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Having been away for a week and then recovering from jet lag and exhaustion from a full on trip and heavy workload before it has really been two weeks since I really spent time in the garden.  Of course, it is now very hot so I am working around it by gardening early morning or in the evening which I have discovered is a lovely time to be in the garden.

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There has been a major change to the garden in my absence with the arrival of my son’s workshop.  Despite sending me messages to say it had been installed he refused to send photos which was a little worrying.  Anyway I needn’t have worried as I think the shed looks great.  As my Mum says it gives the garden the character it has been missing.  There has been no real focal point and somehow by adding the greenhouse the dynamics have changes and the paths seem to work and it feel more cohesive.  The jury is now out on the colour the workshop should be.  My inclination is dark brown/black like the fence.  I think this would help the shed recede a little and would be a good backdrop for plants.   My Dad on the other hand thinks if I paint it dark it will stand out more – I am inclined to listen to my instincts.

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In the meantime the Digitalis ‘Dalmation Cream’ has been flowering its socks off.  I am rather pleased with the combination of the deep burgandy  spots against the Cotinus leaves.  The Cephalaria gigantea is also covered in flowers and proving very popular with the bees.  I am really pleased about this as the Cephalaria is one of the plants that got  moved rather late in the day and looked decidedly sad for some time.  Also unlike some of the small Scabious it seems to how its flowers better and there is no need to stake or support.

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I am particularly pleased with the Delphinium.  They were grown from seed three years ago but last year, the first year they should have flowered, they had their flower stalks unceremoniously chopped off by the winds.  This year I staked them very carefully and luckily they seem to have benefitted from it and are putting on a wonderful display.  They are Dwarf Delphinium which I didn’t realise at the time of buying the seed but I think has paid off as if the flower stalks were taller they would most definitely be snapped off.

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When I was in San Francisco one of the gardens had step-over apples, well that’s what I call them, but this expression was met with blank looks from the US bloggers, they call them espalier.  The ones I saw were much older than mine and covered in apples so I was keen to see how mine were doing in their second year.  On three plants I have probably 6 apples which isn’t that bad I think.  I spent some time today pruning back the side shoots; it took me ages to find advice on this but luckily Geoff Hamilton’s ‘Kitchen Garden’ came to the rescue.

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Finally, the roses are starting to flower and I will need to do some research to remind myself which variety  is which.  However, I do really like this pink one which has a good height and lots of flowers.

It’s nice to be home in my  own garden after visiting so many other gardens.  Ideas are already forming of things I can change and improve and the list of projects for the Autumn will probably get quite long.

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