Here in my North Somerset garden July finished with a very short burst of longed for rain sadly accompanied by gale force winds! I was in Belfast at the time admiring the green grass through the rain soaked windows while back home the Non Gardener was desperately trying to prop plants up and keep pots from blowing over too often. Since I’ve been back the rain has vanished and high temperatures have returned. In the few days that I was away some plants seem to have flowered and gone past their peak already but here’s six for this week, five looking good and one that could do better.
1. Zantedeschia ‘Red Charm’. Like Z. ‘Mango’ (SoS 14/07/18) I bought this rhizome at the RHS Malvern Spring Show.
2. I grew Eucomis bicolor from seed several years ago. I grew some in pots for a couple of years as I wasn’t sure how hardy they would be. The answer was very hardy and so I planted a group in a border. However, the slugs and snails love the new growth, the leaves that survived the munching grew so large that they covered their neighbours and the flower stems had to be staked. This situation carried on for a few years and then last autumn I dug the bulbs up and planted the largest ones in a couple of pots. The flowers have a slightly “off” smell and seem to attract flies rather than bees but the flower structure more than makes up for that. You can see how they get their common name of Pineapple Lily.
3. Geranium ‘Rosanne’ has been very slow to flower this year. It’s growing in a dry, shady spot and usually gives a long, good display. I’m assuming that it isn’t enjoying the exceptionally dry weather and the few flowers that have finally arrived are about half the usual size.
4. There are signs throughout the garden that the summer is starting to transition towards autumn. The first Anemone japonica flowers have opened, stronger colours are appearing and the Crocosmias are in full flower. This one is ‘Emily McKenzie’, I love the markings on the flower centres. Some Crocosmias can be a bit thuggish but I find Emily M to be well behaved. (Sorry, the first picture isn’t a great photo)
5. The first Michaelmas Daisy is in full swing – Aster frikartii ‘Monch’.
6. Some years I can grow Rudbeckias from seed and some I can’t. This year I could! These are R. hirta ‘Rustic Dwarf’ and they seem to have thrived in the heat. It’s a shame that they’re just annuals as the yellow/mahogany colour combination is wonderful.
Having spent a lot of July not in the garden due to holiday, working away and visiting family I have severe withdrawal symptoms. I’m really looking forward now to a few quiet weeks where the garden can take priority. I’ll also have more time to read all of the Sixes! I hope you can find time to enjoy time in your garden this week as well.
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