End of Month Review - July 2012

July has been a bit odd really.  It's been quite wet, quite hot and very hot and now quite wet again.  The rain and cold has held parts of the garden back, but the recent sun has seen some improvement lately; today however it is back to grey, drizzley rain.
The front garden is driving me crazy.  Superficially it might look ok, the crocosmia Lucifer are wonderful this time of year and direct the eye away from the jumbly mess that is around them.  I have never been happy with the front garden and I am now actively disliking it.  The knot garden bit is ok, but the inserts do not work nor does the planting around the outside.  I have just planted some Dianthus Arctic Fire grown from seed into the corner triangles of the knot garden,  I had to spot weedkill the horrendous weeds that have been strangling everything and I think I shall have to keep doing that for a while yet, the weeds are pernicious.  No, the front garden does not make me happy.
The gravel garden is doing quite well.  It has not minded the rain and has loved the sun.  It is only small but I like it.
So, into the back garden.  The cardoons are growing really tall this year, I am very pleased with them and they add great structural height to the coal-bunker border.
These Leucanthemum Superbum 'Phyllis Smith' have loved the rain this year.  The plant is now about three years old and I divided it earlier this year.  It has been spurred on to put on the best show so far from it.
Walking around to the Conservatory border, that is now showing the pink of the roses (Portmeirion closest, Gertrude Jekyll slightly further away).  The self-sown Verbascum are now flowering and adding some needed height to this area.
The rose hedge (Rosa Hyde Hall) is getting a bit more hedgy every day.  I am very pleased with this indeed.  Originally it was going to be a yew hedge but after two failed plantings I put these roses in and they are just romping away now.  They make me very happy.
The pond border, which was mainly dug this time last year, is now looking rather full.  I am generally pleased with how it is doing.  The lack of sun has held back the annuals that I have planted in this area but they are starting to come through now.  The Ammi Majus can be seen at the corner and that is doing well.  There is also some self-sown purple orach adding height and colour.  This border had many poppies in it which are now mainly spent.
The grass path between the pond border and coal bunker border is looking good, I am increasingly pleased with this effect.
In the conservatory border the cats have been sleeping on the Stipa Tenuissima.  Cats seem to love this grass, to flattening effect.
The prairie borders are starting to look good now.  They were first marked out this time last year and now the grasses and plants are starting to thicken up well.  The borders suffer hugely from cat-flattening and fox-digging, but they are getting there, slowly.
I don't often stand this side of the prairie borders and look back across the garden, but I rather like this view.
As I move around to the woodland border and wild garden there are tangles of teasels now starting to flower.  I love teasels and spend a lot of time removing their seedlings.
The woodland border has been largely planted in the last twelve months, I nearly made it into a second pond, but it is coming together fairly well now.  I am still not totally happy that it is going in the right direction.
The wild garden is looking good, I am pleased when I look through it back to the house.
I love the way the Catalpa leaves shine in the sun.
I thought this Tulip tree was dead, it was just a stick,
So I bought this one to replace it - so now I have two - hurrah!
The dahlia border currently does not have a lot of dahlias flowering in it, but many have buds now.
The zinnias are providing tiny dots of colour, they do seem very small this year.
This corner of the dahlia border is doing very well, very pleased with this.
I go back through the pergola towards the formal garden.  The clematis on the pergola seem happy enough.
The annuals in the pond border are short but starting to give colour at last.
I even have more than one lupin in flower now.
The vegetable beds are just a disaster area to be honest, but the cobra beans are coming on and it looks like the sweetcorn is doing something.  Whether I will actually harvest any sweetcorn is another matter!  I harvested my first courgette this weekend and they look like they will do ok eventually.
The view back across the pond is looking quite good, the grassy knoll to the right, the dancing lawn directly in front and the wild garden up towards the Portmeirion bench in the top corner.
I finish as always on the pond.  It is still pretty much full, its gone down a little due to the recent sun, but no where near how low it was last year.

Thanks as ever to Helen for hosting this meme.


  1. Stipa tenuissima and cats...I have the same problem! I like that your garden has a number of different areas and the rural feel to it. I wish I had space for a wild and woodland garden.

  2. Its all looking good and maybe, like me with my garden, you are being a little harsh or maybe we just get bored with what we have. Its so nice to see your pond full after all the nearly empty shots last year. Thanks for joining in again this month

    1. Thanks - the front garden has never quite worked as I wanted it to - every year I lose heart with it so I know I have to do something drastic with it, just not sure what!


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