It has been so hot and dry. EOM view July.

In places, the garden is suffering, when the rhododendron leaves hang down vertically, it is time to give some extra water. As I have mentioned in the past, we are on a water meter and have to pay for every drop of water we use, we chose to have a meter many years ago and our bills halved.  Normally we can manage with just the water we have in the water butts, only the fruit and veg get watered with a hose, but when the weather is so hot and humid for so long, then plants begin to suffer as well as us! Some perennials  have been cut down and I know that they will sprout again, they aren’t a problem, but when quite large bushes are gasping for a drop of rain, I have to react and out come the buckets. This is the time that rhododendrons and camellias will abort their flower buds, with the result we won’t have any flowers next spring, hopefully we have caught them in time.

So this month I will start, as last time, in the front with the Bee and Butterfly border and then wander round the garden with you for company.

B&B border

The bees and butterflies have arrived in their droves and it is a real feeding frenzy each day.

Lilium longiflorum

Stars of the border at the moment are a pot of lilium longiflorum and…..

White Agapanthus

……white Agapanthus and…….

Blue Agapanthus

…and blue Agapanthus, although they don’t have as many flowers this year as last year.

Empty space

However there is a bare space half way along  the border, where I cut back an oriental poppy a couple of months ago. I have quite a few Penstemon cuttings waiting to be planted so I think they can fill in here, I’ll plant them in the autumn.

Rose garden

Next is the rose garden which is very quiet at the moment, not many roses flowering now or geraniums. They have all been cut back, but there are thousands of buds waiting to flower, it shouldn’t be long before they are all flowering again.

Side border

Moving round to the side border by the field, the start of the border has Crocosmia Lucifer and a few red Hemerocallis. The bark of Betula Jaquemontii shows up really well at the moment. You can just see a paving slab down at the front of the photo, this is a path leading to compost bins, water butts, the shed and the greenhouse, and it is so untidy, I’m not letting you see it!

Side border

This shows the border right up to the top where the blue hydrangea marks the beginning of the pergola which goes through to the fruit and veg.

Hydrangea and crocosmia solfaterre

The blue lacecap Hydrangea has a blue Buddleja to the left and in front is a clump of Crocosmia Solfaterre. The white flowers are Malva moschata alba which pops up all over the garden.


Regale Lilies are in there with the Buddleja and Crocosmia Solfaterre.

Aster frikartii Monch

Just next to Crocosmia Solfaterre is Aster frikartii Monch, I think this has become a blue corner by accident, I didn’t intend it to be blue in this part of the garden. Michaelmas Daisies always make me think of Autumn, summer is rushing by far too quickly.

Oak border

With my back to the field, the border on the other side of the grass is part of the crescent shaped border which is round the dead oak. On the left with lots of tiny puff balls of flowers is Hypericum prolificum. Next is the fountain of grass which is Miscanthus malepartus and just seen in the distance are the purple flowers of  Lythrum virgatum The Rocket which likes damp soil.  This is the spot where the underground stream comes from the bog garden, across the circular lawn, past the dead oak, it then crosses the grass here and carries on past the garage and then down the road and away.

Oak tree border

Looking the other way the bush on the right side is Viburnum plicatum Maresii, then my favourite grass Stipa gigantia and marking the point of the bed,  is the clipped box Chinese ginger jar.

Lucifer at top of the garden

Carrying on round past the Chinese ginger jar, the grass opens out into the circular lawn where the bog garden is on one side and the crescent shaped bed round the oak tree is on the other. Here we have Acanthus mollis on the left and Lucifer on the right which is coming to an end now, it has been a star for a good month, time for it to have a rest.

Bog garden

This leads on to the bog garden which isn’t so colourful now that most of the candelabra primulas have finished. I must save some seed of my favourites. Still flowering is the Zantedeschia aethiopica and now all the astilbes have started flowering.

Bog garden

and looking the other way.

Crescent bed

From the back of the bog garden border looking towards the crescent bed round the oak. I think I need to do something to the bed opposite, it never has a Wow factor except for the month when Rosa Mulligani up the oak is flowering, I’ll have to think about it over the winter!

Border by Back door

The entrance to the circular lawn is where you see the shadow on the grass. If we turned right we come to the border by the field, but turning left brings us round into the back garden.

From the patio

From the patio, looking across the border round the alpine scree to the border which goes round the back. I have a new Stipa gigantea planted here and we see the sun shining through it all the time, it lights up like sparklers on Bonfire Night!


Taking a sharp left turn into the woodland it is obvious how dry it has been. The huge trees are taking all the available moisture which leaves everything else looking dry and wilting.


The only plants that look happy are the ones that I have planted recently and of course they are being watered most days.


Just look at how stressed the rhododendrons are, they have since been watered and are looking a lot happier, we have to water if we want flowers next spring.


It looks so autumnal with the crisp horse chestnut leaves on the woodland floor. If I want to grow plants in this part of the garden that will make this area interesting through the summer, I think I am going to need irrigation of some sort. Do you think Father Christmas might bring me some leaky hose if I ask nicely?

Gravel area

Coming out of the woodland we are facing the gravel area to the left of the house, where the honeysuckle perfume has been delighting me for weeks now. If we carried on through the gate in the fence, round the huge Calor Gas tank that we have,  we would be back in the front garden by the bee and butterfly border. We have gone full circle, I hope you have enjoyed your wander with me. We have rain forecast for tomorrow, my garden and I really hope we get some this time! One day last week we had torrential rain and it lasted all of three minutes, I looked up at the sky and said –  Is that it?  Exeter , on the other hand, just 10 minutes away, was flooded, the local news looked as if we had gone back to February when everywhere was flooded and the drains couldn’t cope.

Many thanks to Helen at The Patient Gardener for hosting this meme each month, please pay her a visit to see other gardener’s round up of the past month


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40 Responses to It has been so hot and dry. EOM view July.

  1. Sigrun says:

    Oh yes, it was very dry in Britain. We have visited a lot of gardens and seen it. Phlox with hanging arms. But a lot of wonderful gardens with stipa gigantea and others in Devon.
    Your garden looks beautiful – likes always!


    • Pauline says:

      Thank you Sigrun, a lot of the plants are feeling rather stressed. The promised rain didn’t arrive overnight, so we will be watering the most stressed again today. I’m glad you had a good time garden visiting, I think the owners must be the ones who are stressed in this weather, keeping their gardens looking nice can’t be easy when there isn’t any rain.

  2. Annette says:

    It’s tough when it’s so dry and I hope the heavens will open soon, Pauline. Your garden looks great, so many nice combinations and plants. Your lily is pure perfection! I love the picture of the path next to the house with the box balls – it just draws you into the garden. Very well laid out. Fingers crossed for your xmas wish – I’m sure he won’t refuse it as you’re such a good girl. 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      The heavens didn’t open Annette, unfortunately. I drew the curtains back and there it was, as dry as before! I’m sure if I ask for some leaky hose for Christmas, that will make sure that it rains all summer next year!! I like the lily too and of course the perfume is divine.

  3. Fingers crossed you get the needed rain. We’ve been lucky lately, but it wasn’t many years ago that we were taking showers with a 5 gallon bucket to catch what water we could. Nonetheless, your garden is as beautiful as ever. I’m constantly amazed. The honeysuckle arbor is very enticing; what a lovely spot for contemplation.

    • Pauline says:

      I like to retreat to the honeysuckle arbour Marian, when the weather is like it has been lately, too hot to garden, so I retreat with a good book and a long cold drink! The promised rain didn’t materialise, so it’s carry on watering for the worst stressed plants!

  4. Chloris says:

    Your garden looks fabulous despite the lack of rain. We haven’ t had any either and it is a real problem deciding which of the poor wilting plants to water. With over an acre I can’ t water everything.
    Isn’ t Stipa gigantea great? A front garden near me has nothing but this grass, Verbena bonariensis and bronze fennel in gravel.It looks marvellous.. It is an idea which I thought I might borrow and perhaps add some hollyhocks or echinaceas.
    I enjoyed my walk round your lovely garden Pauline, it looks fantastic all year round and that is quite an achievement.

    • Pauline says:

      We are just like you Chloris with just under an acre, impossible to water it all and even if we could it would cost a fortune as we are on a meter! The promised rain didn’t arrive here last night, it has missed us again, more watering to do today!
      Stipa gigantea is a fabulous grass, so beautiful waving in the breeze and catching the sun as it moves.

  5. rusty duck says:

    I’m also looking forward to the rain and just hope we get it… how often has it been promised and then fizzled out. Your blues and yellows make a delightful combination. I’ve been looking for the right spot for a Stipa gigantia. Aren’t they fabulous.

    • Pauline says:

      No promised rain last night Jessica, it has missed us again, I hope you had some. Stipa gigantea is a wonderful grass, so beautiful with the sun behind it, wafting in the breeze.
      Off I go, watering once more!

  6. Helle (Helen) says:

    Pauline, I really do feel for you and your garden, we had an entire month of no rain, recently we have had nothing but rain, I’m not sure what I think is worse 😉 – but I’m sure your garden will pick up again.

    • Pauline says:

      I’m sure that most of the plants will survive with no rain for a bit longer Helle, but as soon as I see something wilting, it either gets cut back or if a shrub, it gets watered. I’m very envious of your rain!

  7. Jason says:

    Your lilies and agapanthus certainly are stars. I also like your blue Buddleia – I have a compact one called ‘Adonis Blue’.

    • Pauline says:

      The lilies and agapanthus Jason, certainly brighten the front border. There are more buddleias in the bee and butterfly border, I had just dead headed them when I took the photos. They certainly bring in lots of butterflies and I think the best one with more perfume than the others is the white one we have, it is usually covered with bees and butterflies.

  8. Cathy says:

    I tried to remember to water my rhododendrons last summer – I must have done it about once, so after reading your post I need to add it to my list of jobs but as a priority! There is a red one in the woodland which really does suffer and should ideally be moved… It was a real pleasure to walk around the garden with you and hear how everything was getting on. That Solfaterre is a pretty croscosmia, is it not? One of my yellows is just beginning to come out – I always forget how much earlier Lucifer is. Hope you get some rain tonight – and us too!

    • Pauline says:

      We only did our Rhododendrons a couple of times last year and paid for it with only a few flowers this year Cathy. Lucifer is such an early Crocosmia, he’s almost finished by the time the others start. Solfaterre stayed as a small group until this year, when they have suddenly spread, which is rather nice.
      No rain last night unfortunately, everywhere still so dry but we have just had a very brief shower now, not nearly enough but its a start! Hope you got some and it didn’t miss you too!

  9. pbmgarden says:

    You’ve managed to offset any sign of damage from lack of water. Every view is lovely. I like seeing your sculpture highlighted by the astilbe.

    • Pauline says:

      It’s getting worse each day though Susie, we didn’t have our promised rain overnight, but have had a very short shower this morning, it keeps missing us! We are just not used to weather like this over here. The Astilbe plants in the bog garden are still looking fine, but where I have planted them elsewhere in the garden, they are looking very dry and crisp, not a pretty sight!

  10. Kate says:

    Oh Pauline, what a lovely post and how very gorgeous your garden is looking, parched patches under trees (me too) or not. I can’t get over the perfection – now I’m going back to re-read and take a few notes about what extra plants I want. Or need, rather!

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you so much Kate for your lovely comments! The rain has come at last, it started about midday and shows no sign of stopping, the garden is looking better already, thank goodness, it has its sparkle back! The forecast is that it should continue overnight so by tomorrow everything should have had a good drink and the water butts be full once more, I never thought I would be so glad to see some rain!

  11. With so many overall shots, I am reminded again what a large garden you have. Some plants do look stressed ( like that poor rhododendron!), but overall your garden looks like it is doing well. We are heading into what is the driest month of summer. Rainfall has been pretty regular this summer, but we will have to see what August brings. I do break down and water, but I try to do it only once a week and then water deeply. I hope you get a little rain soon Pauline!

    • Pauline says:

      Thank you Jennifer, it is raining!! It started around midday and has been raining steadily ever since. The garden is looking so much better already, I just hope it continues as we need a lot more. It has been so dry and sunny with much higher temperatures than we normally have, flowers that have opened have been over after a couple of days. It must be at least 2 months since we had any decent rain showers so it is very, very welcome.

  12. Alison says:

    I planted Agapanthus for the first time this year, so far no flowers, but maybe next year. My front garden, which is almost all hot orange colors, needs some blue to cool it down in spots. I enjoyed this stroll around your garden, my EoMV has been focusing on one particular bed. Maybe next year I’ll broaden it and include more of the back or front garden.

    • Pauline says:

      Lovely to hear from you Alison, I think your Agapanthus will be making lots of roots ready to support the flowers next year, I like the sound of your blue and orange colour scheme. I will now pop over and have a peek at your bed!

  13. Anna says:

    Thanks for inviting us to walk round your beautiful garden Pauline. That lilium longiflorum seems to shine out of the screen. I like the buddleia’s underskirts of lilium regale and crocosmia. Such an attractive colour combination. I think that it has perhaps been slightly wetter in the north west than it has been in your neck of the woods. I hope that you got to the rhododendrons in time. Hard to believe that we had so much rain earlier in the year!

    • Pauline says:

      We had rain today Anna, not last night when forecast, but at least it arrived eventually just after midday. The garden has perked up and the plants are looking happy once more. We have had so much rain forecast for this part of the country, but it has always passed us by. I’m glad you enjoyed your wander round the garden with me, thank you for your company!

  14. Alain says:

    Despite the lack of rain, the garden is still looking fabulous Pauline.
    Here it is the opposite. July has been a fair bit wetter than usual.

    • Pauline says:

      You’re too kind Alain, but we now have rain, thank goodness! It started yesterday afternoon and has continued overnight and is still raining now – wonderful! The garden is looking a lot happier, no more leaves hanging down vertically any more. The temperature has dropped and is more like what it should be so I am feeling a lot happier too!

  15. Cathy says:

    I really enjoyed walking around your garden with you Pauline! Everything still looks amazingly green and healthy, despite your lack of rain. It is so heartbreaking watching plants suffer because they are thirsty, but a challenge to the gardener to concentrate on the toughest plants. Your borders all look beautiful, and so well planned with little details like the ginger jar box tree. I especially like the corner with the blue hydrangea and buddleia. And your asters are flowering already?! Hope you get some rain soon.

    • Pauline says:

      I can stop worrying Cathy, it is raining!! From midday onwards yesterday we have had a nice steady gentle rain and all leaves are now horizontal once more. I think it rained in the night because everything is very wet and it is still raining now-wonderful! Asters are also flowering in the bee and butterfly border, wild ones this time, I don’t think I have ever had them flowering in July before, all the hot sunshine over the last two months must have made them flower early.

  16. So many beautiful combinations in your garden Pauline, I particularly love the Stupa gigantea beside the perfectly clipped ginger jar, and despite the lack of roses your garden still looks wonderful because of the topiary and alchemilla. I also really like the way you have the miscanthus planted against the shrubby backdrop. Thank you for the tour!

    • Pauline says:

      Stipa gigantea is my favourite grass Janet, with the sun shining through it, it is just so beautiful. The ginger jar was supposed to be a large ball with a small ball on the top, it didn’t quite work out that way, but now I’ve grown very fond of it and think we will keep it like that!
      We have had some lovely rain now, thank goodness and some of the rose buds have opened already, amazing what a bit of rain can do. My garden and I are a lot happier!

  17. Jane Scorer says:

    Hi Paulien, everything looks so well behaved in your garden ! Totally gorgeous! I love the white agapanthus. We have finally had rain which was much needed and has freshened everything up.

    • Pauline says:

      We too Jane, have at last had some rain, the garden is looking a lot better thank goodness. I think I must buy some more white Agapanthus, they look so lovely with the blue. I have an area which is mostly white, so think the soil in that area will be suitable for them, must order them in the autumn.

  18. Frank says:

    What a nice tour, I love how you carried us through the whole garden, it always helps knowing where everything is in relation to one another. The stipa is great and I love it with the golden box, it’s a great effect.
    Hope you get some rain! We finally got a little and it’s such a refresher for the garden… I hate watering too, so it’s a refresher for me as well.
    Paying for just the water is a bargain, we pay for water and then again a sewer charge for when it supposedly returns to the network… weren’t any gardeners present when they came up with this one?

    • Pauline says:

      We pay the same as you Frank, seems ridiculous doesn’t it, as you say, obviously no gardeners were present at the meeting where it was decided, the water companies are determined to get their money somehow!
      Hooray, we have had some rain ! Not enough unfortunately, but it has made such a difference to the garden, everything is bright and perky once more.

  19. I enjoyed the wander around your garden Pauline. Borders can often take on a life of their own – I for one, love your blue border 🙂

    • Pauline says:

      Julieanne, I’m so glad you enjoyed your wander round the garden! The blues go rather well together with the white and yellow in between, this combination takes over from Patty’s Plum oriental poppy earlier in the year, which flowers the same time as Geranium magnificum.

  20. Christina says:

    I’m very late reading this but I’m glad I didn’t miss it. You always have so much flowering in your garden. Devon is such a good place to garden and you take full advantage; you have created a spectacular garden Pauline.

    • Pauline says:

      It is all looking a bit tired at the moment Christina, in spite of the rain we have had lately. I’m doing lots of cutting back and the borders where I’ve been working do look a lot better. The last 3 weeks have brought showers most days and the temperatures are a lot lower, which the garden and I appreciated! I think this months EOM view will be very different.

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