July View 2016, and a major garden edit

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I’ve been putting off writing my End of Month View for the past few days, which is why it’s late. I could blame a full-time job, a packed social diary, and some very intensive training for this, but if the truth be told, I haven’t yet written about my July view because I’m not content with the way the garden looks this month, and would much rather not have to show you at all. Put another way, if it had all been looking totally spiffing, this post would have been up on the blog days ago.

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But hiding the dodgy bits is not what garden blogging is about, is it? If we wanted to see perfect gardens all the time, we could just look at pictures of Great Dixter or the Royal Botanics. Garden blogging is just as much about real people’s gardens, the gardens of people who don’t employ gardeners, who don’t have any certificates in horticulture, who are learning as they go along and who make mistakes, mistakes such as performing a major garden edit right in the middle of July…

… Yes, that’s right, I did a garden edit in the middle of July. It began with needing to get that arch into place. I had started building the arch on our sitting room floor, then ran out of time half way through, and then the Brazilian hastily crammed said enormous arch into my very small office when some friends came over for dinner, which meant that I couldn’t get into my office anymore. So the arch had to go up pronto, instead of waiting till a better time, like autumn. That meant digging out a hosta, and some primulas, and moving a Jacob’s Ladder, which now needed to go right where there was a big oriental poppy that was the wrong colour anyway, so the poppy got dug out, and so did the Jacob’s Ladder, and then some snapdragons came out too so that the hosta could go in their place, and before I knew it the path was covered in upheaved plants.

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A garden edit in July is generally a terrible idea for the following reason: it’s hot and dry, so the plants don’t settle into their new patches very quickly, and then you water them loads so their roots stay at the surface instead of tapping down for water, and the consequence is weaker plants. It also leaves bare patches in the middle of flower beds right in the height of summer when everything should be brimming over. Now, the hot/dry thing isn’t a huge problem in Scotland. It’s been a maximum of 16 degrees most days, with little sun and plenty of rain, and I made sure to dig up the plants with as much intact soil around their roots as possible.. So things are surviving. The bare patches are there all right though, and after raiding the garden for last week’s vase, there is not a lot flowering either.

Anyway, generally when I grumble about something, the Brazilian starts singing ‘This is a cruel world’ at me until I stop, so perhaps we should look on the bright side: nothing is ever permanent in a garden, not even our mistakes.

Besides, my window boxes were looking good (until they got squashed flat by the wind)…

IMG_0514IMG_0512 ..and the roses too. Below are some pictures of another ‘Lady Gardener’ doing her best to make the garden look pretty.

End of Month View is hosted by Helen at The Patient Gardener.

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13 Comments

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  1. As I’m constantly moving things about, even in July (and did), I know just how you feel. There is a Phlomis on intensive care right now. It needs water by the can full and by the next night has flopped again. Huge fleshy leaves. Bad move, right? But, honestly, your garden still looks lovely!

  2. If you move plants in summer it’s best to cut them hard back, I know they will look awful for a time but they will recover sooner and have more chance of surviving

  3. The concept that 16 degrees is hot made me smile, that’s a winter temperature here in central Italy so I think you were quite right to move things when you did. Probably they will actually grow well before it gets cold.

    • Ah, now I never claimed that 16 degrees was hot so I must defend myself there! I went ahead with my garden edit knowing that although elsewhere July is the wrong time for moving plants about, I could probably get away with it here. Everything is surviving so far. I’m not enamoured of the bare patches though and may have to raid the garden centre for some quick space-fillers.

  4. I have to agree with Christina, that is a good temperature to move plants. It is 32 most days here and even the tropical plants are not fond of being uprooted. Roses are just lovely.

  5. It’s a handsome arch anyway. Was it difficult to put together? What are you planning to grow up it?

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