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!
11 replies on “My Garden Journal 2022 July”
Still so much to enjoy in this most challenging of seasons. We are all wondering which plants will come back from the shock of such heat and lack of rain. Good luck.
We are having to be patient as with trees and shrubs it can be 2 or 3 years before the effects come out.
We are now getting a few light showers most days so some things look a little more cheerful.
Still so much to enjoy. We are all wondering which plants will make a comeback and which we’ll loose after such temperatures and lack of rain.
Hi Malc, Twice tried to leave a comment but didn’t seem to work.- ‘Still so much to enjoy. We are all wondering which plants will make a come back and which we’ll loose after such temperatures and lack of rain. ‘Graham.
It has worked every time so received your message three times! Thanks Malc
Sent from my iPhone
I do so love your journal entries! Compiling such a book (and learning to draw!) is on my ‘wish to try/do this!’ list. Interesting on the knapweeds – they are regulatorily considered invasive plants here, and yet, in your garden, it seems they are just part of the overall canvas – thus, I bookmarked to learn more about these plants, because there are some plants on the ‘invasive list’ here, that have their beauty and uses – to both the soil and us, but are systemically wiped out via chemicals – sigh – Thanks, as always, for the beautiful ways you share your experience and knowledge!
We integrate quite a few wildflowers in our borders and have over the years learned how to manage them. Good luck with learning to draw – the secret is to keep looking and enjoy yourself. What others think of your work is totally irrelevant.
Thanks for the words of encouragement – me? I just hope, someday, I can get ‘skilled’ enough to properly portray the parts of the plant well enough, to look at my own work, and recognize genus, family, etc., from my own drawing – I don’t strive for kudos from others or trying to even attempt to capture the plants beauty, on the other hand?
If I draw it, and I’ve learned both what varigated leaves, edges, offset shoots, how many petals, what stamen, pistils (?), roots, tubers, etc., look like, at various stages?
Drawing it true is just another way to ‘fix better in my brain” the details of a plant, or many, so I can see a plant elsewhere or in nursery aisle and know, right away, “Needs full sun or shade, or mixture, will need a lot of water, will survive drought once established….etc., etc”
All while not needing to invest in color printer, that would allow for pictures to be easily put in scrapbook, but still give me offline way to ‘look back’ no matter what is going on with internet, electricity or external back up harddrives – to double check my memories of a moment in time, from the past – 😀
thus, as usual, my reasons for wanting to do, what you can do? Way less stellar of ambition than to provide knowledge or recognizable drawings for others – pure selfishness for my own needs, on many fronts, really – 😀
Beautiful plants, and I’m always in awe of your journals. My Clematis bloom for about one week in the spring, and that is it. I cannot imagine enjoying them right into the summer months. What a treat! I have two bird baths with succulents – great minds think alike. Are you able to leave yours out in the winter? I have to replant mine in the ground with the other perennials or the cold weather gets them. Thanks for sharing July with us.
We have to take our succulents into our greenhouse for the winter as we get very cold and wet during that season.