Monthly Archives: July 2015

The Unfinished Garden – Emergency Planting

30 July

The little wallflowers are now in a desperate state. I was only able to move about half of them to larger pots from the plug trays and they have all been subject to heat, water shortage and then two days of torrential rain.

The only good news is that the rain has also loosened the rock hard soil in the bed I was planning to put them in. So at last I have been able to dig up the rather nondescript (but nonetheless welcome when they first appear) pink hardy geraniums. They’ve gone ruthlessly in the garden waste bin, I know there are enough roots left to ensure they’ll be back next year.

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Then I transplanted the long suffering wallflowers, putting all 80 of them in one bed.

My vision is for a massed Persian carpet effect, taking over from the snowdrops later next Spring. How’s that for forward planning? If they will only survive I shall feel I have snatched a small victory from a near death experience.

The ‘blue’ hydrangeas I grew from cuttings from those in my brother’s garden are in the same corner. They won’t be in bloom at the same time as the wallflowers of course, but they are looking good now, even if they are pink.

The Unfinished Garden – Rain, rain beautiful rain ..

26 July

… is one of my favourite songs by Ladysmith Black Mambazo. We had a solid day of rain on Friday and another one today. I know it’s a shame for the school holidays just starting, but for the garden it really is beautiful.

The Crocosmia are taking over from the hardy geraniums. I don’t know which version these are but I prefer their warm orange to the rather strident ‘Lucifer’ red.

As well as the traditional hydrangeas, I also have a Paniculata and an Oak Leaf which seem more exotic somehow.

Something’s eating the little wallflowers, which is a worry. I hope they will hang on until I get them planted out.

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The sedum buds are always a sign that there’s another season on its way.

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The Unfinished Garden – The Year Turns

19 July

Mid-July and there’s a growing feeling that the year is turning, the weatherman even mentioned the word ‘autumn’ the other day, which seemed a bit harsh. Perhaps it depended where you were. Our plot continues in a dust bowl, well practically. There’s very light rain that falls from the sky but doesn’t seem to reach the ground and certainly doesn’t do much for the plants other than refresh them a little. And the other evening a short thunderstorm where it rained so hard for a few minutes that it just ran off the borders. But there it is, summer, and preferably dry than wet.

I haven’t been very busy in the garden as the soil can’t be worked. So it’s a matter of deadheading, tidying up the hardy geraniums Psilostemon now they have done their thing, and nudging the little wallflowers along. The fox gloves are proving hard to start and very tiny, but a few were large enough to pot on. Overall it’s just rather nice to sit back and enjoy what nature has to offer.

I’m not sure what these begonias are up to. The leaves are huge, though attractive, and the yellow flowers I was expecting are turning out red.

There’s a huge Scots pine (or Douglas FIr?) that’s king of the back garden, Far too big really, but it does make a home for some good lichens.


The Unfinished Garden – Sweetness

9 July

The sweet peas are beginning to get going, at last, and there are some to pick every day. The scent is rather elusive unfortunately, but I didn’t exactly chose the seeds with care. Still, there is definitely a hint of sweetness.

They aren’t quite as glorious as the prize winning bunches at the village fete, mind you. I will have another go for next year and plant the seeds this autumn.


Not mine, I hasten to add

The Clematis ‘Mrs Cholmondeley’ has worked her way up to the top of the fence.

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9 July

19 March

19 March


And she’s ready to show off her wares on both sides, through the trellis.

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The Unfinished Garden – Catching Up

6 July

Well, far too much time in meetings recently, and then time writing up the meetings, which meant that any time left was better spent in the garden than writing about it.

Summer has arrived in a big way, bringing on all the annuals – I love it when they begin to join up.


The roses – are luscious

I especially like these ones by the front door.

6 jul 2015

And there was a surprise when what I thought was going to be a Stachys:

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Turned out to be a Lychnis.

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In my defence, the leaves at pretty similar, and at least they look good next to each other.

The Hollyhocks are starting and the Mallows are in full bloom.


We’ve had a mini heatwave which made us all flake out a bit, and not much rain for quite a while. Not even the hefty thunderstorms some other parts of the country have enjoyed/endured. When I ran early this morning the ford in Ford Lane was completely dry ,,, but allegedly tomorrow a couple of hours’ precipitation is forecast and that, for once, will be welcome.