It’s official, here in my part of the South West we have not had any measurable rain for the month of July, the driest July since 1911. The garden is very dry, I am watering my pots and recent plantings made before the heatwave came. The only plants that look as though they are suffering are the hydrangeas, they are given a watering can of water each morning, but by the next morning they are wilting again. My water butts are now empty so all water is from a tap, metered, some of the water I use is grey water and some is the run off which I save when I want hot water. All is not doom and gloom though, some plants are managing to cope very well.
My six for this week are as follows…..
Stipa gigantea seems to be enjoying the heat, its not quite as tall as it usually is, but that’s a minor point. The box on the corner needs clipping, but not until it is cooler and not so sunny otherwise it will just go brown.
Verbena bonariensis is another plant that has gone mad, I have far more than usual, it has seeded about, normally they don’t like my heavy clay, but this year they are totally different, so tall and bringing in the butterflies.
This butterfly is a Clouded Yellow, a summer migrant from Europe. It stayed for a long time having a good drink of nectar from the Verbena.
A peacock butterfly having a rest in the shade of the laurel hedge in the front, maybe this one didn’t like the heat yesterday.
Clematis Perle d’Azur on the pergola is doing really well, I think simply because there is a Hydrangea at its feet and it is getting the benefit of the water when I remember it.
Seeds of Peony mlokosewitschii, no fertile ones though, they would be black.
Lilies doing well in a pot, perfume is gorgeous when I come to water them. These were a present years ago from my nephew in Canada, the present that keeps on giving, thanks Tim!
I could be forgiven for thinking that it was October or November, the Horse Chestnut trees are not coping well with the lack of rain, they have decided to drop their leaves early, I’ve never had to rake leaves up in July before! The blue hydrangea has to have its daily watering can of water to look presentable.
Those are my six for this week, will we have rain before next week, I hope so! Our host, Jon The Propagator, is on holiday but we can still log in and see more plants from around the world.
How interesting about the Peony seeds. Yes leaves are falling early here too.
I keep waiting to see if I have any black seeds Rosie, but so far they have always been pink! Silver birch in the garden are also shedding a lot of leaves, the only plus side is that there won’t be as many to rake up in the autumn!
I hope you get the much needed rain soon Pauline. That poor hydrangea! The lilles are just beautiful and the scent must be heavenly.
Thanks Denise, but I’m afraid there isn’t any rain on the horizon! Not sure how much longer I can cope with lugging heavu watering cans around.
It’s interesting to see the different effects of lack of rain on people’s gardens, Pauline – our weather monitor tells us we have had 14mm of rain in July, 4mm of which was yesterday, when it was almost ‘proper’ rain for a short time! I suppose we won’t know the longer-term effects until next year. Like you, I have noticed many plants and blooms are shorter or smaller than usual
I think the biggest difference that I’ve noticed is in my Eupatorium purpureum atropurpureum in the front garden. Normally no problem whatsoever and grows to over 7ft, but this time the whole plant is only about 2 or 3ft high and half the width. If it doesn’t get watered every day then it droops dreadfully! I will have to move it to where there is more moisture when autumn comes. I think we will see a difference in the flowering of the camellias and rhododendrons next spring, this is when they abort their buds if too dry.
Lovely blooms as always. Those peony seeds are interesting. Lucky you seeing the clouded yellow. Our leaves are coming down early too. How we all need some decent rain!xxx
Thanks Dina, when I saw the Clouded Yellow I also saw a little Holly Blue but it was too quick for me and soon disappeared.I never thought I would miss rain so much, it can’t come soon enough!x