cycle ride with chiuldren today. The last 20 years have seen such a huge increase in car use and I know that even as confident experienced cyclist who makes good eye contact with drivers and gives good signals am often invisible to car drivers.
Rosa Lavender Lassie and self-seeded lavender on the other side of the bench. I made this small seating area one long Easter weekend when my daughter was one-year old and the children used to like whizzing up and down on their bikes. It was nice to sit down sometimes!
My wonderful hydrangea 'Heinrich Seidel' from Heligan, again I am sure the colour is more intense due to the drought.
My wonderful hydrangea ‘Heinrich Seidel’ from Heligan, again I am sure the colour is more intense this summer.
And my Christmas pudding box balls. In between the two buxus I have a verry sorry spirea which I cannot wait to dig out. The paln is to replace with one of my new roses so that when the sitting room windows are open the scent will waft indoors.
And my Christmas pudding box balls, grown from cuttings from my mum. In between the two Buxus I have a very sorry spirea which I cannot wait to dig out. The plan is to replace it with one of my new roses so that when the sitting room windows are open the scent will waft indoors.

It’s been a long post. Thanks for reading and thank you Helen for providing the idea and platform to share our gardens at the end of every month.

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12 thoughts on “End of month view: July 2015

  1. What a wonderful garden you have and it looks very well given your weather issues this year. The view from the window could not be more perfect. Really enjoyed this tour and may I also say that I love the texture of your house! I must also add that though I love my iPad, I find it very difficult to do more than write a short note on it. Have not managed to use it to blog at all.

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    1. Thank you Linda. I had never photographed the garden from upstairs and I was surprised how different it looks to a photo taken on the flat. You are teaching me about different dimensions and perspective in the garden. Lots of old houses in my village were built of flint and although my house isn’t old it is in the village conservation area so follows the local vernacular. I’m especially fond of the old flint walls we have in the village which are so at risk that they are all now listed by English Heritage.

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  2. I know that it has been drought conditions for you but the fact that you can grow clematis shows that you have a lot of water on your soil. Your garden looks very happy and healthy and lush to my eyes.

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    1. Thanks Christina. It is amazing when you dig down to realise how much water is retained. I think it is a waste of time just sprinkling the top layer of soil which is what so many of my neighbours do. Yes it looks nice and smells nice but it is of no earthly use to the plants. I’ve enjoyed seeing how my garden has responded to this dry summer and maybe flowering time has been shorter and not so floriferous and a few leaves have been shed but nothing has died and some consequences such as more intense colour have been very welcome.

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  3. It does look lovely and lush considering your lack of water. Obviously well-planted (with plants in the right places) with some very nice combinations of form and foliage. It’s interesting to see how plants react to lack of water and I think that once they’re established they can generally tough it out.

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  4. Thanks Sam. I think most plants are much tougher than we give them credit for. I always plant well and then leave them to get on with it. My soil which is clay with flints has been so enriched over the years with home-made compost that the structure is good and it holds on well to moisture throughout the growing season. I think the crispiness of the acer is as much due to the strong winds we’ve been having this year as lack of water.

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  5. I can see from parts of the lawn how dry it’s been, but the borders are still looking good. Will you cut back the astrantia? I’m in two minds. It’s gone to seed now, so the old flower heads will definitely come off but I know some people remove all the foliage too to encourage a second flush of flowers. It would leave such a big gap in the border that’s the thing.

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  6. It’s all looking fabulous to my eye, in spite of the water shortage. Our little patch has gone to pot this summer – weather and lack of time are both to blame – and I feel like just giving up until the autumn.

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  7. I’m pleased to have found your blog – your garden looks great despite the conditions. You wonderful mature clumps of hakonechloa are tinged pink like mine, earlier than usual -I think due to the lack of rain? By, as you say the early splash of colour is quite welcome. BTW thank you for following my blog. I can see I shall enjoy yours, too. 😊

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