The big heat descends…

We’ve certainly had some hot days already this Summer, some records I believe. We’ve also had some nice dousings of rain, a hail storm, a 7mil and a glorious 21 mil last week. Glad to say we missed out on all the flooding dumps that most of the country had. While that was blasting about the country we remained in an isolated circle of fine.

Upshot being the garden is growing well and we also had bumper crops of hay and baleage.

Whoops some weeks have passed since I started to write that blog…got busy leading up to the Open day on the 17th which was very successful.

Not much has changed though, its still hot and we’re still getting some helpful sprinkles of rain so things are still relatively green. Certainly a big improvement on this time last year!

Now the January Open Day is over maybe I can breathe and relax for a bit? But no, less than 4 weeks till the Feb Open day and 3 garden groups to boot. So much to do at this time of year in the garden! Have been busy with choppers and spade pulling out /trimming back masses of past their use by date perennials and annuals. Then of course there must be weeding and fertilising, then planting some new things in the massive gaps which have opened up. Finally the watering, which is pretty ongoing for anything you plant between now and April which is why you need to be careful how many areas you hack and replant or the next 3 months will be a constant round of watering…

A note about trimming/roses in summer…There are Once Flowering roses (Species, gallicas Damasks etc) and Repeat Flowering roses (Hybrid Perpetuals, Polyanthas, Portlands etc) then there’s the Continuous Flowerers! These Modern Roses  (along with Old Fashioned Chinas and Teas) are almost never without a bloom. Many of the David Austins are in this category too. When it comes to trimming them you have 3 options. 1. Get out there on a pretty much daily basis and cut off the flowers as soon as they are spent (probably not an option if you have as many as me…) 2. Ignore until the whole flush is over, then cut back quite hard . In doing so you will be cutting off new buds forming behind the earlier flowers. Seems a shame, but it’s the same as trimming daisies etc, you gotta be cruel to keep the right effect 3. Continue ignoring into eternity. This is what happens to a lot of mine and the upshot is the bushes get very big… I actually love dead heading and trimming and would happily spend all day doing it, but sadly there are usually more pressing jobs on the agenda. The thing about roses is, they are so tough it doesn’t really matter what you do to them, THEY WILL SURVIVE! This is a line I have recently read on various perennials for sale in garden centres about the place. Its usually on a gazania or osteospermum or the like. I WILL SURVIVE they declare, meaning they are drought tolerant, which is all the craze these days. The thing is, the original plain species of these are indeed drought tolerant, but the ones offered in the garden centres are very far removed from their forebears and have been hybridised to hell and back. Let me tell you they most certainly will not survive a drought, a rose would have an infinitely stronger chance of surviving!

A summery shot stolen from facebook of lady of shallott

Well that was an unexpected waffle. It’s all to do with putting off the moment of truth when I must “Add Media”. Photo time and once again I will have to steal from the facebook page covered in nice photos my daughter has taken on her iphone. It’s time to admit to luddite tendencies which I harbour. ie my phone is ten years old, an army phone WITH BUTTONS. I’ve been putting off the moment when I must join the world and learn to touch glass. I dread it, but at least I may then be able to quickly take and download photos without a. finding the camera (probably at the stables) b. charging the camera (gotta find the charger too)then c. downloading photos onto my computer which has recently become impossible for common man since an unscheduled update my computer ran. So there you go…too hard…just steal another off the facebook page. Maybe by my next blog I’ll have an iphone.