It seems like forever since I wrote the last End of Month View so much so that I couldn’t remember what photos I usually included so this post might be a little hit and miss. I’ll start with my favourite part of the garden – the new seating area. The hardy exotic planting behind the bench is beginning to fill out and the Cautleya spicata ‘Arun Flame’ is really adding to the effect. My collection of ferns seems to be proliferating so much so that my mother has even commented on the number of ferns in the garden. My intention is to add more to the back slope to the left of the bench.
The staging area is currently home to pelargoniums and my tender succulent collection. It is slightly crowded as I grouped plants together on the patio to help my mother with the watering whilst I was away the other week. You can also see that the dahlia is trying to climb out of its pot so I will need to do some staking this weekend. The jasmine in the corner planted on the recommendation of readers has started to get into its stride and I am slowly beginning to guide its stems across the lattice-work.
At the shady end of the patio the Patio Border is moving into its second period of interest. It is full of bulbs in Spring and now the Kirengshoma palmata is beginning to produce flower buds which should look stunning in a few weeks. I need to cut back the Astrantia which has done its stuff. I am thinking of lifting and dividing it hasn’t flowered that well in recent years. I also think I need something here with foliage which will contrast better with its neighbours.
The Cottage Border isn’t quite as I want it to be at the moment. I was a little unhappy with it last month and contemplated removing the Delphiniums which have been here for some years and take up a lot of space and crowd out other plants. Since then I have decided that they are definitely going as I want the roses that were added last year to be the stars of the border. However I need some perennials to plant around the roses feet and provide interest and I am thinking on focussing on foliage to provide year round interest but something that will have a floral season of interest. I have been pondering various alternatives. I want to keep the plant palette fairly small; it is currently roses, geraniums, delphiniums, aquilegias with the odd addition. I have thought about foxgloves instead of the delphiniums but have gone off this idea as very tall plants have a habit of leaning in my garden due to the way the light works. I have also considered some stacys which would compliment the purple sage but still I am dithering. This evening I found myself thinking that bearded irises might be the best idea. They would flower before the roses providing early summer interest and I think the border is sunny enough for them to do well. They were here a few years back before the back lawn was dug up and then they got swamped in the chaos that followed last year. Currently my irises are dotted around the garden whilst some have thrived others have languished. So I am thinking of lifting and dividing them and replanting amongst the roses. I will see if the idea remains a positive one over the next few days. Oh and maybe some dark sedums to provide late summer colour and contrast with the glaucous iris foliage.
So those were the better bits. The Woodland Border is struggling with the dry heat we have had for the last few weeks. It was looking good at the end of June if not a little chaotic but now many of the plants are losing the fight for moisture to my neighbours trees. Once the weather cools and we have rain I want to get in this border and tidy it up. There are a few plants that need rescuing from their unruly neighbours and I have still to finish painting the fence which I started back in the spring but life got in the way and stopped me completing the task. Despite the border looking sad I am pleased to see that to date the Solomons Seal has escaped the sawfly which it fell pray to last year. I also need to add lots of mulch and organic matter over the winter to try to help retain moisture.
The former Bog Garden isn’t too bad. The Cardiocrinum giganteum was spectacular and a complete surprise given I only bought the bulb this spring. I am planning to collect the seed and sow it as soon as it is ripe and I am hoping that the bulb will produce bulblet so I have more lilies in the future. I now need to look at the left hand side of the border and think about what I want here. There is a Syringa here which isn’t very inspiring and as there are other shrubs I covert I am thinking of replacing it. It’s a difficult space as the ground dries very quickly so I need to find plants that will enjoy the clay soil but also look good at this time of year when it all gets a little dry.
Finally the small succulent border in the front garden. The sempervivums are bulking up and filling the trough. I need to weed along the front and I am thinking of moving the lavender at the end of the bed and devoting the whole thing to succulents as to my mind the lavender looks a little odd.
These are the key areas of my garden, warts and all, at the end of July which for me isn’t my favourite time of year. Hopefully by the end of August I will be feeling a little more positive about the garden and will have managed to take some areas in hand.
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