July in the garden so far has carried on where June left off – rain! The grass paths squelch as you wander, trees drip on you and herbaceous plants soak your legs. The plants have loved it relishing in the warmth and dampness. They grow tall and lush too quickly and do so without gaining strength. As a result they get knocked over in windy spells and any heavy showers.
As rain persists each day from dawn till dusk a moment of light and dry gave me an opportunity to take photos for my July wander. After waiting all day I finally took the following pics just before 9:00 in the evening.
One plant that never fails is this wonderful tall grass with striped leaves. It is a good four foot tall and the long leaves are popular with the “Undergardener” to cut for flower arranging.
Our gravel garden, The Chatto Bed, is now full of colour, gentle yellows, pinks and purples. When the sun does come out for its short sessions the gravel bed is buzzing with bees. They are having a hard time this year with all this rain and wind.
The Huskers Red Pentstemon is now at its best – what a beautiful plant it is – coloured foliage, dark stems and delicate contrasting pale flowers. Having grown this from seed sown a few years ago it feels good to see it looking so good.
The Quaking Grass, Briza maxima is also known as Nodding Grass and Sparrow Grass, presumably because it simply can’t stay still in the slightest breeze.
Jude’s Border is a rich combination of purple-leaved shrubs and contrasting perennials.
Our mini-meadows sown in terra-cotta pots have been very successful. Different flowers appear each day. The pink poppy glows in the dullest of weather – a “dayglo” poppy.
By our front door the “Freda Border” continues to provide colour in the perennials and gentle variegated foliage in the shrubs.
Let us now wander into the back garden and see what’s going on. Our apples are filling in nicely now and even getting a little rosiness as they start to ripen, while the Blueberries change from green to blue.
The secret garden is probably the most colourful patch at the moment.
The “Chicken Garden” although less colourful at the moment as the alliums are losing their colour, has an impressive show of perennial foxgloves, favourites of the bees.
Grasses are flowering delicately in all the borders and often after a storm hold onto rain drops. The droplets of moisture act as prisms as light finds them.
In the greenhouse tomatoes are forming on their trusses and further flowers open from their buds. Peppers like glossy green boxes promise sweetness to come.
As we approach the middle of July we can but wonder what the rest of the summer can have in store for us. So far we have had the wettest summer months on record – it is hard to imagine that summer will truly arrive. It has been hard to keep up with maintenance in the garden this summer. There is so much growth that herbaceous plants need frequent deadheading and thinning and shrubs pruned to stop them overpowering the plants beneath. Jude, “The Undergardener” is pruning back the lower branches of the variegated dogwood to let light into the smaller plants below.
As the light began to fade I took a few photos to show it glowing through foxgloves.