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Jo's July 2018 post

Hello Everyone

Well, it's Sunday morning and it's raining! I never thought I'd be so pleased to see it rain but after the prolonged period of constant sunshine this is a welcome relief. Myddelton have recorded 58 days without rain so although it's not much at the moment, I know the Gardeners will welcome this change in the weather too.

Although the grass has been bleached by the sunshine there is still plenty to see in the garden. First up are the teasels, photo 1. When the flowers arrive on the teasel head they generally form two rings, photo 2. They are full of seed which the birds love. This year in the Arboretum there are also white teasels which I have never seen before. Here I am inspecting them, photo 3. They are about ten foot tall and I couldn't find any mention of teasels with white flowers on the internet so if any of my 'learned friends' out there can give me some feed back on this, please do.

Outside the front of the house there is a large area of Echinop ritro planted with Solidago. As you can see the bees love this nectar rich plant, photo 5. The Pond is now surrounded by Lythrum salicaria, common name: Purple loosestrife, photo 6. This plant loves to grow beside water and adds a perfect 'splash' of colour to the pond area. Walking around the pond you come to the Pond Terrace. The succulents are enjoying their summer vacation and this is the perfect setting for them, photo 7.

Along the pathway in the Rose Garden is the Calycanthus occidentalis, photos 8 & 9. It prefers a woodland setting and the flowers have a brown tip which I believe is what happens as the flowers age not just because it's too hot.

Moving on to the Tulip Terrace, the summer bedding is coping well with the weather. There are pelargoniums, photo 10, and succulents, photo 11. I love the way the succulents have been arranged. If you look closely you'll see there are two different designs.

The Kitchen garden is full of all kinds of vegetables and flowers. One of my favourites is Phacelia tanacetifolia, photos 12 & 13. This plant smothers weeds and has a root system that improves the soil structure and is often grown as green manure as it can be dug straight into the soil. Phacelia is also very attractive to bees and other beneficial insects. Another vegetable with a beautiful flower is the Cynara cardunculus, common name: Globe Artichoke. Photo 14 shows the artichokes, rhubarb & the runner beans on the Bean Shard all doing well. If you look at the tree in the middle of the photo you will see a dead branch. This is a favourite spot for many of the larger birds who visit the garden. Earlier in the month I saw this buzzard in the tree surveying everything around him, photo 15. I've often seen crows, magpies, herons & kestrels in and around the garden but this was the first time I'd seen a buzzard so worth a mention.

The Cut Flower area is bursting with colour, photo 16. A membrane was laid over the soil and on a particularly hot day in June I saw Steph planting the antirrhinums individually into the soil. A herculean task which has paid dividends, photo 17. Well done Steph. The cosmos too are a riot of colour, photo 18.

Leaving the Kitchen garden and walking round to the cold frames area the bed has been planted with squashes & heritage sweet peas. These are smaller than the modern varieties but highly scented. I know this because of another of Steph's beautifully written signs. Before I left this area I stopped to look into the Peach House and I'm pleased to report that the peach and nectarine trees have an abundance of fruit on them, photo 20.

So moving on to Tom Tiddlers ground and you will find this lovely Catalpa bignonioides 'Variegata', photo 21. This variegated Indian Bean tree has looked lovely all summer and is now covered in panicles of showy bell shaped flowers that are marked with orange and purple, photo 22. The flowers are stunning.

Finally, walking back to the car park I noticed this lovely Verbascum plant outside the courtyard. I missed the ones on the New River lawn this year so was pleased to capture these, photo 23. You can also see the planting in the corner of the courtyard. These have been added to make the seating area more attractive, photo 24.

Hope you've enjoyed this wander around the garden with me. More next month.

Best Wishes


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