The weather has been rather disappointing so far this year, rather a lot of rain, wind and not enough sunshine. I have had bad germination rates early on in the season and then when my garden was looking at its very best in early June, wild stormy weather snapped stems off my Cirsium rivulare ‘Atropurpurem’, blew off my covers over from the strawberries and Brassicas, and strew my foxgloves and Aquilegia at jaunty angles. The wind is still blowing as I write and the rain clouds are on the horizon however the warm weather yesterday brought on obvious new leaf growth in my polytunnels. Gardening can be a challenge!
July is a time for roses, lavender, Nepeta, Penstemon, Astrantia, Scabious, Lupin, Delphinium, Papaver , Hosta, Salvia, Geranium, etc… so despite the elements borders should be looking full and colourful.
Some gardeners rely on bedding plants for colour during the summer months but I prefer using perennials which are cheaper in the long run, more environmentally friendly, sustainable and look more in keeping with our landscape and climate. Of course hardy annuals are very useful too, for example cornflower, pot marigold, Cerinthe, Nemophila, Clary and Phacelia these are generally very easy to grow, they often self seed and look natural in a garden setting.
Summer flowering bulbs (including corms and tubers) are another sustainable and low maintenance approach to adding colour to borders, try Alliums, Triteleia, Gladeolus, Liliums and Dahlias.
This is a month I am hoping the weather will improve so I can sit out and enjoy my garden but I will be keeping an eye out for weeds, enjoy deadheading, picking salad vegetables, sowing winter salads and make notes on what needs to be moved and improved in the autumn.