End of Month View: July 2012

Horror of horrors! I am in fear of losing interest in my garden. :-( It could just be a blip because it has been so wet and the love and care I usually heap on the garden has been on the back burner for so long now. I am disappointed in how the garden looks and with the slug and snail damage, the lack of colour and abundance of foliage it is not what it should be at this time of the year.

We have just experienced a week, seven whole days, of sunshine but today we are back to chilly winds and overcast skies. The warmth of the sun brought on the flowers but some are still behind, the Hibiscus for example still has tight buds and this time last year it was in full bloom.

It’s not all gloom and doom though, the south-facing side patio, with its own microclimate, is bursting with colour. Although not quite the vibrant colour as previous years, the colour is hidden by so much green. The Passion Flower is disappointing at the moment with only a few flowers at the bottom of the plant, usually this time of the year it is heavy with flowers. This is probably a warning sign that it needs repotting, so that is a job for the Autumn things to do list. The Montbretia is looking wonderful with the Clematis Jouiniana rambling through it and the Fuchsia is simply splendid. So all in all this part of the garden is doing really well despite the extra abundance of foliage.

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Looking down the garden, the north-facing right hand side border, is the boggy one planted with Astilbe, Hydrangea, Hostas and Ferns. Another Autumn job will be to lift and divide the Astilbe, it is taking up a large amount of the bed now and clogging the hostas. Right at the back of the border is a small amount of rogue Montbretia and I rather like the clash of the purple Astilbe, fiery Montbretia and the pink Hydrangea. There is a little Potentilla just below the Sambucus Nigra, that I transplanted there at the end of last year – it seems to like the boggy conditions and has taken well to its new home.

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Moving to the bottom of the garden, this flowerbed is the star this year. I filled it full of plants raised from seed and despite the extra greenery, thanks to the wet weather, there is a good variety of flowers and lots of new ones. I am hoping that the Cleome, Nicotiana and Verbena Bonariensis will reseed so this bed will look good again next summer. The other plants are perennials – the Phlox always does me proud, as does the Agapanthus. Strangely though, as I said earlier, the Hibiscus is still not in flower.

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Now for the disappointing border – the south facing sunny one that should, by the end of July, be an abundance of colour. I am not sure what has gone wrong here, it is the same border in which the Peony lives and that failed to flower this year. The Sedum is still very green, Gladioli are just leaves with no sign of flower spikes and even the Verbascum is not as widely spread around the border as in past years. I am hoping that it is just because of the lack of warmth and sunshine on this side of the garden. However, I will give serious thought to completely redesigning this bed, so in the next few weeks I will make copious notes when visiting other gardens for ideas.

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The vegetables in the raised bed are a mixture of success and failure. The carrots have been delicious and are almost all gone. The Broad Beans proved to me that they really are tasty when young and it is only when they are large and old do they taste musty. It is the courgettes that have been awarded 1 out of 10 for performance. I have spoken to a number of people who have shared their failure of courgettes this year. Someone told me that usually their Mother-in-Law brings them bags of courgettes and this year she has hardly enough for herself. The raspberries have been successful again, not many make it to the kitchen though. I love just to collect a handful as I pass by, nothing more yummy than fruit fresh off the bush.

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So here endeth my July End of Month View. Again, thank you to Helen at Patient Gardener for hosting this exceptionally useful month by month meme.

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21 thoughts on “End of Month View: July 2012

  1. It all looks so beautiful! I wish mine looked as good. As much as I love gardening this is the first year that I’ve felt like I could really give it all up. (I can’t believe I’m saying this!) I’ve never seen my garden look so awful! It’s just been too hot to go out there and do anything with it.

  2. Ronnie there is some lovely color in your garden…my courgettes are dismal with our heat and drought…but my flowers are ragged and foliage brown…I too have begun to just not want to even bother with the garden except for the veggies…the fruits are non-existent either…sorry to hear your weather turned nasty again.

  3. I like your Sambucus, both the colour and the finely cut leaves. I think all the rain has benefited the flower borders rather than the veg garden. While some half hardy flowers have been eaten by slugs and snails my vegetables have been hit badly. Who could ever imagine a shortage of courgettes!

    • The Sambucus is fabulous and gives great colour to the garden. It grows like topsy and I have had to cut it twice this year already. The berries were very few and far between but the blossom was impressive.

  4. well I think it looks gorgeous. I have been struggling to get back interested in my garden too I think its because we havent been able to garden much and you get out of the habit, plus there just seems to be so much to do

    thanks for joining in again

    • Hi Helen. Yes exactly, I have got out of the habit also coming home later than in past years I feel less inclinded to potter in the garden before supper. Thank you for saying it looks gorgeous – camera trickery!!

  5. If only my garden looked like yours.which is wonderful. We have such a long way to go before we get to where we want to be. Maybe the amount of work needed in the garden at this time of year is a bit daunting. Perhaps a “Garden Work Swap” where you get together with a friend to tackle your garden together one day, which is then swapped by you going over to her house to do the same e.g. like-for-like labour which with the two of you would be really productive while you talk and work together. It need not be manual gardening but even something like blanching those lovely young broadbeans and freezing them for out of season consumption, or freezing the actual beans to pop into a risotto, or even making piccalilly with the overproduction. Just some thoughts! (as if yu didn’t have enough to do).

    • Hi. It is a beautiful rose called Compassion with a fabulous fragrance. It can be grown as a shrub as well as a climber and blooms from early summer to late autumn (usually, although the rain has got to it this year). The multiheaded blooms are great to use in flowervases indoors also.

  6. Don’t give up Ronnie!! Next year will be better (maybe?!). You should certainly find that the verbena re-seeds itself and I find nicotiana do too though slugs love ‘em. Never found self sown cleome though – but maybe that’s just me. My ‘hot’ border is struggling this year – so don’t worry. You’re not alone. Most of your garden looks gorgeous. D p.s. I gave the owner of the Priory 2 (count them) courgettes. Yay!!!

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