This Month

This month July 2020 - Tuesday, 30 Jun 2020

What a mixed month June was with a desperately dry spell, here it was about 4inches down on the annual rainfall followed by heavy, much needed, rain. It was a great relief to get the rain when we did, the only downside is that I now have to do a lot of weeding and chopping back but the vegetables are very happy. Then we have another very hot few days, I enjoy the heat but prefer to find jobs in the shade which I have mostly managed. I haven’t taken much time to sit and sometimes work from 7am to 7pm with a few short breaks to eat. I have wanted to catch up with jobs that I have had limited time for during the last four years but however many I achieve there are always many more lined up. It would be good to have some volunteers who liked plants and gardening as much as I do.
Even with the extra time to work our seven acres there are never enough hours or energy to keep it tended to our satisfaction so increasingly I am having to put in more plants which takes minimal work which will ultimately mean less finicky small herbaceous plants although there will still be plenty of herbaceous I am trying to grow those that make good clumps and the rabbits or Muntjac do not eat.
I have also been planting out some of my latest acquisitions, although I have spaces and I have plants it is not so easy matching one to the other. I do have plenty more still to be planted but with the recent dry spells and not knowing what the next two months will bring I am holding off a bit longer for most of them. One new shrub is Hydrangea paniculata Wim’s Red, it’s red stems hold sweetly scented flower heads which open white in July, colouring to pink in late summer and changing through Autumn to a wine-red.
One of the plants waiting for it’s position in the garden is Platycrater arguta which has lovely white flowers of four-petals with prominent yellow stamen. It is quite new in cultivation in the UK so it’s hardiness is unknown, it may grow to 2 -3 feet but is 5 feet in the wild in Japan and China. It likes a shady position and may need shelter so perhaps I will take some cuttings before I plant it out.
The new seating area is will be finished in a day or two, it is made mostly of recycled materials although we had to get a few block pavers for some of the base, then with just a few bits of welding on the seat that will be ready to put there. I have a plan for another garden seat which will overlook the right bank of the Lower Garden with views across the valley, it is a great spot to tarry a while but we do need to prepare the base before the seat for there can be placed.
I was saddened when I did not see the spotted Flycatchers then one day I thought I caught a glimpse of them then a few days later had the pleasure of watching them perching or swooping through the air to catch fly’s in the area of the garden they most often frequent.
The last few days of June were chilly with a cool breeze so I found more sheltered areas in the Lower Garden to work, weeding the long grass from around shrubs and a few bits of pruning.

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