Sunday Mid-July Update

The flowers reach new peaks of splendour. Sky high blood red hollyhock reign supreme in the back patch meadow. In the past week I’ve worked hard – dripping sweat hard – to dig out some of the errant grass in the meadow area. Today I dead-headed some self-seeded poppy from the railway path and sprinkled the seedheads over the open ground. Green fingers crossed!

Crimson hollyhock, with growing echium in the foreground. (18 July 2021)

The Beast’s beloved sea holly have absolutely exploded into bloom this summer – finally after a long wet cool spring and early summer they are basking in the July summer heat. The sea holly flower brackets were so plentiful that I had to add a bamboo support stake last week to stop it from collapsing after heavy rain.

The photo below shows the sea holly’s purple blooms with a swathe of orange flowered day lily in the background behind.

Sea of sea holly on the railway path (18 July 2021)

Another super development is the appearance of flowers on the rescued root stump of pink hydrangea, planted under the large cherry tree. (Think: deep dry shade – one of the most daunting of growing conditions!). I admit I had limited to fatalistic “hopes” for this plant, but the Malink was determined to carry on watering it week after week…. and lo and behold! It’s finally showing some bloom! Go hydrangea go!

There’s a second hydrangea under the cherry boughs – this one is doing a little better (is closer to the edge of the tree’s canopy), and sports a high bright white bloom. Another one of the flower guy’s big successes.

White hydrangea in bloom in dappled shade under the cherry tree. (18 July 2021)

And farther afield, at the allotment, all is well. We’d left if for a week but everything is growing well. The raspberries are coming to the end (and loganberries are done and dusted), but we have blueberry just coming into fruit – a lovely treat! We harvested enough for a light summery treat with delicious greek yoghurt.

The very first blackberry are starting to show so we should have the first harvests in a week’s time. And truth be told – the yellow raspberries are coming into their own and do appear to be doing very well this year with large juicy fruits. Yum!

Jersey Blue Blueberry bush (18 July 2021).

The rose of sharon bush at the allotment has come into bloom. It’s all a bit leggy and too tall, but I’ve been waiting for the flowers before a big hack back. In the meantime the flowers are pretty awesome – like little mini flower fireworks – and the pollinators are enjoying them too.

Rose of Sharon bush in bloom, with pollinator. (18 July 2021)

The Beast’s “field of dreams” (aka patch of popcorn corn plants) is doing well and the plants are growing taller. That patch is a new grow area and is sorely in need of a serious weed and also some nourishing mulch. We’ll drench the bed in manure this autumn, but that’s no help to the corn. Tomorrow I’ll have a go at weeding and digging out the grass at the end of the bed. Phewf! It’s hard work…

Popcorn Corn Patch (18 July 2021)

So all is well and thriving on the plots. Upcoming projects including completing dividing the bearded purple iris to spread out the early spring bloom down the railway path, as well as digging out and transplanting some orange flowering day lily once they’ve finished blooming. I love the lilies – they are so cheerful and easy to take care of – but they’re overcrowding the roses under the first pergola, so I need to move some out and spread the lily joy around the place. Another division project will be to dig up and space out the gladioli bulbs – but I’ll wait until they flower and show themselves, that way I can be organised about colours when I replant. I’ll need to dig out and move from the railway path the patches of crocosmia to make room for all this gladioli re-planting! Things sure are different from the days when there were more bare patches than plants, and that was only a few years ago.

I also need to prune the black and red currant bushes, but I checked the RHS guide and they recommend doing this in the winter period – so I will have to be patient! In the meantime there’s plenty of other things to keep us busy – including our plan to dig out and divide and rationalise the raspberry bed at the allotment – the final area of the allotment that we’ve not really dug into since taking over the plot.

But all that (and more!) is for some other day.

About smallPaws

A tumbleweed from Canada who's been living in London for twenty or so years.
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