Wednesday, 13 August 2014

July is a killer month in the garden, get complacent and you're over run with a seedy and dusty post party scene. . From the beginning of spring, with brilliant Aconites all the way through to the  end of the June Roses there's a florid display. Dead heading pushes the repeat flowering Roses onto a thinner display, with Phlox to accompany them and Dahlias too; but any dry spell makes the Phlox suffer. So all of July is spent clearing away, cutting back, dead heading, watering Phlox and Astrantias and 'dropping' the odd plant or pot into gaps. It's relentless and to the faint hearted  can seem a pointless merry go round of repetitive jobs that have no effect. It's a thankless task, but towards the middle of August it all seems worthwhile
Lawns too begin to suffer, they've seen a lot of feet and the odd drink spilt during the first six months. Like us all a lawn needs good nutrition to perform well and we try to apply a low nitrogen feed little and often. However there has to be a lot of  'ducks in a row' before any fertiliser is applied as any footfall on exposed fertiliser leads to temporary blackened areas  ...
  • Imminent heavy rain, to wash in the fertiliser, has to be guaranteed.
  • A 'short quiet period' i.e. no major events immediately after application so as to avoid the footfall.
For example I was desperate to get fertiliser out onto the lawns one Friday in July as they were showing the early stages of tiredness. Heavy rain was guaranteed in the late evening; but a garden BBQ was planned for the afternoon and early evening. The next Friday also had guaranteed rain in the late evening and although guests were arriving for a large wedding the next day they were all going  to spend the evening over at the Village Pub, this was my chance. So the feed was applied and an inch of rain fell during the evening to wash it in before a large wedding the next day. It's good to be busy and part of the excitement is seizing the opportunity and getting a result, green lawns to accompany the late show in the borders.

Ripening hips on Rosa rugosa.

Bright pink fruits on Euonymus phellomanus, they split to reveal scarlet seeds.

Rosa 'Buff Beauty' and Phlox 'David' in Bed 1 in front of the house.

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