It was getting towards the end of July so was time for our monthly visit to see what had changed throughout the garden at Croft Castle. The weather certainly wasn’t what we expected in July, as rain fell intermittently and temperatures failed to rise much above the mid-teens.
The first big change in the garden was in the long border we have to pass on every visit on our way to the walled garden.
Our first view of the walled garden convinced us that we were in for a colourful time.
The beautiful pink poker like flowers of this Francoa caught our eyes in the borders opposite the grape vines, which were now showing the first signs of little bunches of tiny bright green grapes.
July was definitely the month for Crocosmias and Japanese Anemones. Crocosmias provided hot colours to enjoy while the Anemones gave us the cooler colours.
On the north wall Nicotiana and Dahlias were flowering well among a mixture of flowering shrubs, annuals and perennials. Buddlejas were already flowering and we hope to see each bush covered in long racemes of butterfly-attracting blooms on our next couple of visits. Let us hope the sun is out then so that all the wildlife that loves Buddleja will be out seeking nectar and pollen.
Apples were beginning to show the first signs of ripening as they blush a little. Close by there were plenty of Figs forming on the plants grown close to the walls for extra protection. The borders along this side of the walled garden were mostly blue and white.
There were few Rose flowers to be seen on this visit but perennials did make up for it, with Morinia, Geraniums and herbaceous Clematis taking centre stage.
The veggie beds were looking good with healthy rows of salad crops and the newly created willow walkway was coming on nicely.
Views looking over the perennial plantings in the main borders towards the castle and its surrounding buildings showed the softness of the plantings.
The final part of our monthly tour involved us leaving the shelter of the walled garden with its own special micro-climate and wandering towards the castle followed by a walk around the perimeter of the building. We noticed that the old Walnut tree is now loaded with green shelled nuts so it looks as if it may produce an impressive harvest in the autumn. Our next visit to Croft Castle will be our August one so we will be able to see if the nuts are still developing.