The July Garden

It's been a while since I've shown some overviews of the garden, so time to remedy that I think, and to make myself a promise that I'll post these every month. It's always great to look back and see the garden through the year. So, here is late July.

After all my revamping, some areas are looking a lot better, but some are looking a little bare. I removed a massive amount of plants, straggly Lavenders (why do I bother with them!), too many large Sedums (I get carried away with cuttings), hundreds of Crocosmia that were threatening to take over the garden (they are EVERYWHERE!) and various other plants that I'd either fallen out of love with or weren't looking that great. Truthfully, it's nice to have some new space to play around with, despite all the back breaking work and being so exhausted I fell asleep at 6.00pm one day!

The Bamboo got a really good thinning out as the stems were gradually creeping forwards and sideways. It has such lovely form and I'm so glad I planted one in the first few years of starting this garden, as it's really had a chance to mature and just loves it's shady space.

You can actually see the stepping stone path now. It was completely overrun with plants before my latest work, my legs kept getting whipped by stems as I walked past!


The Sedum in the shed border survived my hacking job, as did two at the back of the garden, but if I can find suitable replacements for them they might go as well. Despite giving them the Chelsea chop back in May, they are still really tall and flopping all over the place. I do like them once they burst into colour, but am not sure the room they take up and their short time of looking pretty are worthy plants for my small garden. We'll see!

My idea of growing enough plants at the back here to completely smother the wall is starting to come together and... 'I love it when a plan comes together' ;-) . I'll soon be able to seamlessly borrow from the plants and trees in the nature reserve behind the wall to make the garden look bigger.

One thing I don't wish to borrow from is my neighbour to the lefts garden, or for garden see the definition of jungle/junk yard! I'm having to stop couch grass from coming under the fences, bindweed and nettles over the fences and this giant Elderflower from overshadowing the patio! I've trimmed it back three times already this year, but it's a really fast grower. You can see how much taller than the fence it is, a real monster, so it's out with the platform ladders this weekend for a proper cut back right into the branches that are overhanging. What a shame not everyone respects the precious piece of land they are given.

I'll leave you with some other overviews of the garden, but not too much of the top right corner, as I'm saving that for my next post.

The next areas on my hitlist for a bit of a spruce up are the island bed and far left border behind the shed as they seem to have merged into one! Think I need a rest first though.


All change!

Just when you think you can sit back, relax and enjoy the fruits of your labour in the garden, you realise something's not quite right. Something is jarring on the eye. For me, it was this whole area in front of the shed. You can see how it looked when I first planted it up HERE, neat, tidy and full of promise. This is how it looks now after a week of cutting back, digging and re-planting.

The main change was removal of the Salix Willow you can see in the photos below taken last week and during Spring. I really love these trees, but this one had started crowding out everything with its dense canopy and it just had to go. 

It didn't like being moved much, and is now in a bit of a sorry state. I'm hoping it will recover though, as I want to keep it in this pot and have it on the patio. Fingers crossed!

And these are the new additions to the area. In place of the willow, I now have an obelisk for height. I've planted a clematis up one side named Corona which is meant to be perfect for growing up pillars and trellis, and a beautiful rose to the right called 'Lucky', which has just started flowering and smells delicious. It's a bush rose not a climber, but I couldn't resist it. I may add another Clematis next year but want to see how this one gets on first.

Asiatic Lily Gold and Oriental Lily Maru are adding a pop of colour in the border. So far free from the dreaded Lily Beetles that desecrated my fritillaries in spring, but I'm keeping my beady eyes on them!

Verbena Bonariensis is growing up against the shed along with Clematis Montana Freda which has romped away here and flowered beautifully in spring. The butterflies love the Verbena, although this first one got caught by a yellow spider crab that was laying in wait.

Alstroemeria and Coreopsis are mingling happily, and Lobelia is filling out its patch nicely.

Pickerel Hyacinths are just starting to flower in the wildlife pond, and the Lamiums are getting ready for their second flush of flowers.

I'm hoping Hydrangea Macrophylla Sheila will bring a bit of colour to the far left corner where I removed a large fern that wasn't very happy. It's a bit small at the moment, but should fill out quite quickly.

I've planted up some other things in this area, but they're mostly cuttings from other parts of the garden or very small plants, so there isn't much to see of them, but I'm really looking forward to this patch filling out with a bit more colour and interest as the year progresses. I'd like to say I stopped here, sat back with a cool drink and sunbathed during this glorious weather, but, no, I went and tackled a couple of other spots I wasn't in love with. More on that next time!


A Memorial Garden

Recently, one of my beloved cats had to be put to sleep. Misty had been with us for 12 years, and as any pet owner knows, they become a huge part of the family and as such, we want to treat them with some dignity when they pass. Misty loved the garden. At the first sign of sunshine she'd be the first of the cats lined up at the door just itching to get out. She'd find a sunny spot and there she'd stay until her hungry stomach got the better of her!

It seemed fitting to place her ashes in the garden, but I also wanted to create a small space just for her. If you've seen my previous posts, you'll know my garden is fairly choc a bloc, and I was worried anywhere I placed her would become overgrown with plants in the summer. So I came up with the idea of using some raised beds I have on my patio as a memorial garden.

I wanted it to be a bright, happy space, and raided our local garden centre for the cheeriest plants !

I began by planting a beautiful Clematis called Niobe, which has stunning purple flowers and will hopefully smother the fence within a few years. 

I planted the pretty Dahlia Happy at the back of the bed, although I remember now why I love Dahlias but don't usually plant any. This is the before photo:-

And this is the after, when those pesky slugs and snails have been on the attack! I've been picking them off by the bucketload, but it's a never ending battle and they seem to be winning. I think I will replace these with geraniums if the problem gets any worse.

Impatiens (Busy Lizzies to you and me) and baby Geraniums that I've grown from cuttings have been placed in front, along with the prettiest Nemesia. I appear to have missed the boat with Lobelia to drape over the edges as I couldn't find any in the garden centres, so I may well pop back and get some more Nemesia to soften the bed and fill in the gaps at the front. All in all though, I am pleased with it so far and think it will look really beautiful once the geraniums get going. 

Rest in Peace my little Misty.