Saturday, 1 August 2015

July and a fine British Summer.

What a disaster July has been for weather, after a promising start the weather became wet, dull and even cold, there has been barely a day when one could be confident it wouldn't rain. Of course it is all my fault for growing bedding plants after a gap of a few years after two particularly bad summers when I vowed I never would again.

 My single Cardiocrinum flowered earlier in the month but lost its petals quickly in the adverse weather conditions. I know many gardeners probably think I am fortunate to have one but I do miss when I had five in flower together, they are a breathtaking sight and the scent is totally over powering. Click on the lily page to see them in their true glory near the top of the page.

 Unusually I bought this plant of Meconopsis napaulensis rather than raising it from seed as I have done in the past. One thing with many Meconopsis is that they die after flowering (monocarpic) so you have to be prepared to keep a continuous supply of new plants. This Satin Poppy is the yellow form which was a bit unfortunate as I would have preferred the pink one, still a lovely plant though.

This is a truly wonderful plant, the Japanese Water Iris, Iris ensata, needs the exact opposite in growing conditions from the large flowered rhizomatous irises, preferring damp cool conditions to give of their best. These are grown from seed which means that a diverse range of colours has been produced.


By contrast the flowers of the Gladwyn Iris, Iris foetidissima are totally insignificant but with a bit of luck, if the slugs don't get them, the seed heads will open to reveal large deep red seeds through the winter months.

Here are a few pictures of what has been going on in the borders in July:

The shell pink of the Geranium contrasts well with the brunnera.

 The Giant Himalayan Cowslip, Primula florindae has now taken over from the candelabras.



   Although thought to be "common" by some, Astilbes add some vital colour at this time of the year in a damp garden like mine.


Early in the month as the Viburnum plicatum 'Mariesii' fades to pink the flower bracts of Cornus kousa are showing.


 In the "woodland" the lush berries of the toxic Actaea rubra are showing.......................

............................Funnily enough these Arum italicum should have seed heads of a similar colour come winter, the spathes are so uninspiring I am always tempted to pull them up but the promise of the seed heads has so far dissuaded me. 
I have scrapped my old poly-tunnel after years of service and three new covers and replaced it with a new one, these pictures of some of this year's seedlings were taken last week and will be the last from the old one. I can actually stand up in my new one instead of constantly stooping which didn't do my back any good, the irony is that I have been hobbling about since re-gritting the staging etc. having strained it!

Notice the self sown farinosa type primula seedlings growing on the bench.

 The seedlings are mainly Meconopsis and Primulas, first sown cold in early January and now many are ready to be potted on again into 1 litre pots and may even be planted out later this year.

Here is a "clump" of containers holding a mixture of perennials and some of the dreaded bedding which is the reason for all this bad weather!