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colours garden design garden photography gardening gardens half-hardy perennials hardy perennials July Shropshire shrubs South Shropshire village gardens

My Garden Journal – July

So it is already time to share my July entries in my garden journal. This year in the garden seems to be moving on so quickly. I began my July report by writing, “The arrival of July moves us into the second half of the year and the summer is well established. Colours seem extra rich on bright days as petals shine glossily.”

“One family with flowers that glow are the Lychnis family. Below are two members of Lychnis, the variety L. chalcedonica and another variety L. coronaria.”

“Lychnis chalcedonica “Dusky Pink”

 

“Lychnis chalcedonica “Vesuvius” and Lychnis chalcedonica “Maltese Cross”

 

“Lychnis coronaria”

   

Over the page I move on to look at an unusual Foxglove, Digitalis parviflora “Milk Chocolate” and a berried shrub, Hypericum x inodorum.

“Plant of the month, July, is a special Foxglove or Digitalis, Digitalis parviflora Milk Chocolate.”

“No two flower heads are the same.”

 

“Densely packed flowers.”

“Most berrying shrubs begin to show colour in their berries in late summer through the autumn, but already by July our various cultivars of Hypericum x inodorum have brightly coloured and very glossy berries.”

  

The next plant family I feature in July is Linaria, of which we grow many varied cultivars.

“Members of the Linaria family are always welcome in our garden. We love the way they self seed and hybridise. They display a huge range of colours and petal markings. Linaria purpurea is much loved by bees and hoverflies.”

    

“Our garden is home to other more unusual Linarias too, all with their recognisable flower structure.”

 

“We also grow our native Toadflax, Linaria vulgaris, commonly known as “Butter and Eggs” because of the two shades of yellow that make up its flowers. Bees and butterflies love it!”

Next I looked at plants that are spiky in texture, of which we grow many in our patch as they seem to like our sunny aspect.

“Plants with spikes enjoyed warm, sunny summer days. We grow many eryngium family, the Sea Hollies, with bracts from the palest silver to the deepest metallic blues, of which E. Picos Blue is the bluest of all.”

   

Not all of our spiky plants are Eryngiums however. We also grow Silybum marianum and Echinops ritro.

  

One of the Eryngium family is a biennial and luckily a strong self seeder, E. giganteum Miss Wilmott’s Ghost.

Turning over the page we move on from spiky plants to two much softer more delicate looking plants.

 

“Seed heads are an important element of the Autumn and Winter garden, but this little beauty I found this week while working in the Spring Garden. They are Fritillaria meleagris seed pods. I painted them in watercolours using Japanese wolf hair brushes and fine tipped fibre tips.”

“July sees many of our Salvias coming into their own. We grow most in pots so they can be moved inside for the winter.” I used pencil crayons to draw Salvia Silkes Dream and Salvia x African Sky.

Bright pinks and reds dominate over the page where I featured Begonias and Pelargoniums. Enjoy the colours!

“Begonias and Pelargoniums also have to over-winter under cover so go into the cool end of the greenhouse.”

“Brightest of flowers.”

 

“Textured, marked and coloured foliage.”

Pelargoniums – “Crazy reds and pinks!”

    

 

And that is it for my garden journal for July. My next visit to my journal will be at the end of August, a month when keeping you garden looking good is pretty difficult so we shall see how we get on in our Avocet garden.

 

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colours garden design garden photography gardening hardy perennials July ornamental grasses ornamental trees and shrubs Shropshire village gardens

My Garden Journal in July

Here we are moving into the second half of our gardening year, with my journal entries for July. By the time I had recorded all the entries for July My Garden Journal 2016 was full, so Volume 2 will begin with my August entries.

July, being well into summer, should be great month for the garden, the gardener and gardening. We should be able to look forward to long, warm and bright days to give us time to work in the garden and relax in it too. Relaxing in their own gardens is a skill many gardeners find hard to acquire. The weather put paid to any idea of sitting comfortably on any of our garden seats dotted around our garden rooms.

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Looking back at my Garden Journal 2014 for the first week of July I wrote, “Wet and windy start to July” so things were exactly the same in 2014 and 2016.

Luckily after the first week this year the weather warmed up and the rain retreated.”

Turning the page in my journal I moved on to look at hardy Geraniums.

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“The hardy Geraniums in our patch seem happy enough with our July weather. Our favourite is probably Geranium palmatum.

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“We have been planting hardy Geraniums in our garden since we moved here. I decided to take my camera out to see how many different ones were flowering in early July. We were in for a big surprise!” Below are 4 examples, but there are so many more!”

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Turning over we find a double page spread of Geranium photographs and among them the phrase, “Pink is the colour!”

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Over another page and a third page of photos of Geraniums appears but this time featuring blue flowered cultivars, with the phrase, “….. and a few shades of blue.”

“I found over 20 different Geraniums in flower at that moment but we have others flowering earlier and later. We never dreamed we had so many.They are a good reliable and colourful family of hardy perennials.”

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There are so many hardy Geraniums flowering in our July garden I thought it would be interesting to present a gallery for you to enjoy. Click on the first photo and then use the arrow to follow your way through the gallery.

On the opposite page to the blue Geraniums I move on to consider one of the brightest flowers in the July garden, Lychnis coronaria.

“In July one of the brightest flowers in our garden borders are the cerise gems, Lychnis coronaria. They work well in many combinations with other plants despite their extreme brightness of colour. They make white look extra pure and clear, they sparkle with orange and sit comfortably with every shade of green foliage. Their own foliage is a soft, furry grey.”

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Over the next page I continue looking at Lychnis coronaria with the emphasis on the flower colour and the subtle variations among them. Among my selection of photographs to show the colour of the foliage and the variations in cerise itself I include the phrases,

“Silver-grey foliage” and “Variations of the theme of cerise!”

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Opposite this page of cerise beauties I feature a more subtle variation on the pink theme, as I found another Lychnis we grow, this one being Lychnis chalcedonica “Salmonea” and  just like the coronarias their colours vary.

“We grow another perennial Lychnis which also displays pink flowers. These blooms though are not of the brightest cerise but a much more subdued dusky salmon. This plant is Lychnis chalcedonica “Salmonea” and just like the coronarias the flower colours vary but more gently so.”

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The final four pages in my journal entries for July are all about one of the grasses families, the Carexes. I set myself the difficult challenge of painting 6 different varieties, concentrating on the flower and seed heads. A very big challenge indeed as it turned out!

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“We love grasses and use them in almost every border where they enhance flowering perennials as well as adding their own particular charm, their movement, sound and structure. We particularly love two families, Miscanthus and Carex. In July our many Carex are in full flower and they have distinctive characteristics.”

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Volume One of my Garden Journal 2016 finishes with the words, “It is good to finish Volume One of my Garden Journal 2016 with such a challenge, drawing and painting six different Carex flowers and seeds. In Volume Two I will begin with my report and photographs for August and maybe a little painting or two. I might even be tempted to draw and paint some of our other grasses.”

 

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garden design garden photography garden wildlife gardening hardy perennials photography Shropshire wildlife

Plant Portraits – August

This post is dedicated to portraits of the blooms that are starring in our garden in August. The individual stars which shine out of the borders.