Mid-summer update July 2015

Needless to say, things have been moving on apace in the garden over June and July. The first flush of spring and early summer colour has muted, with some of the very dramatic early flowering such as the foxgloves, clematis, and alliums now sadly over but other equally stunning later flowering plants like the Perovskia, Agastache and the glorious Verbena coming into their own. One particular favourite of mine is the humble Scabius which just keeps flowering on and on.

Top patio
Top patio

There’s always something new happening. There have been a few steep learning curves: a couple of disappointing candidates such as the low-growing Ceanothus and Geranium Cinereum (which turned out to be a miniature variety!) have been repositioned or swapped for something more worthwhile – all documented in the updated planting plan. I have also suffered with my fair share of blackfly and slug damage, and have been faced with the dilemma of how to keep their voracious appetites in check without resorting to pesticides. Like a lot of novices at the gardening game, I’m impatient and can hardly wait for my roses and other climbers to be covering the entire fence and my arbour to be dripping with fragrant honeysuckle. All in good time, I know.

Big wall basket
Big wall basket

The lush hanging baskets are attracting a lot of compliments and a fair bit of envy from visitors, and help bring a permanent backdrop of colour to tide over any slightly less eventful periods between flowering by the permanent planting – although they do require quite a bit of watering and feeding.

In terms of garden design, finally my corner garden bench and integrated cupboard custom built by Emma Hubble is now in situ. Designed to provide storage space for cushions and garden implements, as well as protect the electric sockets and hide the hose, some ugly pipes and general garden stuff, the bench is also a perfect corner seating unit.

The most recent finishing touch: specially made cushions to turn the bench into a cosy spot for reading or taking in the mid-morning sun for coffee and a chat.

Office in the gardenWith this corner unit, the dining terrace and my arbour I now have three very different and lovely spaces to enjoy sunshine from early morning until reasonably late in the evening. As I work from home and thanks to wireless network technology, on fine days I am able to set up a fully equipped workstation in the garden under my awning complete with WiFi, telephone and dual screens. How good is that?

Wildlife visitors are really starting to discover the garden too. The feeders now host a regular stream of birds from tits, robins and dunnocks through to larger visitors including a pair of jays, quite a few magpies and of course wood pigeons. The garden is always full of various types of bees, and just over the past few days butterflies are now increasingly in evidence as well. Perhaps most satisfying of all, there is constant activity around the bee hotel, with various tubes holes bunged up and presumably incubating larvae.
Remember there are loads more pictures in the gallery.
All for now!