The month of July has been packed with colour here. The plants that have caused the most interest have been the shocking red flowers of Gladiolus cardinalis, dictamnus, the texensis clematis and the giant blooms of Cardiocrinum giganteum.
At the end of the month we enjoyed flashes of blue through the border thanks to Campanula latifolia and lactiflora. White and blue agapanthus joined them and watsonias offered a welcome clash with their spires of red flowers. The greenhouse against the south-facing kitchen garden wall is also a show of red with the fuchsias having and exceptional year.
When it comes to value for money the plants that have flowered their socks off in July have been the Eccremocarpus scaber that climbs up the yew hedging on the main drive, the coconut scented Galega officinalis and the veronicastrums. Alstroemeria psittacina, with its red and green flowers, has been a talking point for most of the month.
When it comes to practical tasks there has been many an opportunity for me to be on my hands and knees. Keeping up with the willow herb is a challenge and summer pruning the apple trees has seen me on a higher level! The fruit frame has taken up plenty of time with summer fruiting raspberries requiring pruning and the straw has been removed from amongst the strawberries.
As we welcome in the first few days of August I notice a strong colour change in the garden. The blues have faded and we welcome the hotter colours. There is no shortage of colour at the moment with crocosmias, heleniums and rudbeckias putting on a show. The eucomis are looking incredible and the giant Inula racemosa in the kitchen garden are simply wonderful.
It destresses me that so many people stop garden visiting at this time of year. They are missing out on so much and the bee and butterfly activity is quite wonderful.