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My Garden Journal 2018 – July

Here is my garden journal entries for the month of July, a month when the garden continued to suffer the effects of the drought.

My opening words were, “July begins as June ended, in a heatwave with temperatures in the upper twenties. And sadly for the garden, still no rain. Rainless time has now lasted for a month and very little for the previous month.”

I featured a set of photos of our Passion flower which grows in our greenhouse.

“We grow our passion-flowers in the greenhouse as we are too cold here for them to survive outside. We train them along the side of the greenhouse  where they can shade our tomato plants. Natural shading!”

On the opposite page I moved on to look at the digitalis we grow here in our Avocet garden.

“We grow so many different foxgloves in our patch, with several grown from seed by Jude. Our native Digitalis purpurea in both its forms of purple and white, enjoying spreading themselves around our borders, deciding for themselves where to settle down. Dan Pearson writes of Digitalis in “National Selection”,

“I like the way vertical lines of foxgloves draw the eye like an exclamation mark. They are delicate, using only as much ground as they need, but providing plenty of bang for your buck with the upward motion.”

Turning over to the next double page spread, I featured photos of a selection of the moths we trapped in our live trap.

“Butterflies and moths have been in short supply so far this year, but both appeared as July arrived. Our first session of live-trapping moths showed how many we had in our garden and how varied they are. We always delight at getting close up to the surreal Elephant Hawk Moths.”

Elephant Hawk Moths

  

Master of Disguise

These tiny moths are equally fascinating.

  

A myriad of moths.

           

The next double page spread features Tulbaghias, Leucanthemum, Helenium and several different Hemerocallis.

“Tulbaghias seem to enjoy the weather, whatever it does. These look great in dappled shade beneath the outer limbs of a Quince tree.”

“Leucanthemum and Helenium catch the light so well. Their shaded petals add extra depth.”

 

I next featured a whole page of photos of Day Lilies, Hemerocallis.

“In the middle of the month we visited our friend Mark (Zennick) with his wonderfully colourful collection of Hemerocallis. As always we came away with a good selection from his nursery.”

Next we take a look at how the garden is being adversely effected by the dry hot weather, and then I share my paintings of Camassia seed heads.

I wrote, “Another quote from Dan Pearson, upon his return from a trip to the Hawaiian Islands ………”I returned to a wet English summer, where the smells were crisp and clean.” Anyone returning to England this July would be met by golden dried-up lawns, trees with wilting leaves and dead leaves on herbaceous perennials.”

Opposite I used water-based pencil crayons to record the different stages as the flowering stems of Camassias were drying out.

“As well as their beautiful spires of blue, cream or white  flowers, Camassias have lovely green pods which dry slowly to digestive biscuit colours.”

My final page for July in my Garden Journal 2018 show a few plants that seem to thrive in the dry conditions.

“July moved on still without rain and the garden continued to suffer. Flowers bloomed but lasted a very short time. The lawn simply remained brown and stopped growing. A few plants though performed really well.”

 

Agastache                              Scrophularia

 

Erigeron and Hebe                                    Clouds of Achilleas

Two deep purple Clematis

As I finished my journal entries for July there was still no sign of any appreciable rainfall, just occasional short-lived showers which hit the ground and evaporated immediately. August will hopefully be kinder to our Avocet garden and its resident plants.

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My Garden Journal 2018 – June

I finished my latest entries into my garden journal just as we reach the mid-point of the year. June has once again been a month of mixed up weather and the garden plants have continued in their state of confusion.

My first words for June were positive words about the weather, a rare occurence to use such words this year. “The first week in June treated us to warm bright weather but thunderstorms, really wild powerful ones, broke the spell several times. Humidity was so high that it sapped our energy and made our joints ache.

Through all this the garden looked wonderful and full of atmosphere, with bees, hoverflies and day-flying moths adding sound and movement. The borders have filled out with fresh lush growth.”

I used six photos to illustrate this lushness.

   

On the opposite page I continued in the same vein using my quote this month from Dan Pearson, “My quote this month from Dan Pearson’s “Natural Selection” concerns greens and promises of the June garden. 

“The June garden is still full of promise and greens remain fresh and foliage pristine. There is a quiet rush to the longest day of the year with everything reaching towards this moment. The roses are never better than with the first flowers out and the promise of buds to come.”

I followed on with another six photos.

   

Turning to the next double page spread I considered our roses and add a few more words from Dan Pearson.

“Dan Pearson later singles out one Rose, “Bengal Beauty”,  for comment. This is a rose we grow and love it for its buds and unusual flower shape.”

Pearson wrote, “I have also set aside room for “Bengal Crimson” (or “Bengal Rose” or “Bengal Beauty”, depending where you read about it). I was first smitten when I saw it at the Chelsea Physic Garden years ago, but forgot all about it.” He recalls how he was gifted a specimen as a present for opening their summer fair.”

 

 

“Dan Pearson describes Bengal Beauty as “a delightful, informal bush and all the names describe it well – its single cherry-red flowers splayed wide and recoiled on themselves as if they were stretching are like sweet wrappers scattered over the bush.”

I then included photos of Rosa rugosa and Rosa “Summer Wine” in flower and in bud.

  

“Rosa rugosa”

 

“Rosa Summer Wine”

Over onto the next two ages I looked at Thalictrum, Centaurea and Gypsy Dianthus.

I wrote, “Thalictrum in all their guises are a real favourite of Jude, who has now brought together a good collection. The varieties include Thalictrum delavayi, T. Black Stocking, T. Elin, T. Rochebruneanum, T. Hewitt’s Double and T. flavum glaucum.”

    

“This Thalictrum has grown so tall it passes the apex of our greenhouse!”

 

“Centaurea put on a fine display throughout June, but do tend to flop if we forget to give them support”

 

“This biennial Dianthus has been with us for a decade or so now, but still performs reliably and beautifully.”

 

My next double page spread considers the colour orange in the garden and complimenting it with purple.

“Blazing orange for a blazing June. The sun lights up oranges as if they are on fire!”

“The zinc bath planted hot!”

  

“Geum Totally Tangerine and G. Koi

 

“Euphorbia griffithii “Dixter”

 

“Rosa Warm Welcome”

“My favourite colour to compliment orange in the garden is purple. Each colour intensifies the other in this strong partnership.”

     

To finish off my June entries I shared some of our cameos and combinations to be found in our garden during the month, and on the opposite page I had a quick look at “pin cushion” plants.

First here are my photos of “Cameos and combinations of the June garden.”

   

“Some flowers in the June garden remind me of pin-cushions especially Astrantias and Knautia macedonica. Each flowerhead is a tight circle with fine stamens, the pins.”

     

June this year ended with a fortnight of high temperatures and beautiful blue skies, two weeks of the beginning of a heat wave. Next time we return for a look at my 2018 Garden Journal we will be into the second half of the year. Things may have changed a lot in the garden by then. Perhaps we might even get a splash or two of rain!