Here we are again at the end of another month and I normally seem to comment that I can’t believe another month has been and gone but this time it seems ages since I did the last end of month post. Probably because we have been very busy and fitted a lot in during July. My eldest has been away on one Scout camp (he is a leader) and has gone off today for another week-long camp. We have been to see international basketball matches and to the theatre; I have been to visit several interesting gardens and to round the month off we have spent the last week in Sorrento in Italy. So what has been happening in the garden whilst all this has been going on, not a lot really. We have had one of our driest Julys for ages and consequently this has had a knock on effect on the garden. Not only has the ground been so dry that it has been difficult to do any planting or even weeding but the dryness has affected the performance of some of the plants. In particularly my Ligularia Desdemona which was a huge plant at the beginning of May has more or less stood still since. I noticed today that it has just started flowering and the flowers are actually lower than the leaf canopy whereas in previous years they have towered over it. The Ligularia would normally dominate the pond border but you can’t even see it in the photo above.
The bank is also taking its time to get going. Admittedly there are lots of very small young plants in there and I did loose some plants during the very cold winter. Hopefully next year it will start to come into its own and this year I will just concentrate on trying to get the plants to establish and bulk up.
Equally, the border by the gravel bed hasn’t really moved on from last year. The Angelica Gigas have also been victims of the dryness. Last year the one I had was a good 5ft tall but this year I don’t think they have even made it to 3ft and are therefore completely hidden from view. I don’t believe in watering the garden extensively when it is dry only those plants that are struggling. Neither the Ligularia nor the Angelica have looked like they were struggling, the leaves haven’t been limp but apparently the dryness has meant that they have just stopped growing. I’m not going to rush and move things as next summer we might go back to having a very wet summer so we will just have to wait and see. However, I do intend to apply lots of mulch when we do get a lot of rain over several days and will try and remember to do the same in the spring when it is wet, to try and lock some moisture into these areas.
I’m also still struggling with the middle section of the top of the wall border. It needs some beefy foliage plants to give it interest and fill it out but I haven’t got any inspiration at the moment. I struggle with this border as it is seen from both sides – the grass (I won’t call it a lawn) and also from the patio and from my living room. So whatever I put in has to work from two directions. Plus the border is only 4ft (if that) wide due to the fall of the garden so I have steered clear of very big clump forming plants but I am beginning to have second thoughts. More head scratching. However, if you look along the border from the stairs end it doesn’t look too bad (see below)
Why not join in with the End of Month posts. Just choose an area of your garden you want to look at monthly, do a post on (or around the last day of the month) and post a link to your post in the comments field here.