How mad this shrinking calendar! I remember clearly the conversation that I had with my Dad, the one when he told me that ‘the years would fly by’. He wasn’t wrong, this year the nursery is 70 and I have worked the site for almost 44 years. Is it really July already? Of course it is. It is the month of celebration, when we start to see the results of our labours. It’s the month of judging gardens too and I will be one of those, visiting a garden near you. It is a joyous thing to be part of the celebration hosted by nature and nurtured by community. The odd heavy downpours across the last month and the, at times tropical heat has really seen plant growth flourish. True the humidity has brought in one or two problems with plenty of mildew, black spot and other fungal delights, but providing reaction has been swift most have been manageable. Remember thinning foliage to allow air movement can help. Potato Blight is fungal, so you may want to consider preventative spraying if you have had it in the past. On the vegetable and flower front generally things look good, though the jury is still out on the fruit. I have had plums barely form and now, immature they are dropping to the floor. It will be interesting to see, some apples aren’t looking great either. The dry weather went on just a few days too long and setting fruit has been poorly serviced.
The high winds in June brought some damage with some plants, especially the architectural or those supported by canes taking a real thump. I’ve been doing a bit of light pruning to reduce some top heavy or over grown material and have staked some perennials. Pruning needs to be thoughtful and light, to avoid vigorous recovery, but if the winds do return you will see benefits.
Incredibly we are on the cusp of the wallflower season and these and other biennials like Sweet William will come quickly from seed. If you have a bit of shelter, sow them straight in the ground and thin them at the start of September. Wallflowers do so well direct sown and are just not as readily available as plants as they once were. Try Siberian wallflowers too, the whole family are great value.
And finally, keep watching, watering, picking, feeding and enjoying.