Sunday, 1 August 2010

End of Month View – July 2010

Yep, it’s that time of the month once more to take a look at the garden… Perhaps next year I will pick certain areas and photo only them to see how they develop throughout the year. This could lead to some rather boring shots because inevitably it’ll be the shady areas where I concentrate very little effort… I am trying to mend my ways, but it’s taking time.
Most shady plants seem to want wet shade, but my main shady area is dry shade thanks to a privet hedge and Cherry tree (there is also a Photinia ‘Red Robin’ there but I’ll be removing it sometime, it’s just making an already shady area even more so, plus it has very little interest for wildlife). So, any ideas for dry shade plants for all season interest?

Flat-Topped Aster dominates one half of the ‘New border’ and Verbena Bonariensis adds small splashes of purple/pink.

There’s a lot of blueypurple happening at the moment. With the poppies gone it’s amazing how different the border now feels. Because the poppies took over, they stopped the other seeds growing, so the Nigella, Californian Poppes, Cornflower and such as all very small and spindly. Hopefully next year I won’t quite have the same problem!

I am very pleased how well the Verbena have done which I planted as rather small plants. I think I might need to thin things out a little, the large Geranium at the back on the left (currently hidden by the HUGE Nicotiana, Gladioli, Monkshood and Pheasant’s tail grass) seems to have some moult//fungal problem and I suspect there isn’t enough aeration in the back corner.

When I planted some salvia earlier in the year this branch broke off, I roughly placed it in this pot with some soil from the border.
A few months later and I have a new plant.

Tough love in this garden.

Or incompetent, whichever.

Basically I have no idea what I’m doing and hope for the best. And it would seem Saliva are amazing.

Amazing how taking distance shots can make a border look like there’s nothing flowering… From this angle the Aquilegia and Alliums dominate the view yet in real life it doesn’t seem that way at all.

The same border from the other side… Just so many Butterflies around, I was stalking 4 in the right border. I got up and went to the Seaholly in the left and I saw another 5! 4 Gatekeepers and 1 Speckled wood all enjoying the nectar.

Black Hollyhock attract plenty of Bees.

Some colour in the left border, as previously mentioned I plan on re-landscaping this over Autumn/Winter.


patientgardener said...

Hi Liz
Thanks for joining in the end of month view meme again. Your garden is looking very full and lovely at the moment. This year I have taken photos of the same 4 areas and you are right it does get a bit boring but it does make you look hard at areas which you might ignore, after all we are all very good at showing photos of the good bits!!

Karen - An Artist's Garden said...

I like the aster / verbena combination I do like verbena - it is lovely to see so many butterflies among the plants at this time of year. I enjoy seeing the longer views of your garden Liz.

PatioPatch said...

your garden looks lovely - the gardener always sees room for improvement but still lots blooming there!
I have dry shade too and am stumped when it comes to summer planting.


Heather said...

Your garden looks healthy & happy - your photos are lovely too!

Cheryl said...

Hi the butterflies on the sea holly.....wonderful combination.

Black hollyhocks are gorgeous.......I have grown several plants from the seeds you sent, so hopefully next year I will have lovely black blooms.

I wish I had done some before and after shots with my garden. To late now......but I wished I had a camera when I moved here. I would have loved to look back and see what I had tend to forget with the passing of time.

Lovely post Liz....I do love seeing your garden.

Kala said...

They're all splendid images - I didn't know black hollyhocks existed.

Always learn something new from your blog.

Yoke, said...

Great shots, as usual, Liz.

Would a bog garden work in the dry shady corner, to give you some more control? (I love bog plants, and your photography (the garden, too, I hope!) very well.

Liz said...

Hi Helen,

Thanks for visiting, sorry for forgetting to link to you on my post!!!

I think your idea of focusing on specific areas are for the best, I largely ignore my shady areas and now as my other areas are maturing, my attention can turn towards dealing with the more unsightly parts of the garden. It’s also taken me a while to find out just what the conditions of the area are, as when I first moved in I assumed the back of the garden would be very sunny… I can see myself resorting to periwinkle.

Liz said...

HI Karen,

Verbena seems to be very popular with almost everyone, and I can well understand, especially as the insects also love it… An all-round winner for many!
I’m very impressed with the number of Butterflies I’ve been getting, now I just need larger numbers of the ‘big ones’ i.e. Red Admiral, Peacock etc.

Liz said...

Hi Laura,

I do have to wonder whether I will actually ever be happy with the garden… I like to think so but as I’m enjoying buying new plants I’m beginning to think I’ll never be able to stop myself!

Liz said...

Hi Heather,

Thank you very much, I’m glad you enjoyed looking at the photos.

Liz said...

Hi Cheryl,

Thanks, the Sea Holly is a real hit with the insects, they all seem to love it.

Glad to hear your Hollyhocks have come up, I only sowed two and both have come up and are now in the garden. They probably won’t flower this year – as it sounds like yours won’t either – but hopefully next year they will.

I don’t have any real ‘before’ shots of the garden, but I do have one which the previous owners used to advertise the house. Things haven’t changed too much – but there is a fairly noticeable difference for me anyway, it isn’t large enough to compare to yours though! :)

Liz said...

Hi Kala,

I bought the Black Hollyhocks last year on a whim as dry roots and both have done very well in their second year with 4 and 5 stems. I’ve grown 2 more from seed for the other end of the border to balance things out a little more. They’re very easy to grow from seed, perhaps it’s something you would consider?!

Liz said...

Hi Yoke,

I think a bog garden would like require plenty of sun? I don’t know… I always think of bogs as being somewhere like the everglades where it’s hot, humid and plenty of sun – just very little drainage.

I may just have to be happy with winter/spring/autumn plants in the shady areas, with the summer being a little ‘bare’.

Nutty Gnome said...

Hi Liz - I think it's looking good in your garden, but I'm not pleased with aspects of my own!!!

I haven't got any sea holly, but I do have loads of echinops which the bees seem to love instead!

I do like those black hollyhocks - very unusual....but I seem to have had a bit of a thing this year for darker plants - Sambuca and Heuchera 'Black Lace' are my current favourites! Heucheras would do well in a shady garden and they come in a HUGE variety of colours - H. 'Creme Brulee' is gorgeous and would stand out in a shady spot! :)