End of Month – July 2014

You know how it goes… I can’t believe it’s August. Blah. And all that. But it’s true. Honestly.

It’s been dry; much too dry. Grass around the city is dying, my lawn is mostly OK but could do with some water. The main issue are the plants, especially those on the upper tier. Which actually, I’m surprised are struggling. I normally expect it to be plants in the right or Magnolia border, as it’s a full-sun all day border. But only one type of Rudbekia ever struggles, the rest of the border is fine.

We’ve been promised rain, repeatedly and next to nothing has arrived. Finally we received some on Thursday evening, but it didn’t last more than 15 minutes. I’m hoping more will come over the weekend otherwise I’ll have to get the hose out again.

The right border is mostly finished now. But I should see more blooms eventually on salvias and Harlow Carr; just need to be patient. Some tidying is certainly needed, and I really should’ve staked the Sea Holly. With one dying over winter, it’s very bare closer to the wall this year, so I’ve some large Cosmos I bought that I’m considering placing there to fill the hole now I’ve ripped back the Campanula.

The buddleja border is holding its own. At the moment it’s mostly in shade now the Buddleja is in bloom. Once it’s finished I’ll partially cut it back and remove the flower heads so they don’t seed everywhere. The border beneath will be much lighter again. I think Geranium Thurstonianum needs a cut back as it’s now predominantly seed heads.

At this time of year the Aster border is coming into its own, and I feel it’s much better now the Sanguisorba has been cut back.

There are large gaps in the Cherry border after I’ve removed the Hellebores which are now residing in pots on the decking. I’m unsure whether to try filling the holes, because it does look odd. Maybe I’ll move some Macrorrhizum Geraniums to fill the spaces. I have plenty of Herb Robert seedlings popping up on the tier, which I could plant there and they’ll soon fill it.

The star of the show for me at the moment is the self-seeded patch of Pheasant’s Tail Grass. It’s very impressive this year and I love the bloom colour as the late sun hits it.

I’m enjoying the walk up to the house; the Crocosmia look very good this year. Although the Stipa Tenuissima haven’t done well and I can’t decide whether it’s because they’ve been strangled by Geraniums or because of wet weather after Christmas.

As you can see I have plenty of tidying to do, luckily I have next week off and no real plans for the week except painting and now tidying the garden.

Copyright 2014 Liz.
All rights reserved. Content created by Liz for Gwirrel’s Garden

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11 thoughts on “End of Month – July 2014

  1. Love the photos showing longer views this time, everything looks so good. Glad to hear that you have had some rain, we have rain at last, having been without for nearly 2 months!! It has been promised so many times, but always seems to pass us by. Hopefully we will get more tonight, then the water butts should be full again. The pheasant Tails grass is a super plant, I much prefer it to Stipa tennuissima. Love the planting in your front garden with your silver planting contrasting with the rest!

    • Hi Pauline,

      After mentioning the lawn seems OK, I’ve discovered that actually the slope – along the hedge, difficult to describe – is very poorly. Definitely needs some water, and as always along the hedge is very dry but that’s always going to happen as hedges are generally very thirsty. We currently have some very light drizzle – which wasn’t due until this evening – so I’ve had to come indoors after a nice morning reading and some garden tidying. Yet more bramble is bidding for world dominance… Really annoys me. It’s coming from the hedge behind; the neighbours who don’t bother to even cut the hedge, leaving it to me but as I’m lower than them, the hedge on my side is easily over 9 feet high and makes it very difficult for me to cut; our back is also tiered, so the left is higher, but the right is a good metre lower. Grrrrr.

  2. That’s both you and I on a week of next week Liz – I hope like me you intend to enjoy. I haven’t dared check the forecast. I don’t want to disappointed. We have experience our first decent rainfall today, the first for months.
    I note your Veronicastrum is showing signs of drought. It’s always the first to show here too.
    I hope you get some decent rainfall soon.
    Loving the Crocosmia in the front garden – it looks great.

    • Hi Angie,

      No real plans for my week off other than spending it in the sun. Now we’re due rain though I think it’s time to finish painting the stairs and maybe manage to finish other jobs.
      Only the Veronicastrum on the upper tier is struggling; as at the Asters next to it. The others elsewhere in the garden seem OK. Although I’ve noticed one Erysimum really struggling, and I’m not sure if something’s attacking it or whether it’s the lack of rain. I would’ve thought the heavy rain a few days ago would’ve perked it up, so I’ve given it almost an entire watering can of water… We’ll see. As it’ll be a heavy loss in that spot if it does die.

  3. I love all the colour in your front garden, what a lovely welcome home. Always tough seeing plants drooping, I hope you’ve had plenty of rain since then, we certainly have and everything is looking a lot happier. G. mac. would fill those gaps very quickly. The cherry border is looking rather fine too. Is that your geum still flowering away?! I’m hoping my ‘Totally Tangerine’ will flower for longer next year, stonking plant, and isn’t the Pheasant’s Tail grass a beauty, I’m trying to decide where to plant more.

    • Hi Janet,

      We have had some rain; not masses though so would welcome more. It’s currently lightly drizzling but not yet enough to make any impact.
      I’ve plenty of Macrorrhizum I could move/divide, so it’s an easy enough job for me to fill the gaps, although I would also like to give the sickly Fern a chance now it’s no longer strangled by the Hellebores.
      Geum Totally Tangerine is in its second flush; not as abundant as the first time but it’s providing some much needed colour now.

      My experience of Pheasant’s tail grass is that the seedlings fair far better than the parent plants, so if you have any popping up, definitely take advantage or allow them to seed around. I’ve two large seeded clumps and they’re both much happier than their parents (one died, didn’t even last a year). The large clump in the photos above hasn’t seeded itself in the best of places – on the steps up to the upper tier – so I’m now having to walk up the border instead… Not a problem as the plants there have bloomed and since died away (Bluebells, Foxgloves, Daffodils etc).

  4. What a lovely walk up to your house, it must give you a little burst of happiness every time you do it .

    Your garden is looking lovely, and you have some cracking plants in there!

    I find this a difficult part of the season due to the vast amount of tidying and cutting back, which seems to need doing overnight. One minute all is looking well, and the next it is sprawling all over, and past its best.

  5. The wider views are nice, it gives a nice feel for the layout of the garden. Sorry about the dry weather, I had to resort to watering and I feel silly wasting it on the lawn…. but it’s far to early to stare at dead brown grass, so the green is worth it to me. The back lawn makes up for it though, completely brown now.

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