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Sunday, 29 July 2012

July flowers (Part 1)

What a month! The first half was cool and wet, and all I wanted was for it to stop raining, warm up a bit and let me hack back those jungle like weeds! Then it stopped raining, we had a week of hot weather, it was too hot to garden and we moaned a lot (well, I did) and now it's cooled down again. A 10C rise or drop in temperature is a bit of a shock to the system. Unfortunately my free draining soil can't cope with these temps and no regular watering/rain so the garden has dried out considerably and I'm out there now having to hosepipe and put the seep hoses on. It's amazing how quickly everything starts to go brown and wilt, but I've been lucky so far this summer that I haven't had to start watering until now. At least we will have saved some money on the water bill! (And in case you think I moan a lot, I'm British, and this is what we do best - moan about the weather. It's rarely just right).

So, back to the beginning of the month and a summary of the best in bloom. The white Astrantias have soldiered on, happy in the shady spots of the garden. It always amazes me how many insects are attracted to them.

A hoverfly (no time for IDs right now!),
a couple of Varied Carpet Beetles and a teeny little bee!

Red Soldier Beetles mating

The Lavatera looked stunning earlier in the month. It's still flowering now but is past its best.

Rarely are any of my flower photos bug free!
Can you see the silhouette of the tiny insect deep inside?

I'm so happy this year that my two hydrangeas have done well. This pink one didn't even flower last year and this year is a mass of blooms.

Pink Hydrangea beginning to colour up

Oh how I moaned about the wind too. It made it so hard to photograph the insects or flower heads, which were swaying in the breeze! (Of course, as soon as it heated up, I wanted that wind back again....)

The foxglove swayed, but the bumble bee (almost) stood still. One day.....

Amidst this sea of pink there were blasts of other colours. Here's my sedum tub round the front of the house. I'm particularly pleased with it this year as I was only given these three plants last summer and now two out of the three have flowered.

Sedum reflexum (yellow flowers) has been a hit with the honey bees.

Happy bee

The pelargoniums, or geraniums as I still call them, have been coming to life. I bought the ivy leafed ones for the tubs, but my overwintered indoors zonal pelaroniums take some getting used to the outside light and sun, and some take longer than others to come back into flower, and regain their full leaf colour.

Bog standard bought Ivy Leafed Geranium

A no-name variety bought last year
from the plant man in the village market.

Self seeded Calendulas started to bloom in the wild patch with poppies,
in front of my bee hotel.

By mid month my front bed which has many herbs as well as some other, more drought resistant plants (even they struggle at times, as this soil here is so shallow and sandy) was starting to come into full summer glory. The blue spires are perovskia against a backdrop of self seeded dill on the left, and my fabulous and new last year, bronze fennel, which gets the thumbs up from me!

Looking blurry because it hasn't been cropped and Blogger can't cope with images over about 1000 pixels wide. Needs clicking on to view!

Front flower and herb bed.

I will end this now and put the rest of the month on another post as I have far too many photos!


  1. WOW! Just absolutely beautiful! Wonderful pics! Keep up the good work!
    Miss Lady Bug

  2. I can't wait for part two! Can you include a wide shot so I can see the entire (or mostly entire) garden? (Boy, I'm pushy!)

  3. Thanks Miss Lady Bug and Andree! Erm I'd need really wide angle Andree - have about 2.5 acres here!!

    If you look at the About section it does have some shots from upstairs looking out over the garden in different directions. I didn't take any whole flower bed shots in these two posts because it was more about the specific flowers, and also because the garden has looked a bit of an overgrown mess this month. I am now working on tidying up as it is dry enough.....when I can find the time.... :-)