With everything leading up to the garden opening, it’s been such a busy month – but there has been plenty to notice in the garden when I haven’t been cake-making, deadheading, erecting signs or counting the takings: wonderful roses and rapid growth in the cutting beds in particular, overseen by seemingly endless days of hot and dry weather and wall-to-wall blue skies. The blue sky and sunshine have been missing for the last week or so, with damp and cooler weather taking their place but without much in the way of rain; the roses are also having a break, but the cutting beds are going from strength to strength with early dahlias now being joined by cosmos, sunflowers, alonsoa, larkspur and antirrhinums, with zinnias and rudbeckia not far behind. I foresee great abundance In a Vase on Monday!
With the first of my two to group visits not till the week after next there is basic maintenance to be done on the garden in the interim. When the Assistant County Organisers visited on Sunday I asked if they had any comments about the opening and their only suggestion was to be careful about slippy paths caused by fallen rose petals – the Golfer had swept the paths again just the day before, but more petals would have been falling from the Rambling Rector the moment his back was turned so today I decided to carry out its after-flowering-pruning a few weeks earlier than I might otherwise have done. I will write a little more about it in due course, but in the meantime you can’t yet see the evidence in the End of Month View slideshow below. Visitors on the open days had a map to help them identify the different areas and find their way around, and you can refer to the same map under ‘The Garden’ tab above.