Sunshine at last

The weather has improved drastically in the last few days, so despite having other things to do this morning, we took the chance to go out and see how the garden has been doing. The news is mixed, but then the summer so far has been so strange that it’s almost miraculous that things look as good as they do.

It’s pretty much a jungle out there now, and we can barely get up the path on one side of the flower bed as everything grows in that direction to catch the sun. Most plants have gone completely mad in the last few weeks, and unfortunately that includes the weeds. The coreopsis and rudbeckia are enormous and starting to flower, the English lavenders are huge and covered in flowers, the ceanothus has doubled in size and the artemisia continues its quest for world domination. The santolina finally flowered and has a good sprinkling of little yellow pom-poms.

On the bank, most plants are doing well. A few are starting to get crowded out and will have to be moved, and sadly the bindweed has made a comeback (not unexpected) and is trying to strangle the osteospermum. On the plus side, the pernettya is doing really well and the buddleia is flowering.

We had to make a quick rescue of our French lavender as it was suddenly looking very sorry for itself. We have had this plant for several years, and until last spring it was in a pot which it didn’t like much – it rarely flowered much and tended to be quite sulky. We put it in the ground when we first started remodelling the garden, and it loved it – this spring, with the hot dry weather in March and early April, it went a bit mad and flowered more than it ever had before. Now, however, it’s going pale and droopy again, which I think is due to the wet weather we’ve had for the last couple of months. So we quickly dug it up and put it back in its old pot, with plenty of grit for drainage, and we’re hoping that will do the trick.

The tomatoes have not lived up to their early promise. There were lots of flowers, but so far only two fruit (on the Golden Sunrise) and they are growing very slowly and not yet ripening. There is still time for things to pick up, but I’m not very hopeful. And we have lost one of the pulmonaria we planted in the spring – one is still going strong, but the other has vanished completely which is a pity.

The biggest shame is that we never manage to stick around very long after working on a garden like this. The house is rented, and we may move fairly soon, so after all our work we will not see the garden mature. It would be a great pity if it wasn’t appreciated in the future.

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