My garden in July (and a bit of June too!)

July in the garden has been pretty parched and practical, and as such not so pretty, so I'm going to sneak some pictures in from June at the end of this post, as somehow with everything going on I missed posting a June update.

The grass has been straw-like, and some of our plants are crispier than I'd like.  I resisted watering them for a while, because we were away for a week, and I didn't want them to get used to it.  As usual I had a massive potting on session in the greenhouse before we went and left upturned water bottles plunged into the soil to tide the plants in the greenhouse over.  

They survived and as it was so warm when we got back I decided to fill them up and keep them there. That is until I realised they emptied overnight, so I wasn't saving myself any watering time at all.  But it did make me doubly proud of the tomatoes and other greenhouse plants that soldiered on that week.

The tomatoes in the greenhouse are reaching the ceiling and looking quite lush.  I've been surprised that the tomatoes outside in pots are further advanced than those planted into the bed in the greenhouse but, there you go.

We spent some time a weekend or so ago preparing for the new trough pots - which still haven't arrived, despite being ordered over a week ago and being on a one day delivery, I'm not impressed.  Part of the preparations included sorting out the compost, which was a job I'd been keen to get done for a while now, and strictly wasn't essential but it was a good opportunity to get it done and it gave us both some mindless labour to do and letting our minds rest for a while.

I'd struck on the idea that the new small shed would be much nicer to look at than one of our dalek compost bins, and so the dalek needed to be moved - but of course, it was full.  With some persuasion and a bit of brute force, its plastic outer was removed and placed next to our second bin. 

A pile of compost

Thankfully it just about fitted. It's now on a paving slab, and it will have to manage with that.

In its new home

And so we set about moving the compost.  We've ended up with the good stuff at the top, which works for us as we'll be using a fair bit if my new pots ever arrive.  The second bin, which we've never emptied should also be ready, and if we need it we'll empty that one from the bottom in the more tradtional way.

Refilled with compost with the good stuff at the top

And look what was left.  A small shed sized hole.  

A small shed sized space

Reassembling the part-assembled shed we brought home from the allotment is still on the to do list, but it will fit here, even if we have to make some adjustments to the surrounding area, but that's for another day.

I told you July in our garden wasn't pretty, didn't I? 

June was much more colourful...

In the cherry-less cherry tree we've been seeing some bird activity, and I'm sure I saw some tits disappearing into the yellow bird box.  On other branches in the same tree we've a sage green and pale blue bird box, so it's a bit like a housing estate for birds.  I'm curious to know if we do have residents, but will have to wait a while before checking the boxes out.  

we might have residents in our bird house

And if we do, I wonder why they've gone for the yellow one.  Maybe it's the equivalent of a bird des-res, who knows?

With all the lovely weather I've moved some of the succulents outside, so they can enjoy it too. Although the aloe vera looks to be coping well, it took a turn for the worse and I've moved it back inside where it's flourishing again.  The other one though, which should have leaves up its stem, is relishing being outside.  

succulents on our garden table

Not only has it grown more leaves than we've seen before, and more quickly, it's also starting to sprout new branches from the roots.  And where it's touching the pot, on the bend, it's starting to grow from there too.  It'll be interesting to see how far it gets.

We've been slow in keeping on top of our garden this year, partly the weather and partly as weekends have been taken up with family things, but there's still a fair bit to do.  With the hot weather continuing, we're continuing to take it slowly, but of course things are growing faster than we're pruning.  It's how gardening goes though, isn't it?

gardening in the sun

For the past four or five years we've been managed to see the stag beetle's annual visit.  This year we were treated to several fly pasts before on one occasion it crash landed into the agapanthus and posed for this photo.

the annual visit of the stag beetles took place

It seems to be attracted to our sycamore tree, so even observing that is interesting and I was able to add that to the annual stag beetle survey which I also learnt of this year.  Around the garden there were the blues of the Canterbury bells, the whites of the dogwood flowers, the pinks of our Gertrude Jekyll rose and the scent of the honeysuckle as we've sat outside on the patio in the balmy evenings that we've come to take for granted.

blue harebells
elderflowers enjoying the sunshine
fragrant honeysuckle on the patio

As well as the scent of jasmine and honeysuckle on the patio, we've been surrounded by roses and clematis, which I've realised are the opposite of each other with their light and dark petals.

white roses - prolific but scentless

It's also one of my favourite photos from the garden this year, so any excuse to include it in a post!

How's your garden coping with the high temperatures?