Jo's July 2021 News and Views
Another strange mix of weather through the month. Glorious sunshine then heavy thunderstorms. Temperatures of 30 degrees for a week, which I personally found unbearable, then plummeting to half that. However we may have struggled but the garden looks fabulous. Richard with his trusty band of gardeners and volunteers have cleared many areas of those pesky pernicious perennial weeds and replanted in a thoughtful Bowles way. All of which makes the garden a 'must visit' on everyone's list.
First of all is the Eremurus border, photo 1. A lovely welcome to your walk around the garden. If you sit on one of the benches there you can enjoy the view of Tom Tiddlers ground opposite, photo 2. A lot of work has been carried out here with ongoing weeding and replanting. The Catalpa bignonioides 'Variegata', known as the variegated Indian Bean tree, always looks amazing, photo 3. Another area here is the Bamboo Walk, photo 4. A pleasure to walk through when the temperatures are high.
Walking out onto the New River lawn the summer bedding is striking, photo 5. I love the succulents enjoying their summer sojourn on top of the wall. Also there was this beautiful plant Furcraea foetida, photo 6. Other names include Mauritius hemp and giant Mexican lily. It hasn't flowered here before so it must have enjoyed those high temperatures more than I did. Further along the Echiums reached great heights this summer, photo 7. I missed it in full flower but this whole area has been awash with colour all summer. Behind the Rose Garden is the Wisley Corner, photo 8. This is the place to sit and enjoy quiet contemplation. It seems a world away from everywhere and is one of my favourite places when I visit the garden. All around the garden the hemerocallis have flowered profusely, photo 9. This view of them has never been seen before as there were always huge gunnera along the waters' edge so the reflection couldn't happen, photo 10. I have featured the Pond and the restoration in a separate newsletter but can't resist including this view of the now finished Pond, photo 11.
Making my way down to the Rock garden in early July I was delighted to see the Horse Chestnut in full flower, photo 12. There were hundreds of flowers covering the whole tree, it was beautiful. Recently in the Rock Garden work has started to restore the pools of water there, photos 13 and 14. I feel a story coming on, don't you??
Back to the main garden now. The Japanese knotweed has been pruned back hard, photo 15 and forms a lovely frame for the Broom tree. It has looked beautiful this year and flowered for quite a long time, photo 16. While I was there I stopped to admire the Pond Terrace, photos 17 and 18. It has been planted up with succulents this year which are thriving in this hot weather.
So what fauna do I have for you this month? Well, it has been a very good month for butterflies. This is a Meadow Brown, photos 19 and 20. I've included photos of it with wings closed and open as they are hard to spot when resting with wings closed. Next is this pretty Small Tortoiseshell, photo 21 and a Comma, photo 22. Not everyone's favourite in the garden but here is a Small White, photo 23 and these hoverflies were enjoying the hemerocallis, photo 24. I saw these beautiful damselflies in the Rock Garden. They are actually called Beautiful demoiselles, photo 25 is the male and photo 26 is the female. The colours in the wings of the male are stunning. They have been seen here once before so, Dawn, a Biodiversity Officer at Myddelton was pleased to hear it had been spotted again.
Finally this month a change to the usual format as I just wanted to add a few words about Bryan Hewitt. Many of you will know Bryan so I wanted to let you know that he has retired from the LVRPA after 31 years of continuous service but probably 40 plus years overall. His knowledge of the garden and all things Bowles related is second to none and I know that he will continue to remain close to the garden as a volunteer and committee member of the Bowles Society. His official last day was 1st July but because of continued Covid restrictions his party was postponed but I joined the Thursday Volunteers to make sure his last day didn't go unnoticed. The Bowles Society have given Bryan life membership to the Society and I had the pleasure of presenting a card and certificate to him, photo 27. On Wednesday 28th July his party did go ahead and he was presented with more gifts from Shaun Dawson, Chief Executive LVRPA, photo 28 and thanks from Richard, photo 29. Congratulations, Bryan, from us all and enjoy every moment of your retirement.
I hope you have enjoyed this wander around the garden with me.