July was certainly a busy month on the land. We worked quite hard for the first half of the month, weeding, pruning and generally preparing our garden for the open garden weekend on the 14th and 15th. The weather was very warm and dry, right up to the open days, when the rain and wind created a somewhat dampened but very pleasant event. We made some new friends and caught up with old ones.
For the second half of the month the weather has been changeable and we have not spent a lot of time in the garden, apart from when harvesting vegetables. Our cabbages have grown exceptionally well this year, along with our courgettes and raspberries.
We also spent a Sunday morning at Strokestown house, visiting the gardens and plant fair. We were delighted to see all the pollinators in the garden busy at work. Quite oblivious to us, working away at the flowers, we managed to get some nice close up shots.
A lady from Latvia was selling rare and unusual pelargoniums and succulents and we could not resist a few special finds.
‘Unicorn frills’ is a special Zonartic Pelargonium from Sweden and we fell in love at first sight. Another unusual find was the Pelargonium Australe ‘Tasmanian form’ with an incredibly fresh scent coming of the leaves and our third new acquaintance Pelargonium Denticulatum ‘Fillicifolium’. The leaves of this last form is incredibly lace like and slightly sticky to the touch and the seller informed us that ladies during Victorian times used to pick them and attach to their clothing like green living broches.
We went to the plant fair in the first place as we wished to acquire an Aeonium ‘Zwartkop’. We have had a green one of these in our conservatory for over a year now and it has grown to about ten times its size so we thought it would be nice to put in one of the dark elegant variety as well.
It has now found its place where the old Japanese Bitter Orange failed to thrive.
Some people might think it a bit unnecessary and extravagant to track down special varieties of plants but when you have gardened for some years it can become a source of much joy and contentment.
We grow many things out of necessity and there are a lot of labour intensive and monotonous tasks to perform in a garden. The special plants bring a feeling of excitement and a challenge as you try to give them the very best conditions in which to thrive and grow.
Our main circle has been left to its own devices since the middle of the month and the grass has put on a lot of growth thanks to the lovely downpours we have had. We always like this time of year, as we let the garden show its wilder side, plants grow unchecked and wildlife thrives even more.
In the coming weeks we will concentrate on finishing the work on our shed that will hopefully become more of a workshop and less of a place full of storage boxes. Tiling, insulating, painting and woodwork are all on the agenda.