Well, how wrong was I? In this post last month, I said I thought we’d had the hottest and wettest weather. Then, as the saying goes, July said hold my beer!
We melted one day, and squelched the next, and what’s more, the seeds I sowed last month started to germinate and grow. Some in the greenhouse, and some outside in pots, like the beans below. Although on one morning inspection - yes often I pop out and check on them before I head to work - I noticed the squirrels had decided to have a closer look. So the spare gabion basket was quickly deployed to prevent them digging up any more seeds, and the bean seeds that were on show were quickly prodded back under the soil with my index finger.
It seems to have worked though, as the beans have germinated. Although some of the dwarf beans have decided to reach higher, and are behaving more like climbing beans, and the runner beans failed to germinate. That pot is now home to a courgette which is taking its time to produce.
I’ve had more success with herbs though. I’d chopped the mint pot, and as I hoped it would, it’s sprung right back so clearly I need to drink more mojitos. This month was also the month that our agapanthus flowers started to break free from their pod.
It’s fascinating to watch, and when I mean watch, I mean observe as it’s a really slow moving drama.
The lettuce seeds germinated and were pricked out into the new oblong pots. To prevent any wildlife interest, the pots were quickly covered in chicken wire, which was most probably left over from the fox-proofing episode a few years back (which is still ready and waiting for use if it’s ever needed!)
Our patio and alongside the conservatory was filled with the scent of jasmine on the balmy evenings, at times it could be quite overpowering, but still quite lovely. This cascade of jasmine, which is alongside the conservatory was tamed and tied into the trellis, and I’m really pleased with how it’s progressing along the trellis, providing privacy.
The jasmine hasn’t made it to the agapanthus yet, but as you can see, as the month progressed so we inched closer to flowering agapanthus, but not quite yet.
We had a couple of days of in July and used some of that time to tackle the pear tree. It was, of course, festooned with pears, but as we’ve never managed to eat one of them in all our time here I felt less guilty about some severe pruning. We’ve not managed to eat them because, like the cherries, it’s a race to get to them before the wildlife, and those that are left are still rock hard. I’ve tried cooking them but with little success. In fact the most enjoyment I’ve had from the pears is when I find a decomposing one in the beds, that’s almost perfectly preserved, it’s fascinating (and clearly not edible)
We took a few of the large branches off, aiming to straighten out the profile of the tree, which had started to lean over for the light. At some point we’ll have to get the gardeners in to prune the laurel which is claiming all the space.
There were several trugs carried out to the green bins, and our gardening time was restricted to how much space we had in those. As you can see it’s a much smaller tree now, and the plan is (if the tree understands the plan) to remove the older branch once the tree has recovered and is growing more upright, but for now it’s there as a bit of an insurance policy.
I’m hopeful that it will do what’s required, and while this is quite a severe pruning, if it behaves like the forsythia we cut a month or so back, it’ll be ok. The forsythia has put on much fresh growth and now you’d not realise it’d barely been sticks after MOH had tackled it.
I’ve jasmine growing throughout the garden and the one in this pot was starting to look straggly and the canes a bit skew-whiff, so that had some attention too and is looking much more compact, and has since filled out a bit. Having a cone of flowering jasmine, sounds a perfect addition to the garden and I’m already looking forward to when it flowers.
Talking of flowers, the overwintered geraniums continue to bloom, and bring a welcome pop of colour to the garden.
Our strawberries are done - it was great to eat so many fresh from the garden. The redcurrant plant produced some berries, which of course disappeared the weekend we were in Liverpool and I’m waiting for the salad to grow enough so we can eat it. I also need to pot on (or probably out) the parsley, and the kale which is still in the greenhouse, but that’s venturing into a job for August.
How was July in your garden?