After several weeks of dry, hot weather it is raining at last, and doesn’t the garden love it? The fresh, spring look is now gone. We have, for the later summer season, an overgrown, rather blousy, voluptuous look; the garden equivalent of a Vivienne Westwood frock. Out right now in mid July are clematis, tobacco plants, dahlias, blue, red and pink salvia (including a red and white one called ‘hot lips’), helenium, a huge, rangy yellow inula that must stand over 5 feet tall, tall and short phlox, sweet peas (annual and perennial) roses, penstemons, macleaya (see picture) , day lilies, the huge golden oat (Stipa) and last, but not least, the huge tissue paper-like white flowers of the Californian Tree Poppy (Romneyi).
So it’s a good time to sit back and enjoy. If you are in need of some summer jobs, however, I’ve managed to find a few to keep you out of mischief over the summer months:
Collect annual seeds, dry them out and keep them in a cool dry place until you are ready to sow them next spring
Keep container grown plants fed and watered, even if it rains, raindrops can bounce off full pots, not reaching the soil
Summer prune apple and pear espaliers and cordons
Take cuttings – penstemons, rosemary, pelagoniums and lavender will all root readily now giving you plants next year for free
Keep deadheading flowers to keep the show going
Remove whippy shoots from your wisteria
Thin and shorten shoots of rambling roses
Prune late summer flowering shrubs after flowering
Give meadows a cut when seed has set and remove the clippings
Get your compost bins set up and in use.
And another thank you to all of you who visited our garden this year. We had 410 visitors in total and raised £1519 for charity. Thanks especially to the Tollerton Gardening Club who were a joy to have here (not least because of the vast quantity of wine we got through!) but also because of their good humour and appreciation of the garden. You are welcome any time!
Have a good summer.