Here we are back looking at my garden journal, this time we are considering the month of July. The garden has been struggling with lack of rain for weeks now and there is no sign on the horizon. Grass is yellow and brown but we know it will recover with the slightest period of rain.
I began my July report by looking at another selection of our many clematis still performing well, adding colour and height and in some cases scent to the borders as they clamber up and over trees, shrubs, archways and obelisks. I wrote, “Clematis continue to flower profusely throughout the garden as we enter the second half of the year and welcome in July.”
On the opposite page is my pencil crayon sketch of two allium seed heads just after their flowers have dropped, but prior to turning into its late summer colours. I wrote, “Once the shades of purple disappear the allium heads go through a green phase prior to turning biscuit colours, digestive, rich tea and gingers.”
Moving on I considered the flowers that were adding lots of colour, where I wrote, “In July every border seems to have a few star plants giving bright splashes of colour.”
I then shared a gallery of photos of such star plants.
From these bright lush looking plants I changed tack completely and took a look at a bit of up-cycling we achieved. Our metal birdbath had started to leak as it rusted more all the time, so we decided to plant it up with succulents using some of our many cuttings in the greenhouse awaiting homes. I wrote, “We had a variety of jobs to get done in July such as up-cycling our old metal birdbath and finding new homes for our irises which were getting crowded out in our Beth Chatto garden.”
Below are photos of the process of up-cycling the birdbath.
Before looking at he second job mentioned above I used the next page for another sketch, this time of Ribwort Plantain. I noted that, “One of my favourite wild flowers, is ‘Ribwort Plantain’ or ‘Narrow Leaf Plantain’ ” My drawing was created using watercolour pencil crayons and fine fibre pens.
The opposite page shows us sorting out our irises on the Beth Chatto Garden, where we lifted those that had become overcrowded as other plants grew around them and lifted those that needed splitting. We replanted them on an edge of the same garden where the tubers could get the sun and interplanted them with alpine sedum.
I wrote, “Many of our bearded iris failed to flower much this spring thus telling us to divide them and move some to a sunnier spot. Once replanted we added some low-growing sedum between them.”
Over the page I featured another of my sketches this time created in fibre tip pens, and the subject was another native wild flower which we grow in our garden to attract insects, Centaurea nigra. This is a member of the asteraceae family and has several common names such as Lesser Knapweed, Common Knapweed, Hardhead and Black Knapweed.
On the opposite page I looked at our recently acquired house plants and I noted that, “For a long time now we have been tempted by the new wave of houseplants now available. Our track record with houseplants has not been good but recently we were tempted to try out a few.”
I then shared photos of our new plants.
On my last page for July I wrote,”
My journal will return in August!