End of Month View: Rumble in the Jungle

According to our solar panel and weather monitors July has been the sunniest month since we had the panels over two years ago whilst the heavy rain in the last few days has made it the wettest month  this year by  a long stretch – ah British weather! After a damp day yesterday, today is as hot as forecasted but very humid, and the chance of thunder rumbling past seems a distinct possibility. The garden soldiers on, relishing the rainfall after the heatwave, but is looking a little tired in parts and in need of an injection not only of a colour but also of TLC. I did not join the EOMV meme until August last year, so do not yet have a full pictorial record to compare the current jungle with – and I am very grateful to Helen at Patient Gardener for hosting the meme. Click on the link to her blog to see views of other bloggers’ gardens at the end of July.

The trees are closing in round the paved area and the ‘Danse du Feu’ roses on the pergola are going through a lull, but the pink wallflowers in the pots in the foreground are no nearer flowering than they were when I bought them to accompany the tulip bulbs I planted last autumn:

CIMG1845The streamside area has been a bit of a working area recently, with my fiddling about on the stream and the Golfer tackling the starlings’ hedge (I heard them chattering away in someone else’s trees today – hurrah!) but has now been cleared of debris:

CIMG1846The woodland has maintained its coolness and calmness during the hot weather but the two rhododendrons within it needed the treat of a bucket of water each before the deluge:

CIMG1847The main borders look green but not exactly lush, as the geranium and astrantia are generally past their best and later contributors are not yet flowering – with no sign at all of the monarda which were looking promising last year. Definitely work to do here, but at least the hostas are looking good:

CIMG1848The geraniums at the foot of the posts in the clematis colonnade, despite being chosen for their long flowering season, are going through a lull at the moment, but generally I am pleased with how this feature is settling in down and by next year the clematis themselves should all be more established too:

CIMG1849A view of the woodland edge border from the right hand hot border shows how foliage can play a part in the garden, with pulmonaria, persicaria and thalictrum all making a contribution whilst the geranium phaems, even without flowers, add to the structure:

CIMG1850The hot borders, like the curate’s egg, look good in parts but I am realising afresh how hard it is to maintain a succession of colour. Last year the geum flowered over a much longer period as did the gaillardia which seem not to have survived the winter after all. The nasturtiums are making a great contribution and I don’t know why I didn’t grow them last year, and there are more crocosmia and (hopefully) some dahlias to come:


CIMG1852In the fruit and veg area at the bottom of the garden the tomatoes in the greenhouse are looking both healthy and happy, whilst fruit in the fruit cage has all been picked up to date, the courgettes and squash are romping away (still don’t know why), the climbing French beans are producing a small but steady crop and the newly designated nursery bed plays host to numerous young plants:

fruit&vegRestricting the view of the blue & white border to one photograph doesn’t show it to full advantage, but it’s coming along tolerably with echinops and eryngium starting to contribute to the colour. The centaura has all but completed flowering and forms an untidy mass of spent foliage which needs to be dealt with, some possibly dug out, a treatment maybe required also by the tradescantia when it too has finished flowering for the year:

CIMG1858The rose garden is also undergoing a lull, but the lavender planted at the foot of the roses has done astonishingly well, having been grown on from tiny pencil plug plants that were a postage only offer last year – I have yet to be aware of a distinct smell of lavender though:

CIMG1859Heading back to the house past the sitooterie, the species snowdrop border is looking happier this summer, with the addition of some white hardy geraniums and the white petunias in the troughs doing well, the whiteness lightening up what can be quite a bland border out of season:

CIMG1860There are parts of the garden I tend not to focus on in the EOMV, mainly to reduce the number of photographs required, as it is quite a lengthy process to process and upload them into the post. I have, however, found it a useful exercise for my own records, to monitor the garden from month to month and year to year. If you would like a better idea of how the garden fits together there is a ‘map’ under the The Garden tab.

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10 Responses to End of Month View: Rumble in the Jungle

  1. Annette says:

    Plenty to cherish, dear Cathy! Don’t know where to start but I think your woodland is really a success, nice foliage, texture, contrast and structure. Your hot border looks very refreshing, your veg seem to do very well, the colonnade looks great (lovely colour you chose for the woodwork) and then the sitootherie (did I get it right)…well if this isn’t the perfect place to dream and forget about the world… 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, yes, pile it on, Annette! Thanks for your kind comments – I must admit that after spending a very warm hour or so in the garden deadheading after I had posted I found myself a little more satisfied with the way it’s going so far. I suppose we will never be completely satisfied, will we?

  2. Lovely to have so much excellent foliage and the cool of the woodland in the middle of summer, and those hostas look amazing. The way plants can vary so much in flowering period from year to year can become rather frustrating when you are in search of that holy grail of year-long colour. Do you cut your astrantias back for a second flush? I am not doing so this year as they are newly planted, but I really must try to remember.

    • Cathy says:

      Hi Janet.I am sure the astrantias usually look good and retain their colour for much longer than they have done this year and I have tended to leave them standing – but most of them are pretty browned off in the heat so I cut them back not much longer after I had written about them. Most of the hostas are new, and the idea of putting them together in that position came on quite a recent whim – they are not in shade all the time but definitely seem to have enjoyed being there, despite the heat and dryness.

  3. Pauline says:

    Your woodland looks so much better than mine, yours looks nice and cool and green, mine is totally dry with the huge trees sucking up every drop of moisture, leaves have been falling in there for some time now and everywhere is very crisp underfoot, it is quite depressing! The garden on the other hand is having another lease of life, having been dead headed and the grass cut, with all the rain it is looking refreshed, thank goodness. We haven’t experienced your thunder storms, I think maybe you have had more rain than us, your garden is looking very good, thanks for the tour round.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Pauline – I too have definitely noticed the leaves here and at the base of the holly hedge. I was looking at the height of some of the trees in the woodland, planted in 2000, and noticing how tall the ash and the wild cherry which are at the far end have grown, far taller and denser that the silver birch, field maple and small leaf lime in the rest of the woodland. None of them will be anything like yours though, not for a long time yet! Deadheading makes such a difference, a new lease of life like you say. It has been very warm here today again, too warm to be outside gardening for long

  4. Lea says:

    There certainly is a lot going on in your garden! Pretty flowers or interesting foliage peeking out of every corner. I really like the way you have mixed potted plants with the in-ground plants – very nice arrangement. Love all the fences, gates, garden art, etc. too!
    Happy Gardening!
    Lea’s Menagerie

  5. Cathy your garden looks good to me, I think may be the reason some plants haven’t flowered as long as last year is simply the different weather, I found last year when we had over 3 months of drought some plants didn’t flower as much as usual, the weather will be different every year so the growing will also be different, I like the heat in your hot border, the red and orange look good together, love your woodland it always looks nice and the woodland edge is very lush and textural, Frances

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Frances, and isn’t it odd how many of the ‘hot’ plants don’t come into their own till later in the season?

  6. Anna says:

    Oh I feel cool just looking at your woodland border Cathy. It must look good all year round. I wonder if those wallflowers will ever oblige 🙂

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