End of Month View: dry July

Aeonium and geranium – both loving the hot dry conditions.


Going on holiday at this time of year is always a risk when you’re a gardener. Being away during what turned out to be the two hottest weeks for years is even riskier but that’s what we did. I tried not to worry about the garden while we were away!

I had deliberately planted fewer annuals (a scattering of marigolds, cornflowers and sweetpeas) and just six tomato plants outdoors (not in the greenhouse) because I knew we’d be away for just over two weeks and the garden needed to be as low-maintenance as possible this summer. My dad very kindly came every few days to water plants in pots, tomatoes and the new rose and perennials we’d planted this year, so I knew they’d survive, but everything else had to take its chances. If it hadn’t been for the fierce storm a few days before our return, I think the garden would be looking better than it does but there’s been a fair bit of collapse. Not surprising, really. No rain for weeks and weeks, so the plants were already parched and then they were thoroughly roughed up by the wind and heavy rain. Poor things. The grasses, especially the Stipa tenuissima, are looking particularly bedraggled, and the monster tomatoes, giant fennel and some of the larger Verbena bonariensis are listing drunkenly. Nothing that several hours with a pair of secateurs, a ball of twine and some stakes can’t sort out, though 🙂 And although it wasn’t enough to help the poor lawns, the rain we did have was incredibly welcome. It’s back to watering this week, though, as the temperatures have soared again and there is no rain forecast for the foreseeable.

The purple is Verbena rigida, planted a couple of years ago – I’m surprised it’s come back so well this year.
Apples on the old tree are ripening but quite a few have dropped off (and many clusters still need thinning).
The little patch of flowers around three of the tomato plants that were well watered while we were away is looking good, if a little higgledy piggledy.
The raspberries are now taller than me and laden with fruit. I see jam-making in my future…
Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’ coping with the drought but some of the other perennials here are looking a bit tired. It does get hot, hot, hot by the wall, though.
Acanthus mollis – a super drought-tolerant plant.
The lavender hedges are definitely past their best and the poor front lawn is suffering in the dry heat.
Grasses, Verbena bonariensis and small olive tree – all hanging in there. The roses here are very sad, though.
Two of the five little agapanthus plants I planted here last year are flowering (white). The lavender on the right seems to be faring better than the hedges on the terrace above.
These poppies are self-sown and have been flowering for about a month! You can see the watered, newly planted, experimental mixed bed behind still looking colourful.
Experimental mixed bed from the side – I love the way it stands out against the wall.
Salvia (can’t remember which one, sorry) – you can never have too many in my opinion!
Discovery apples (on tree planted last spring) ripening. I’m so chuffed that these are doing well (so far).
Oh no! Look at the poor pond! We must run a hosepipe from the well down here at the weekend and top it up. Poor newts…
Dastardly Crocosmia (plain, thuggish orange form) STILL coming up at the bottom of the garden. Its days are numbered.
Calamagrostis x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ doing their thing – upright, swaying, gorgeous.
Collapsed Stipa tenuissima. They remind me a bit of my hair on holiday – the sun and sea crazy look.
Rudbeckia – I think this is ‘Berlin’.
Wind-bashed lavender and dried-up lawn.
View from the balcony to the front left – dry, dry, dry. You can really see the effects of the wind on the lavender.
View from the balcony to the front right. More dryness, logs still piled up next to the dry pond, trampoline still there…
Averting our eyes from the garden, here’s the view up the valley towards the lighthouse (because the light was so lovely and I needed cheering up).


So, that’s the garden at the end of July. I spent a couple of hours out there this evening dead-heading, staking and tying up, pulling out loads of Linaria purpurea to stop it seeding even further (there is TOO much) and generally saying hello to everything. Going on holiday is wonderful but it’s lovely to be back. Thank you to Helen, The Patient Gardener, who hosts the EOMVs.

Hope all’s good with you. Here’s to August!




16 thoughts on “End of Month View: dry July

  1. I’d say it looks pretty good considering the heat and drought. We’ve had the heat here, which is normal for us, but a sufficient amount of rain. Even with all that, I never feel like the garden looks very nice this time of year anyways with so many things going over. It all looks a little tired and ready for a rest.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Your garden is just beautiful Sam. I think when we look at our own gardens and homes we can always see things that need attention but looking from the outside I love the flowers and rambling nature of your patch! And the view! Jane x

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So fascinating to see a ‘southern’ garden! I’m surprised that your raspberries aren’t ripe yet, what with the heat you’ve had. Up here in the north of Scotland mine are going over – a huge crop only spoiled right at the end by the recent rain. We’re down to the high teens/early 20s in temperature – rather missing the hotter days!

    I will note the Perovskia Blue Spire for future planting – it does look as if it’s thrived in the the dry.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. They are autumn-fruiting raspberries so we don’t expect them until August/Sept and they often go on until November. We even picked a few final berries at Christmas one year!


  4. You’re looking a lot happier than we are, plant-wise things are really suffering here. Too hot, too dry. Always lovely to stroll round your garden, Sam xx

    Liked by 1 person

  5. The dry weather has been a challenge in the garden. I have noticed that the annuals are so much smaller and the flowers also go over so much faster. Your garden is still looking lovely despite the difficulties. Sarah x

    Liked by 1 person

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