Friday, 12 July 2013

Why Do I Hate My July Garden . Gardening the Wrong Way Round and a Garden Visit

First of all, can I just ask if anyone else is experiencing problems with Blogger at the moment.  I have already drafted this post twice - it won't let me scroll up and down for a start.  Then when I inserted photos it wouldn't let me continue writing after - it has been a nightmare.  So I'll give it another try now and see what happens.

Although there is colour here and there in the garden, mainly from the containers - I hate the garden in July, always have.  The bright, fresh greens have gone and the plants and flopping and sprawling in the heat.  The early excitement of wondering what is going to flower next is over as I struggle to keep the garden looking half-decent.

But, on the bright side, the veg garden is overflowing with riotous colour wherever you look - mainly due to the fact that I sowed lots of wild flowers and annuals to attract all those creepy-crawly-buzzy creatures.
pot marigolds and campion edge the veg rows
flowers nestle round the cabbages and parsnips
the potato patch is full of poppies

sweet peas, sweet william and feverfew mingle with the weeds

the runner bean flowers add another spot of colour
the teasels that I planted for the goldfinches are now towering about everything
This picture is out of sequence (damn you Blogger)
showing the hens and ducks free-ranging at Rolleston

the white flowers of the celery that has gone to seed mingle with the peas and runner beans and feverfew

So you see it is really gardening the wrong way round - I have more colour and flowers in the veg garden because of my deliberate attempt to create a haven for wildlife than I do in the flower garden where I have been relying on perennials that haven't made it through the winter.  More thinking and planning to do for next year methinks.

Right - on to the garden visit.  My friend and I visited another NGS Open Garden at Rolleston Hall yesterday. The weather was fantastico, a bit too hot really for wandering round - we gardeners suffer for our art!
It is a privately owned home (a very wealthy family from the look of it) so the garden was only open for one day.  The grounds were very spacious with acres of lawns looking down onto a lake and woodland.

This was the view from the back of the house

A wonderful lake that was so inviting in the heat - I could quite easily have gone in for a bit of wild swimming

The garden was walled and very loosely planted - if there were any gaps the gardener filled them with broad beans and potatoes - it looked charming. 

The greenhouse was immense and looked brand new it was full of every sort of pelargonium you can think of - but too hot to linger in to take photos.

There wasn't an inch of ground to spare anywhere and the Ladies Mantle did a fine job of sprawling over the paths and giving a sense of continuity.

The delphiniums were at their best giving height - but even in this garden there wasn't an awful lot of colour other than the towers of sweet peas (see top right)

When we had had the obligatory cup of tea we chatted to the Head Gardener who was at the gate taking the money.  She said that they had had nearly 300 visitors in all, which is pretty good at £4 a head.  I asked why there was no water feature in the garden and her face dropped.  Darn it she said (or words to that effect) I checked the fountain yesterday to check it was working then forgot to switch it on this morning.  I can understand it - there must be loads of preparation before opening a garden like this - she even roped her husband in to help with the weeding.

It was a lovely garden and all those we chatted to said how much they had enjoyed it.

Do you get dissatisfied like me at certain times of the year
when your plans don't quite work out as you had
There's always next year I suppose.

Sorry about the state of this post I have just looked at the preview and even the size of the font is wrong - I wish Blogger would get their problems sorted - if there are any errors it is because it wouldn't let me go back and correct them - hopefully next week  everything will return back to normal.  Moan over.


  1. No problems at the moment but I'll probably regret saying that.

    Some parts of my garden aren't performing as well as I had hoped but the front garden and another perennial bed are brimming with plants and colour. The plants in these areas were chosen to flower for long periods.

    I'd love a garden like the last one to have as my own but having a head gardener would spoil the fun. I'd need help but would have to be the head gardener

    1. I know what you mean about having to be the head gardenerI'm hopeless at sharing tasks - you and Martyn seem to work well together though.

  2. I know what you mean Elaine.I have already decided on a radical revamp of the garden next year, going back to a lawn and borders.

  3. I am struggling too, but the garden is in its infancy and we haven't had the best of conditions since we started it. That is my excuse and I am sticking to it.
    The garden you visited looks fantastic though! It's nice to dream.

  4. You visited a lovely garden, but I think your veg garden looks beautiful too. I know what you mean because my garden will look terrible within a fortnight. Old roses will be gone, Delphiniums, ladies mantle, geraniums will be cut down. The first weeks of August are the worst as always. With some rain it will recover soon, but with a hot dry summer the garden wiil be unsightly till autumn.

  5. Well I think your flowers in your flower garden are lovely as well as your veg garden! I think we are always critical of our own plots as we have in our heads what they should be doing, and they don't slays follow that.

    No problems here with blogger, it might be a conflict within your browser. I use safari on a mac.

  6. Rolleston Hall looks fabulous. I've got a list of gardens to visit, but can't face it in this heat. I'm sure most gardeners have the same problem in July, with the early stuff coming to an end, but before the late summer things get going. Your veg plot looks lovely anyway. xx

  7. I think your garden looks wonderful but I know what you mean about the difference in how the garden looks in July after the fresh, green promise of June. I spent an hour this morning, until it got too hot, cutting away a pink hardy geranium that had run wild and was trying to strangle other plants around it. Rolleston Hall garden looks very interesting:)

  8. smashing pictures Elaine July what a lovely month in the garden (for me at least) I have not had any problems with blogger but I know Mark has

  9. I've had one or two problems with blogger for months now, and I've come across other blogs where they've had recent problems, like you - so hope this is all sorted out soon. I love the flowers planted with your vegetables; I'm a bit envious because I have to cover most veg here due to the rabbits. I agree that July gardens start to look tired (especially in the heat). Mine always looks its best in June. But you do have some lovely colour in your garden.

  10. That was a beautiful garden to visit, Elaine - must have been very inspirational! Your own garden is looking very good (love the poppies in the potato patch!). I must admit I love my little bit of garden, even though I haven't got round to sowing what I wanted, and enjoy all the seasons as they pass. I don't have a huge amount to look at so every little change is focused on. At the moment, I'm waiting for apples and raspberries to ripen and day lilies to flower.
    Mark has had problems with blogger - he thinks it's due to running on IE8 which blogger no longer supports. I posted as a test and had no problems, so it's not universal. Hope this helps and you resolve your problems. Your post, btw, looks wonderful! (and I couldn't find any mistakes - well done, you!)

  11. After years of writing my posts in blogger itself & the 'angst' that goes with it....I now write all my posts for the 3 blogs I write using Windows Live Writer. It's a brilliant programme, you can resize photos & watermark instantly. No pain. Def' give it a won't look back. You still have Blogger but write your post in WLW which then puts them on your blog for you.
    Back to your garden...still looks fab from where I'm sitting but I do agree about this time of year. Our sunny bed isn't 'working' but I guess we needed July to realise that...still, something to plan for next spring. Have a great weekend x

  12. Oh my goodness that lake looks absolutely amazing!!! Love the garden and all the wonderful colors around. I hope the Blogger problem sorts itself out soon. Blogger has been a bit uncooperative of late lol.

  13. You have a huge garden, a huge yard! I agree about gardening in July. Not very exciting and it is so very hot. About all we do is weed and water. Our vegetable garden is slow this year; we had such a cold spring. Your garden tour looks wonderful. I love the pond. It reminds me of the one on the little farm where I grew up. Happy gardening.

  14. Hi Elaine,
    I was having problems with Blogger last week but they seem to have abated mostly. (I forgot you'd mentioned that and found myself moving so close to my screen to read your post, I nearly fell off my seat! Anyway, I loved the poppies among the spuds!

  15. Your veggie garden is perfect. I wouldn't change a thing there. Despite your blogger problems the top set of photographs showed well. How did you get them aligned so precisely? I'm going to follow up on Jane's advice too.

    1. I collaged the photos on Picasa where my photos are stored.

  16. It looks like you have a touch of the summertime blues! I'm not keen on this time of year so do sympathise.
    Despite the problems this is a most enjoyable post and wonderful photos.
    It's all looking great in your garden, and if it were mine it would certainly put a smile on my face and give me much satisfaction.
    Visiting such a garden is always a delight with so much to admire, and that sure is some greenhouse!
    Flighty xx

  17. Sorry you're experiencing problems with blogger. It is one of the reasons why I transferred to Wordpress. That open garden has had a lot of money spent on it. Gorgeous - I wish I had their budget. Dave

  18. The problems with blogger sound a right pain, there's nothing more frustrating than having to write something twice!

    I simply love your veg plot and am so glad it's not just me who has poppies growing amongst the potatoes.

    What a beautiful garden to visit....the lake is just delightful.

    I'm having the same probs as you with plants sprawling about, and keeping them watered is hellish!xxxx

  19. Both gardens are just wonderful.

  20. I know what you mean Elaine, my garden is looking sorry for itself at the moment - plants in pots looking straggly and leggy, hanging baskets limp and forlorn and the early clematis showering my seated area under the pergola. Your garden does look pretty though, be it flowers or veggies.
    Patricia x

  21. I hate my garden in July, too! Good to know I'm not alone.


  22. I hate my garden in the winter because it is completely dormant and a bit depressing. I think your veg garden is really beautiful. If I had a greenhouse as big as the one in your photo, I'd never come out. :o)

  23. I do know what you mean about the July garden, it does lose the fresh zesty green on spring. Your vegetable garden looks amazing, you must be so pround of that, so productive and yet so pretty and obviously loved by wildlife.
    Really enjoying reading about your NGS garden visits.

  24. Sorry to hear of your issues with Blogger Elaine. Every once in a while I run into something maddening too. Your veggie garden is beautifully colorful. I love the poppies and the sweet peas. How do you prevent the local rabbits from eating them?
    The garden you toured looks amazing. I love the area around the greenhouse. What a lot of work though!

  25. The garden is fenced Jennifer - we have had problems in the past but the last couple of years the rabbit population seems to have dwindled - thank goodness. Although on walking around the perimeter I did spot that something had been digging recently!