End of month view

I seem to have been away for most of July, what with Oxford and daughter visiting, Dartmoor and parent visiting and Austria and puffing up mountains.  The garden has a dip in early July when lots of things get cut back and it all looks a bit bare and sad.  I know this is my own fault for letting oriental poppies take over and for loving the rush of spring and early summer so much that later summer gets neglected and I am trying hard to balance out my year a bit better.  I chopped back the hardy geraniums and the alchemilla and they are filling out again and there is a lot of cosmos grown from seed quietly filling in the gaps, but not yet really flowering.

Here is the side garden with the hens on the march in the bottom of the picture.  I often wonder, when I find a patch of scratched up seedlings or a flattened plant, how much better my garden would be if I didn't let the hens roam in it but I do think they add their own special something to the place.  They are lovely colours themselves and they make nice contented little noises and, really, this is not a place to be precious about damage, being so nearly just a bit of field and a veg patch.  The crocosmia lucifer is fountaining away in the back corner next to the fronds of fennel.  I think I shall have to have another clump on the other side of the fennel as it has great shape and foliage even when it is not in flower and the contrast with the feathery fennel, strappy lucifer and spikes of persicaria is one I really like.  It's only downside is that it takes up a lot of space.

Here is the cutting garden.  The phlox is flowering away and the echinacea is just coming.  The row of pinks smells warm and spicy in the sun as you pass.  I always grow lots of sweetpeas and this year is the best I have ever managed.  They smell wonderful too but are best when you have just cut them and put them in a jug.  I had a bit of a saga with sweetpeas this year.  I sowed some in November which were Sarah Raven varieties, a present from the lovely Zoe.  Every one was eaten by mice so I had to try again.  I used the heated propagator and got new ones going toward the end of February and then a warm spring and early summer meant that they were all flowering quite early.  These are Singing the Blues, Hi Scent and (typically) another variety where the writing washed off the label.  They have all had long stems and strongly scented flowers.  While we were away walking some began to set seed as the flowers weren't being picked often enough, so I have been going around every couple of days picking huge bunches for the house and the cottage and snipping off those which have begun to form seedheads.
Here is the cottage garden, lavender still going strong, lucifer flowering here too (I know it sounds odd with lavender but I promise you it looks ok with a buffer of silvery sedum) and the heads of the alliums making their bleached presence. 
Here is the sunny bank, in its own lull.  The irises and the opium poppies are over and the penstemons and sedums which will fill the middle of this space with a rich wine colour are only just beginning to come.
 And here is the kitchen garden, crying out for me to spend some time in it.  The onions have been lifted and are drying in the wooden greenhouse and the beds need properly clearing out and some more things sowing.  Somehow I managed not to sow beetroot earlier this year and I think I might just get away with getting some in now.  I will also sow more rocket and a variety of salad leaves.  In spring I sowed far too much of the same varieties of lettuce and some has bolted now and been pulled up today.  We just couldn't keep up with it, despite my practically making everyone have some shredded lettuce at every meal including breakfast.  I shall put small amounts of different salad stuff in this time.  In another month's time when the apples are ripening this garden looks wonderful but at the moment it is a bit heavy.

I think I might have to take my camera out again tomorrow and get some close ups of the combinations which are pleasing me to add to these more distant views.


  1. i just love your gardens...so much beauty

  2. Thanks for visiting my blog. We arejust thinking of getting stuff in the garden and trying to keep rabbits at bay.

  3. What a wonderful garden - very well organized too! Everything is flourishing against that scenic backdrop.


  4. Swooning over your stone walls... egads. Lovely gardens, too!

  5. You should be proud of yourself, it's all beautiful, and extremely tidy.

    We always used to soak sweet pea seeds in petrol (?) before sowing. It does no harm and the mice will leave them alone. We also had some everlasting sweet peas that came up year after year; we would clip them into hedges, they were that bushy.

  6. Hi Elizabeth
    Thanks for joining in the end of month view again.
    I think Crocosmia and lavender sounds like a fab combo. I have more and more crocosmia since I think their strappy leaves are excellent foilage.

  7. OMG it looks so green!!! I've forgotten what green landscapes and lawns look like.

    Went to London yesterday and the parks look like photos printed with the wrong colours - pale yellow ochre grass!

    We had our first proper rain on Friday night - I danced in it!


  8. It's looking pretty good despite your absences!

    My 'hot' bed is just coming into its own - - do agree with you about 'Lucifer'- fennel combination. Mine is next to a ligularia which adds another tone and leaf shape into the mix.

  9. Very tidy and attractive garden, in spite of your absences. Or have you just avoided taking pics of the messy bits?

    You certainly have some brave combinations in your flower beds; as some TV gardener (I forget who it was) said " if colours grow together in the wild, they suit each other in the garden too". I often get things 'wrong' but am mostly pleased with the result.

    Is this garden view post part of a group?

  10. Quite amazing. How do you do it? As well as everything else. Do you have a little machine in your wooden shed that manufactures time - and maybe another one beside it that manufactures energy?

  11. Laura, thank you.
    Penny - we never used to have rabbits when our neighbour at the farm kept terriers. They are slowly appearing now!
    PP - The backdrop is wonderful. Without it the garden would be nothing!
    Marcheline - we grow stone here. It bubbles up out of the flower and veg beds.
    Cro - don't be fooled. It is far from tidy. I was the one with the camera! Would love everlasting sweetpeas. Must look into that.
    Patientgardener - I love crocosmia too. Even when it is not in flower I like its presence.
    Celia - it was quite golden when we went away but a couple of weeks of rain have brought the green back and made everything look a lot happier.
    Mountainear - oh I like the ligularia idea too. Wonder if it would grow for me?
    Friko - there are weeds and mess galore. The camera is very kind. I have been doing an end of month view every month since the end of March. Really instructive. Why don't you join in?
    Fennie - that made me snort as I have just been fighting that rising sense of being totally overwhelmed and reminding myself that it doesn't really matter if things don't get done and the weeds win here and there this year! Don't be fooled!

  12. Hi Elizabeth

    Considering how long you have left your garden it looks wonderful! I've been here & mine is in serious need of attention.
    The views that you have are wonderful. I imagine sitting at that table with a glass of wine on a warm evening must be very relaxing.

  13. Gorgeous.
    It looks just as a garden should - colour, creatures and things coming into and leaving their prime.
    Our lettuce got away from us this year too, but the chickens enjoyed the extra ration!

  14. How do you do that - go away for most of the month and still have a lovely garden. I'm a newcomer to gardening and struggle with my little patch. Yours is just amazing!

  15. Nice to know that your garden is having a lull too!

    I have Crocosmia Lucifer growing behind alarge clump of Giant Oat Grass and that combination works well.

    With regard to the comment about soaking seed in petrol (I'm sure that must be against health & safety these days!), I've always used parafin which works and also use it with crocus corms - the mice love them too!


  16. So jealous - you had sunshine for the end of the month view, and we didn't!

    Elizabeth - Your space is SO much more than "so nearly just a bit of field and a veg patch"! and it is looking glorious, the crocosmia certainly add a zing to the planting.

  17. Love your attitude towards the hens..... Gardens are so much more than tame flowers. Yours is a particularly inspiring one, and as a future gardener, I'm taking notes!

    Here in my city street, it's amazing how some things grow, especially in front of neglected student houses - every year, gorgeous self-seeded hollyhocks in cracked concrete, sweetpeas in litter-infested gravel, pavement valerian everywhere. Nature will out.....

  18. Mary (not anon really!) - it is a great place to sit with a glass of wine in the evening.
    Pondside - I am glad I am not the only one with escaping lettuce!
    Marianne - you must remember that the distance created by the camera gently mutes all the weeds. I have been weeding all afternoon and I know there are loads. They just don't show!
    Johnson - I have heard of soaking sweet pea seeds in paraffin. Maybe I should give it a go.
    Karen - the sun shone for a couple of hours and for quite a bit today. Thanks for your kind words about my garden. I appreciate it loads!
    Rachel - I know just what you mean about the drive of things to grow. That is what you need to do somewhere like this: find what wants to grow here and love it.

  19. Wow what a fabulous walking holiday! it all looked amazing and I take my hat off to you walking with rucksacks...it's no fun...ever.
    And your garden - well, to me it looks totally glorious despite your absence (very well behaved and trained me thinks).
    Also after many months of being 'away' just wanted to say a big 'hello' and love the look of your new format. xx

  20. Elizabeth~Your garden is lovely~I was thinking Wales is rainy and here you have a gorgeous sunny scene! gail

  21. I would like to exchange links with your site welshhillsagain.blogspot.com
    Is this possible?


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