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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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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