End of month view – July 2014


Another post thrown together in haste before our departure to the States.

You may remember I avoided sharing photos of the garden in this month’s Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day, instead showing the exuberant blooms in my cutting garden down the road.  Well I feel I should (wo)man up, and share for the end of month view.

The picture above captures the rare sight of raindrops (on the scaffolding that’s been erected for the house painting).  I have to say I’ve really struggled to cope with the almost complete lack of rain until the thunderstorms just after the middle of the month.  And as my watering has concentrated on the vegetables and the greenhouse, the flower beds have been suffering.

The left hand Swing Bed still has the St Swithun rose flowering, but the the other roses are long over.  The sweet peas are climbing enthusiastically up the pea netting at the back of the pergola, scenting the area around the swing wonderfully, and the phlox, penstemons and verbena from prior years are all fine.  However, the annuals I planted in both Swing Beds have really struggled to get established, despite my watering efforts.  Interestingly, many of the same plants (Cosmos and Cleomes) are now doing well in the cutting garden, which I think it’s more a reflection of their being planted out earlier, rather than any superior watering regime.


The right hand Swing Bed shows the apple tree’s potential two apple harvest as well as a salvia, the new growth of the Euphorbia and the mirror sweet peas at the back of the bed.


Meanwhile, in the Grass Bed, the Verbascum Chaixii Album I grew from seed last year have all come into flower at the back of the bed, adding a certain amount of cohesion, but the planting in front is still a terrible mess.  There are still the remains of the Allium Hair (which really should come out), as well as some Salvia viridis blue used for cutting, the Fox and Cubs (yes, they should come out too) and the Nasturtium Black Velvet.


In the shady Oak Bed, whilst I’m still not happy with the overall effect, the foliage is calming on hot days and shows the planned pattern of green and purple foliage.  I particularly like the Cercis Canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’ (in the foreground) which is one of the only things I’ve planted in this border, having admired it in Beth Chatto‘s garden years ago.


More positiviely, the raised cutting beds have been doing well (although they had to be lifted and moved as part of the painting works and are now in a rather strange place)


the Verbena bonariensis are unstoppable


and the vegetables are all becoming productive (just as we go away!)


French Bean ‘Cobra’IMG_3877

Runner Bean ‘Painted Lady’IMG_3875





and Pumpkin ‘Munchkin’IMG_3872

In the greenhouse the tomatoes are romping away


and the Plumbagos by the greenhouse door are flowering beautifully,

IMG_3863And whilst there are still some good looking pots




there is still too much chaos and still far too many plants in pots, (a legacy of over ambitious seed planting and obsessive division and cutting taking).

And as I write this I wonder how they’ll cope with a two week absence.  Fingers crossed.

IMG_3866 (2)With many thanks, as ever, to Helen at the Patient Gardener,  for hosting everyone’s End of Month views.

11 thoughts on “End of month view – July 2014

  1. AnnetteM

    Wow, you have a lot of things to look after. I hope you get some rain while you are away. Your verbascum and verbena look amazing. My verbena is just coming into flower, but can’t see it looking as good as yours. I think it put all its energy into growing tall rather than flowering.
    You have a pink penstemon which looks very like one I have – do you know the name of it? Mine was a cutting from a friend long before I was interested in varieties – I was just happy to know it was a penstemon! You veg is all looking very healthy – hope you have someone to look after/eat it while you are away?

    1. jenhumm116 Post author

      Hi Annette, do you know I thought the same thing when I saw your penstemon. Afraid I don’t know the name either. They were inherited with the house and were one of the few things I kept and moved when we redesigned this side of the garden. They’re certainly good ‘doers’ though, and flower for ages.

      1. AnnetteM

        Mine are great – I have split them up and moved them about and they still flower profusely for ages. The only problem is that they clash rather badly with some of my red and orange flowers! Can’t do without them though.

  2. Cindi

    Your photos are lovely!

    I’m so glad you commented on my blog, as it helped me find yours. Although I’m not a gardener, I appreciate the variety of colors and plants located throughout the world. Your blog will bring those from the eastern part of the Isle of Wight to my computer monitor to enjoy.

    (And now I’ll have to explore your blog to see if you’ve mentioned where in the States you’ll be visiting; as an American living in Norway, I love to see my country through others’ eyes!)

  3. Helen Johnstone

    Now I don’t think it looks half as bad as you say which shows we are as bad as each other viewing our gardens negatively. At least you have colour and as for sweet peas I gave up on them years ago. Hope you have a good holiday and come back with fresh eyes

  4. Alison

    I hope you have a good time in the States and don’t worry too much about your garden. Two weeks is a long time to be away from it. I was away for a week in July, and parts of it suffered. Yours looks pretty fabulous, but this is the time of year when many gardens start to look past it. I have a greenhouse too where I grow tomatoes, and this year mine are enormous!

  5. Janet/Plantaliscious

    I agree with Helen, I don’t look at your photos and see endless flaws! And your pots are looking beautiful. I love your foliage border, not least because I am starting to develop a border with a similar purple and green theme, and am ecstatic to have finally created space for ‘Forest Pansy’, a long time favourite of mine too. Enjoy your time away.

  6. digwithdorris

    Your garden looks a feast for the eyes and I too love the Cercis candenensis, one of my top ten plants. You sent me the link to show me your Plumbago , well it looks fantastic. I wish I had pinched a cutting to try myself. Did you buy it as a plant or grow yourself?D.


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