End of Month View – July 2013


I returned from a heat wave in San Francisco to a heat wave here which has only just ended.  It has left the garden dry and frazzled especially the front garden which has less shade than the back.  I can’t remember when the front lawn was last cut but luckily as it is full of clover and other ‘weeds’ it has retained most of its greenness without the need to water.

Sadly the heat meant that the Alchemilla mollis which were intended to provide a limey green froth along the two sides went over more or less as it started and it really needs cutting back so that the plants can put on some growth to help them survive next year.


I have liked watching the Deschampsia  put  on its growth along the bottom of the lawn but I was surprised at how tall the flower heads are.  I think this is because they are subjected to more sunshine than the ones in the back.  The intention was that the Rudbeckia and Salvias planted behind the grassed would peer over the top and it would all waft in the breeze!!  Instead you can’t see the Salvias and Rudbeckia at all.

Also the actual row of grasses has been niggling me.  I have something similar in the back garden but it is at the back of the border and I think this might be the problem.  The grass along the bottom of the lawn seem very static and almost dense.  They need some sort of lightning, maybe a different texture.  I think I like the row as it defines the end of the lawn and I know I want to add  Allium sphaerocephalon amongst the grasses to continue the planting down the side but I’m not sure about the positioning of the grasses and I am wondering whether to move them back  and plant something in front of them just to hide their feet and maybe break up the row – more pondering while I brush my hair in the morning. I am currently considering whether to add  some of the oregano amongst the grass as the lime green leaves would work with the Alchemilla and Beech although maybe I need something a little taller – who knows.


2013_07300001The side border has peaked and moved on.  The Echiums were fantastic and a real bee attraction for weeks on end.  They are now being followed by Crocosmia and the Allium sphaerocephalon but I need something a little more solid to fill the gaps at ground level.  There are Rudbeckia in here but the dry weather and my reluctance to water too much has meant that they haven’t put on as much growth as they should and are only just beginning to flower and bulk up.  You can see better what I mean by the Alchemilla mollis going over quickly.


On the other side of the lawn the border is quite  dull  and nondescript mainly as I haven’t decided what to plant here.  The beech hedge has been pruned back which makes it look better but I am wondering whether to add something between the Alchemilla mollis and beech aside from the Bergenia which are also low plants.   Maybe it needs something to add some variety of height and break  up the solidity of the hedge.

It is interesting as I have been trying to avoid a bitty look in the front garden and I seem to have gone too far the other way for my liking and by using lots of the same plant I feel that it is all rather static and dull.   So I need something in between – not very easy with my all or nothing character!!

So that’s the front garden at the end of July.  If you would like to join in with the End of Month meme you are very welcome.  I would ask that you add a link to your post in the comment box below and also that you link to this post in yours that why we can all have a nose at each others gardens.  Oh and you can use the meme in any way you like – focus on one border, the whole garden, give a tour – what ever suits  you.




17 Comments Add yours

  1. Anna B says:

    Hi Helen, hope you enjoyed San Francisco! I’ve been away too and also came back to a very frazzled front garden! I’m a bit gutted about my clematis as it usually provides a ton of colour at my door all summer, not sure it will make much of a come back now. I just posted tonight too so I’ve missed being able to add a link to you. Feel free to visit and leave a link or I’ll add one into my comments.

  2. hello Helen, I hope you had a nice break across the big pond,
    it is the first year for some of your plants so they just need another season or 2 to bulk up, I love A.mollis and think it will look great when the plants have filled out more, just a thought about adding something in the beech hedge border could you plant a climber/scrambler that would scramble through the hedge, just a thought,

    I have posted my EoMV, thank you for hosting this meme, Frances

  3. roberta4949 says:

    sounds like you already have a handle on what needs to be done, gardening is like that, it is ever changing according to how the garden turns out compared to the image you were trying to copy from your head (or maybe a picture in a garden magezine too) i do that too change it get it a certain way and I am happy until I think of a better way to display some plants or some start to overwhelm an area or I find out a plant is not situated in it’s best place for people to enjoy, that sorta thing. did some changes today, some of my plants are getting really big (in pots) and so to dsiplay them better and to allow other plants to be seen or to add more color I changed things around today, looks better and less cluttered. did some pruning as some of my small trees were overwhelming the caladiums and baby rose I hve so I pruned them and put some small fencing under the fig to push the branches up off the ground (and off my new rose I just bought)and to display the leaves better I really love the look of fig leaves, maybe that was because eve and adam used them to cover themselves, lol,

  4. Hi Helen. I endorse islandthreads idea of a climber in the beech hedge. Sorry you are having challenging weather. Before you know it, though, the late summer and autumn flowers will be blooming and the weather will soften. Here’s my end of month view.

  5. Pauline says:

    I know what you mean about the alchemilla mollis, no sooner was it out , than the flowers were looking brown in all the heat. My link is

  6. Hi Helen, I really like how your front garden is shaping up, and sympathise with the grasses dilemma, when things don’t grow as you have come to expect it can throw everything out. I love the allium sphaerocephalon and crocosmia, the allium is on my “must have” list for the bulb order, which I really must get down to soon. Something with a little height and waftiness in front of the beech hedge could work well. Thanks for hosting, after missing yet another month I am back, and post is now up.

  7. Alison says:

    Its looking really good Helen, the crocosmia give it some great colour and the alchemilla mollis offset that well.

    My EoMR is here http://www.blackberrygarden.co.uk/2013/07/end-of-month-review-july-2013.html

  8. I like the oregano idea … or chives. Your trip to the USA sounds like it was great fun. Thanks for hosting End of Month view. http://woodlousehouse.blogspot.co.uk/

  9. Your garden is lovely. I have considered using oregano as a hedge. Here’s my contribution for the end of the month:http://cosmosandcleome.wordpress.com/2013/07/31/end-of-month-view-july-2013/

  10. Anna says:

    I grow both crocosmia and the allium sphaerocephalon Helen but had not considered combining them – may do some ‘editing’ inspired by you 🙂 Our beech hedge has accidentally picked up a honeysuckle which is slowly threading its way through breaking up the greenness. My soggy end of month view is now up at : http://www.greentapestry.blogspot.co.uk/2013/07/end-of-month-view-july-2013.html

  11. It looks lovely Helen and the Alchemilla will be lovely next year. An earlier blog (see comment above) about Allium sphaerocephalon inspired me to add it to the list of bulbs to buy for next year. I want as many ornamental onions in the garden as possible because (we think) they discourage the visiting beasties. I’d also like to try Allium caeruleum (good blue). My scorched end-of-month round-up is at:
    All best to everyone for August gardening!

  12. Lea says:

    Thanks for hosting this very interesting and enjoyable meme!
    Here is my EOM post
    Happy Gardening!
    Lea’s Menagerie
    Mississippi, USA

  13. Cathy says:

    I always enjoy your honest posts, Helen – by posting what you see as a ‘bland’ view it helps to focus your mind as well as pave the way for lots of suggestions for you to mull over. The allium and crocosmia do look good together, as everyone else has been saying! My EOMV is now posted at http://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/2013/08/01/end-of-month-view-rumble-in-the-jungle/

  14. hoehoegrow says:

    I so enjoy the ‘End of the month Views’ as it is an opportunity to give a real overview, and get some sense of perspective. All is looking lovely in your garden, Helen, and welcome any gaps, as it means you can buy MORE plants !!
    My EOMV is at

  15. Rob says:

    Love the crocosmia. Mine are just starting too, including Lucifer for the first time this year. Here’s my link – http://wannabeplantsman.blogspot.co.uk/2013/08/garden-log-july-2013.html

    Thanks for hosting!

  16. Alison says:

    Hi Helen, I love the idea of this meme. It took me a while to get my act together, but here it is: http://bonneylassie.blogspot.com/2013/08/end-of-month-view-of-gravel-garden.html

    When we first moved here to the PNW, I put a couple of beds together with plants in front that got too big, and spent a lot of time this past late winter moving things all around. It was a vast improvement. I have some Alchemilla mollis interspersed in a couple of borders with other plants, and it works well — hardy Geranium, some low grasses, some Heucheras, Iberis (candytuft), and some California poppy. I actually prefer Alchemilla without flowers, they are so floppy and it does reseed quite a bit. I just finished cutting a bunch of it back in the back garden, almost to nothing. It bounces back pretty quickly. You mentioned oregano, do you mean ornamental oregano? Like “Kent Beauty?’ I have that and love it in the front of a bed.

  17. Helen the side garden is looking nice with blooms and everything is still doing OK with your heat wave. I have added my link below:


Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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