End of Month View July 2014


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.

2014_07300018The 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.

Anyone is welcome to join in with this monthly meme; there are no rules.  All I ask is that you link to this post in yours and that you leave a link to your post in the comment box below.


Author: Helen Johnstone

I live in Malvern, Worcestershire and am a very keen gardener. I started the Patient Gardener Blog in January 2008 as a way of recording what was happening in my garden and connecting with other like-minded people. I started a second blog PatientGardener 365 January 2013 in order to try and post a photo a day to capture what is growing in my garden or places I have visited

33 thoughts on “End of Month View July 2014”

  1. Hi Helen – I especially like your seating area – am yet to see a photo with you actually using it – maybe with a cup of tea or a glass of wine! Hint hint!

  2. Beautiful! In my neck of the woods, the garden starts to become a bit unkempt by this part of the summer…but I love all that rampant beauty. I also start to regret all of the seeds I should have started sooner, the plants i wish I’d tucked into borders, and all the great ideas i had back in the wintertime while perusing the plant catalogues that have gone unfulfilled. 😉

    1. Hi Ben
      I am the same with plans unfulfilled but my garden has got so full that I am now have to edit rather than add! Well if I edit then I can add more!

    1. Hi Jen
      I like this meme as others see my garden differently and it makes me re-evaluate. I don’t think my garden looks very lush, I have plants collapsing here and there but I suppose it is all relative. Thanks for joining in

    1. Hi Jason
      No only the large plant is the kirengshoma, the one to the left of it is an astrantia. Thanks for joining in this month, I will pop over and have a look especially as Judy went to such lengths!!!

    1. Hi Pauline. My kirengshoma has holey leaves I suspect from slugs as I applied some slug pellets and the problem didn’t get worse. Thanks for joining in again this month

  3. My favorite part of your garden is the cottage border, even if it isn’t quite the way you want it to look at the moment. It is like a secret garden – if I walked through it, I would expect to find many little treasures! It is all looking so lush, as it usually does – something I’m not use to seeing in our Texas heat and drought, but a few things are still surviving. Here is my end of month view: http://rebeccastexasgarden.blogspot.com/2014/07/end-of-month-view-july-2014.html

  4. Hi Helen, not sure my earlier link got through, so here it is again: http://www.rustyduck.net/2014/07/31/all-change-2/
    I’m glad I’m not the only one constantly ‘editing’ the garden, either moving things around or thinking about moving them! And with your new seating area you have the perfect place for pondering. The trough is looking good too, inspiration for me to do something more impressive with mine.

  5. Hi Helen, your garden looks great, and all your plans for it sounds brilliant. A garden is never finished, right? I have lots of plans for my garden too, even though mine is tiny and completely filled to the rafters already – but I can always manage to squeeze in a few more plants!
    I have made another movie of my garden this month, I think a movie shows a small garden much better than a long row of photos, you can find it here:

  6. Helen, since I first started reading your blog 3-4 years ago your garden has changed a lot, you have done so much, I love your new seating area, it looks very inviting, I like the idea of the irises in the cottage border I would think they would do well there as it is near the retaining wall so should be free draining, I would not recommend foxgloves unless you plan to stake them, I have light all around my garden yet they still lean, I only use them now in the wilder parts of my garden,

    I have posted my end of month view, sorry about last month but I just couldn’t get myself to write, finally I posted the photos as a wordless Wednesday post, here’s the link to this month:

    thanks for hosting this meme, Frances

  7. You garden is developing beautifully Helen, I love your seating area, definitely a place I wouldn’t mind lingering. The patio border is looking wonderful too, though I think you are right about the astrantia. I like the idea of the irises in the cottage border, the foliage would make an excellent contrast. And despite the lack of moisture the bones of your woodland border are excellent. You must be very chuffed with how it is all coming together, a just reward for all your thought and effort. I am joining in again this month, thank you again for providing such a useful meme. http://plantaliscious.janetbruten.co.uk/2014/08/end-of-month-view-august-2014/

  8. I don’t know why but I’ve been really struggling to leave the link this month, so I’m hoping this third attempt will work: http://wp.me/p2yz5S-1H9
    I love the seating area and your trough is looking really good too now that it is filling out. Reminds me to do something more inspired with mine!

  9. Thanks for hosting Helen! Your planting is really filling out, and looking fantastic. Just a thought about foxgloves. There are some which look absolutely lovely, called ‘Silver Cub’, and they are dwarf white with silvery grey foliage. That would solve the problem of tall, leaning plants. I have young seedlings so have not seen them as adults, but the photos look good !

    Here is my link:

    1. hello Helen, thanks for posting this comment, I had left one 2 days ago which is still stuck in moderation (maybe in your spam folder) never mind, if you find it delete it now, Frances

  10. I’m not sure there is such a thing as ‘too many ferns’! I think July is a good month to look at where the garden is and where things can be changed, which is pretty much what you seem to have done in this post. I do love your seating area; I can imagine you relaxing and enjoying the space. Though you would probably just look at what needs doing and start working… 😉

    Here is my July 2014 EOMV: http://www.gwenfarsgarden.info/2014/08/end-of-month-view-july-2014.html

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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