It’s fair to say that June was more a month of recovery for us after the flood disaster back in May, but I’m hoping that July will bring us back on track. I feel like all the work in restoring has put us way behind in the day to day maintenance that a garden needs though, so July certainly needs to be a month of lots of weeding!
But the thing I’ve been most excited about has been the ability to sit outside and enjoy the garden properly! We’ve dusted off all of the furniture, and even managed to eat outside which Max thought was a complete novelty! There’s something a bit magical and holiday-like about eating outside, isn’t there?
I love being able to sit and relax in the garden while Max potters around playing with his water table (and getting happily soaked) or chasing a football around. I’ve realised the error of our ways in putting gravel in a garden when you have a toddler though – Max’s favourite activity is to collect it all and throw it across the patio. I feel I’m spending hours sweeping it all back up, only for him to come and do it all over again!
Our big investment this month has been a new lawnmower, and it’s amazing what a difference it’s made! We spent ages researching, and decided we really wanted a petrol, self propelling mower, with a roller (to get those lovely stripes!). We needn’t have bothered though, because after all that research, we ended up buying the exact same one as my Dad has! We should have just asked him in the first place! The grass looks so much neater, and mowing the grass is definitely a quicker job these days.
June and July are rose season, and it’s been a lovely year for roses! We’ve had masses of blooms, even on our Gertrude Jekyll, which has been a bit reluctant in the past. The only downside has been that all the rain has left it’s mark in the form of pink spots on all the cream blooms, and I’ve been cutting them a lot to bring inside as the really heavy rain has left them looking a bit smooshed!
I’m really pleased with how my mediterranean border is looking post flood. It’s all very drought tolerant planting, and I only planted it up last year, so my hopes weren’t high for it’s recovery. But although it’s not quite looking where I hoped it might at this stage, it’s certainly not looking dead. The stipa tenuisissima is not loving all the rain lately though and is looking a bit bedraggled! I love the little pops of the allium heads, all ready to burst into that gorgeous maroon colour. I think I need to do a bit of reorganisation and plant moving though as the balance doesn’t look quite right after losing a few plants to the flood.
One plant that’s not looking too happy at all are my hostas! As with so many hostas, they’ve provided a feast for the local slug population. They were faring really well earlier this year and I credit that to applying the Nematodes, but I got cocky and didn’t reorder after the six weeks when they were active came to an end. Slightly regretting that one now!
The Vegetable Garden
I’m really pleased with how the potatoes and the beetroot have come on. The potatoes have become quite dominant and I’ve had to find new homes for two of the bags to give them some more space. One of them has actually produced potato fruit which apparently is a rare occurrence caused by bad weather! (I’ve whipped them off and put them in the garden waste as apparently they’re poisonous). But the potatoes themselves should still be fine. And I’m going to have to get creative with beetroot recipes as we have way more than I bargained for! If you have any to recommend do send them my way – otherwise we’re going to be eating an awful lot of beetroot and goats cheese salad!
Jobs in the garden for July
- Water pots daily in good weather
- Make sure you deadhead regularly to encourage repeat blooming
- Cut back hardy geraniums to encourage further growth – you can literally grab a handful and just cut at the base and they’ll bloom again later in the year
- Tie in and train climbers
- Prune wisteria
- Prune lupins to encourage further flowering
- Look out for powdery mildew on plants – remove the affected leaves and treat with a fungicide