Hot July Blooms

I had taken photographs this afternoon of blooms that were coping with this month’s heat and dryness to link to Chloris’ monthly meme so was pleased to see that she has posted details of her choice July blooms today. Do visit her blog to see them and links to those of other gardeners; thanks for facilitating this, Chloris.

Most of my choicest blooms are in the cutting beds this month where they have less competition for water and nutrients; the nicotiana above, however, are in the green and white summer version of the snowdrop border where they have flowered consistently for weeks, even without regular deadheading. Seeing this picture I am seized with the urge to go and remove some of those spent heads I can spy! This is the first year I have successfully grown nicotiana and this variety, N elata ‘Nicki Lime’, has been completely trouble free, sown on 2nd March and in flower since mid June. You can just see its ‘pink’ cousin, N elata ‘Nicki Red’, in the bottom left hand corner of the picture below:

The picture focuses on one of many persicarias in the garden, several of which are now in full flower and going from strength to strength. This is ‘Jo and Guido’ and below is ‘High Society; none of these seem to be bothered by the heat although P ‘Red Dragon’ (not shown) has been flagging.

Phlox paniculata has waited till July to begin blooming and is also beginning to make an impact. I think this one is ‘Windsor’ and the very reliable one below is ‘Lilac Flame’:

I suspect I mentioned Amaranthus caudatus last month but regardless of this it deserves another mentioned; it is such a stunningly attractive and tactile bloom, with its miraculously long tassels which are astonishing even by Mother Nature’s standards. The rudbeckia is ‘Marmalade’, with gloriously cheerful blooms which like its near neighbour in the cutting beds, ‘Irish Eyes’, positively glowed in the failing light when I watered tomatoes in the adjacent greenhouse just before I went to bed last night. The foliage on the former, however, is not coping as well with the heat.

Most of my newer clematis are C viticella and these have been gradually coming into flower over the month, providing welcome colour throughout the garden; this one is ‘I am Lady Q’ and this is the first time she has flowered, some clematis seeming to take longer than others to establish themselves.

Of course the dahlias are all beginning to bloom more freely but are not yet at their peak so they will not feature till next month; meanwhile the roses are slow to continue flowering after their initial and stupendous main flush and a thorough downpour would do them, and of course the rest of the garden, the power of good. Sadly, it still doesn’t look as if that will be happening in the forseeable future although we have had about three half-hearted and very light showers in the last week or so. Let’s hear it then for the blooms like those described above (and the verbena below, V ‘Sparkle Purple Blues’) that are doing their best to ‘cock a snook’ at the prevailing weather conditions.

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26 Responses to Hot July Blooms

  1. Chloris says:

    Thank you for joining in with your lovely July blooms Cathy. How healthy everything looks. I have given up on Phlox, I can’t keep them happy even when we don’t have a drought. But I do like them.I love nicotiana too and they often seed themselves so you have them the next year. You are doing a great watering job, none of your beauties look stressed at all.

    • Cathy says:

      Since our last group visit I am back to just watering pots but I daren’t plant anything new out so have just popped pots into the borders as they are. I will perhaps give a weekly once over with watering now but I really am reluctant to water more than this even though we are not in a water meter. That’s interesting to know about the nicotiana – I have tried taller varieties before without success but these are quite short and I am thrilled with their success, especially the green ones. Not all the phlox is happy, but I aim to do a cull of some of the borders when (!) the weather improves to allow the choicer plants more space, but it will take some discipline ๐Ÿ˜‰

  2. bcparkison says:

    All looks lovely to me. Not much in my poor beds except crocosomia(sp).and it is almost flat on the ground. ps. what is that metal piece by the clematis vine? interesting

    • Cathy says:

      And despite regular divisions crocosmia here just doesn’t perform anymore. The metal is a (non functioning) old water pump which we have set up as a water feature with a small electric pump which is hidden

  3. tonytomeo says:

    If clematis is still blooming, I would think that it is not too terribly hot. It does not last here much past spring. Amaranth appreciates the heat, but typically drops lowers leaves here because of the aridity.

    • Cathy says:

      The viticella clematis flower from June/July onwards here, Tony, but I have have watered most of mine when watering my pots just to help them along

  4. Pauline says:

    You have lots of flowers so I presume you are watering, my garden just has to cope I’m afraid, it would cost a fortune and would take me hours, I just water my pots and even that is a backbreaking job!. Stalwarts that are flowering even with no water are the day lilies, crocosmia and best of all is Stipa gigantea.

    • Cathy says:

      I am back just to watering pots, Pauline, now that our openings are all over, but I shall probably give the borders a once over on a weekly basis – we are not on a water meter but I do try to use water wisely so am not comfortable with using a hosepipe for such a long period. Interestingly I have given up on day lilies and crocosmia as they were just not flowering (despite dividing them) and removed them although one or two have now popped up and are flowering!! I am still a novice with grasses but am increasingly thrilled with the effect of the taller ones and even the Golfer has commented on them and he is not a gardener!

  5. Ali says:

    Beautiful selection. Phlox are the absolute stars in my garden at the moment. Just a blaze of colour.

  6. Cathy, I’m sorry it does not rain. I hope with all my heart that it rains very soon. The Nicotiana elata “Nicki Lime” is beautiful. The Phlox paniculata is very beautiful. The Amaranthus caudatus is a flower that I like a lot. La Verbena welcomes you with its beautiful colors. Cathy has some divine flowers. Greetings from Margarita.

    • Cathy says:

      The UK is not the only country suffering, Margarita. Is it hot and dry with you in Spain?

      • Cathy compared to the United Kingdom Spain is dry and hot. But this year is “fresh” in Spain, the meteorologist said in May: it would be the coolest summer in the last 4 years. And it is being fulfilled. Cities like Seville that are always at 40ยบ Centigrades this year have not exceeded 35ยบC. Where it is hot is on the Mediterranean coast and the Balearic Islands. The rest of Spain is hot but not as much as other years and there are also many water storms in the afternoon in many places of the geography. It’s a good year to be in Spain. I am very sorry for the heat wave and the drought that the United Kingdom suffers. I hope with all my heart that it happens as soon as possible and it rains enough. Greetings from Margarita.

  7. Christina says:

    I like the Nicotiana that are different from the ones I grow. I read above in your reply to Chloris that they are shorter varieties, I was wondering how short. Would they be useful for flower arranging?

    • Cathy says:

      They have grown to about 18″ here and according to Sarah Raven they can flower from June-Oct and blooms should last about 7 days in a vase – I shall try some next week! My seeds came from Chiltern Seeds I think and as I think I mentioned they have been completely trouble free.

  8. Hope that the rain that we enjoyed last night also found its way to your neck of the woods Cathy. I like nicotiana and this year grew ‘Lime Green’. The only hiccup I experienced and it seems to be the case with all nicotianas is that pricking them out is a nightmare as the seedlings are so delicate. Maybe it’s just me being particularly clumsy. Your amaranthus looks rather impressive. I think that they have enjoyed this summer. One of my allotment neighbours has some gigantic specimens dotted about his exotic plot.

    • Cathy says:

      We have had rain now, thank goodness! I had forgotten about this aspect of the nicotiana but remember now that it seemed a miracle that they quickly grew on into manageable and healthy plants

  9. Brian Skeys says:

    Lilac flame is a lovely colour, I have been surprised how well the Phlox have done here in the hot weather. Crocosmia lucifer has been fantastic this year following several poor seasons.
    Now your garden visits have Finnish are you making plans for next year?

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