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A COOL START

 Temperatures are expected to get into the 30s again today but this morning I’ve been for a walk around the garden and it felt lovely and fresh and cool with a little mist in the air. I hope the plants have also benefited from this respite from the heat.  This is a view of the shady end of the rose garden looking towards the oak tree and the rhododendron borders it’s looking a bit autumnal   The persicaria is flowering. It’s a bit of a thug and wood happily make a move to take over the whole border but I keep a close eye on it and make sure it behaves itself.  I bought it from a NGS garden as ‘son of firetail’. They certainly had plenty of it for sake.  The roses have started to repeat flower. This is Margaret Merril just opening and looking much more like Champagne Moment.  Now back to reality with a bit of a bump. Those rhododendrons under the oak tree are suffering. I would guess they have been there since the 1970s at least and could be older. They don’t like this weather and have

STILL GOING STRONG

A fellow SOSer suggested I write a Six about plants that have done OK despite the extreme weather this year.  So Noelle, here it is.

First a moments silence for those we have lost - the Japanese painted ferns, the Astilbes, a rugusa rose (surprised at that one) and some of the pulmonarias.  The broad beans were a complete disaster and the gooseberries rotted and fell that hot weekend before they could be picked.

I don't water my garden as a rule.  I water new plants and the vegetables once a week. Pots and the greenhouse plants get watered every day.  But the borders have to manage for themselves. *   So the plants I'm about to share with you have not been molly coddled.  

* Disclaimer I have watered the Long border twice in July as it was shrivelling up.

So what has survived?

Firstly the roses have in general done OK.  Not the greatest display of flowers, but they have kept going and are just starting their second flush.



I know I featured these white perennial sweet peas recently, but I've been surprised how well they've done compared to the annual peas which seem to prefer cooler wetter conditions.


Any Hosta which gets the sun has been scorched, but those in the shade seem to be doing better.  This one at the back of the Rose garden is next to some Astilbes which look completely dead.  (The sun in this picture only reaches this spot for a short while each day).


You can see the scorched leaves on the tomato plant on the bottom right, but overall I would say this is one of the best years I have had for tomatoes.  I'm putting this down to the compost (Jack's Magic) and I hope I'm right so I can repeat the success again next year.


Clematis Comtesse de Bouchard has been flowering for a couple of months.  It's done better than ever before.  It's against a north facing wall and has been treated to a lovely large new pot this year.  I thought that clematis would hate this heat, but the regular watering (thanks to new outside tap) must have more than made up for it.


The Kniphofia form part of the Gertrude Jekyll long border and were a key plant of hers (so I really need to include them). But  I've found them reluctant to flower, or if they do flower they do so in Spring rather than in late Summer when I want them to.  I've tried different varieties to see which perform best and I think this clump is Kniphofia Nobilis.  The others haven't done anything though.



So there you have it.  The lavender has done well of course and the rest of the garden is looking dry and tired.  How is yours doing?

Thanks as always to the Progagator for hosting Six on Saturday.

Comments

  1. N20 here. Yes kniphofia has also done well here. I meant to include it this week as it will probably have finished by next week! Also echincea and rudbeckia. The roses are flowering again but so much smaller. Your clematis looks wonderful - is it in a very large pot?

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    1. The pot is about 2ft square, so a good volume of soil.

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  2. It's interesting the perennial variety of sweet pea has done okay during this weather. I'm considering cutting my losses with my annual sweet peas (growing in pots) - they're covered in mildew and I'd be saving myself quite a bit of water.

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    1. My annuals ones are still languishing at about 3ft high with just the odd flower. Not a good year for them.

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  3. Very interesting, we may all have to rethink our planting and watering habits. A perennial sweetpea does appeal.

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    1. They don't have that scent but they are so easy and pretty.

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  4. Thanks for the update on plants that have done well. The perennial sweet pea particularly in white is a clear winner. It also seems that your plants in the shade have also done well. I remembered a trick about shading which I showed in my post this week, sadly the local store does not stock fleece during the summer. Understandable until people realise it could be useful in hot sun too.

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  5. Agree that it’s been a fabulous year for tomatoes, maybe it’s the magic compost or maybe it’s the heat and sun. It’s interesting to see what pulls through and how garden microclimates can help - a bit of extra shade might make all the difference. Beautiful clematis, mine have done fine and even flowered longer than last year, but have some woodland-style shading.

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    1. I've been surprised by how well some of the clematis have done, but shocked by how suddenly other plants went over. It's a steep learning curve, and yet I'm not ready to plant olive trees yet. I still recall the -15 C we had the first year we moved here.

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  6. With a few degrees more and less rain received than you, the plants have to manage on their own because I left as you know but there are also watering bans in France. Your Six is ​​very interesting and we are surprised to see so many plants resisting and adapting so well.

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    1. I wanted to find some statistics about the % of normal rainfall we had this year, but I couldn't. We didn't get the April showers and its been dry since.

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  7. It's continuing to be a hard year for the gardens. I have the perennial Sweet Pea in pink and it's also doing well. Your tomatoes look great. Mine are in a sorry state thanks to moth caterpillars (in my six this week).
    Ann - thequiltinggardener

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    1. Sorry about your tomatoes. There seems to be so many pests to deal with it can get a bit dispiriting. It's good to hear that your sweet pea is doing well though.

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