I don’t care what anybody else thinks, but I for one am glad that Busy Lizzies are regularly available again and no longer the victim of downy mildew. In their absence I have tried their ‘posh’ replacement, New Guinea impatiens, but not very successfully and at a much greater cost. Bog standard Busy Lizzies will give you months of colour in sun or shade, rain or shine, and at £5.94 for 40 plug plants there is nothing to complain about and lots of pots that can be filled. I had a tray of 40 white ones too, for the snowdrop and blue & white borders, and could have done with a half tray of magenta ones if I had tracked them down instead of making do with several smaller packs.
What else has been bringing colour and joy to the garden in July, blooms I can share with you and other contributors to blogging friend Chloris’ monthly Top Blooms meme? Despite a temporary lull in rose blooms from most of my roses, Lady Emma Hamilton has been flowering her (presumably Georgian) socks off since the end of May, a great advert for buying container rather than bare-root roses as she and her twin arrived here in pots in mid-August last year:
July has been a wonderful month for my viticella clematis (excluding Gravetye Manor who puts such a huge effort into outdoing all other clematis for leafiness and is always slow to flower) and I have shown them several times. I do not have any favourites amongst them, but have been especially taken with C viticella ‘John Huxtable’ who has been bulking up nicely and, on an internal fence at the edge of the blue & white border, is flowering nearer eye level than most of the others:
In the cutting beds, dahlias have been holding the fort since early June, imposing in their height and solidness of colour. Again, I cannot profess to have any favourites but am particularly fond of ‘Dorothy Rose’ (left; new to me last year and by an uncanny coincidence sharing a name with an elderly friend of ours) and ‘Top Totty’ (right), grown from a cutting begged from the ‘dahlia man’ who lives on the same island as my Mum:
Also in the cutting beds are Scabiosa ‘Black Knight (left)’, the subject of Wednesday’s wordless post, and successfully sown for the first time this year. I have always found pictures of scabious like this fascinating, but the real thing was not only fascinating but HUGE (well, bigger than any scabious flower I have encountered), far bigger than I might have expected. Equally exciting is a fairly satisfactory crop of zinnia (below right is either Purple Prince or one of Benary Giant Mix). Now growing alongside sweet peas in what was once a token vegetable bed they are benefitting from having room to breathe, but I shall have to rethink the clump of rhubarb that still shares the bed…
Cosmos rarely fail me these days and Double Click Cranberries and Double Click Snow Puff have been doing their thing since May, unlike the adjacent Candy Stripe which has underperformed. Sneaking into the picture below are Rudbeckia ‘Marmalade’ and remnants of Clarkia ‘Double Mixed’:
Stars of the open garden visits and still stars now are an anonymous Astrantia major and bunny tail grass Lagurus ovatus:
Also a star throughout the season and probably listed in both May and June’s Bloom posts already is Lychnis coronaria, planted in several beds and seen here with allium seedheads, Anemanthele lessonii and one of my persicarias, possibly P ‘High Society’ (too wet to check!). Will I ever tire of this lychnis, or its white and bi-coloured cousins? I doubt it, however much they seed around…
Finally, one of several pots of lilies, mostly Asiatic, which have taken turns to flower over June and July – this is ‘Forever Susan’, new to me this year, and one of the most striking of my collection. I look forward to seeing Chloris’ top July Blooms as she will undoubtedly include some more unusual specimens that us lesser mortals have never heard of, but don’t let that put you off showing us yours and adding links to her post!