The recent heat has encouraged lots of flowers and here’s a few of my favourites for July:
1. Alchemilla – ‘Lady’s Mantle’
– a real old cottage garden favourite with frothy lime green flowers and attractive serrated edged leaves that capture rain and dew drops at their centre, like sparkling precious jewels.
– a shrub that’s seldom seen in many gardens with large, fragrant, papery white flowers with prominent yellow stamens and shiny evergreen leaves. Easy to grow but does need a sunny site.
3. Clematis viticella
– climbers with masses of dainty, nodding flowers over a long period and in a vast colour range.
– what summer garden would be complete without Lavander, with its aromatic foliage and perfumed flowers, so beloved by bees. Available not only in the familiar purple, but also in white and pink.
5. Passiflora caerulea
– Passion Flower – an exotic looking climber with complicated pruple, blue and white flowers followed by edible orange fruits – the red seeds are terrific with desserts or, better still, in champagne!
– an easy to grow deciduous shrub with brightly coloured flowers over a long flowering season.
– this is the perennial, as opposed to the bright red annual or the shrubby varieties, and has slender spikes of deep blue flowers for several months if you keep dead-heading.
– doesn’t sound a very attractive name for what is really pretty little cottage garden plant. The frilly-edged, pincushion-like flowers are borne over a long flowering season and come in blue or white.
9. Trachelospermum – Evergreen Jasmine
– this has all the fragrance of Jasminum officinale, but has a much better appearance in winter, being evergreen.
10. Verbascum – Mullein
– these are tall perennials for the back of the border, ranging in colour from white and yellow, through apricot to pink. Some of them have attractive silvery, woolly rosettes of foliage at their base and they look particularly good in gravel gardens.
JULY TIPS AND ADVICE
1. Cut down faded Delphiniums, Lupins and Oriental Poppies to about 10-15cms from the ground to encourage new growth and a possible second flush of flowers later on.
2. Dead-head Day Lilies and other perennials and annuals to prolong flowering.
3. Dead-head roses and continue to feed and check for any signs of disease.
4. Lawns can be mown less frequently in dry weather and with the blades set higher too.
5. New hedges can still be planted this month as long as you water them well. Established hedges such as Box, Hornbeam, Holly and Laurel can all be pruned now.
6. If you’re lucky enough to have an alpine meadow with spring-flowering bulbs, you can safely cut it now as the bulbs will be dormant now. (obviously this does not apply if yours is a summer flowering meadow!)
7. If you have a greenhouse do not forget to shade and ventilate, otherwise your plants will cook!
8. If you have a pond with fish and you find them gulping air at the surface during hot weather, you need aerate the water, either by installing a small fountain, or by trickling some water on to the surface with a hose.
9. Fruits and veg can be harvested as they ripen – yum!
10. Finally – water, water, water!