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Jo's News and Views No 8 August 2022

Hello Everyone

After the driest first half of the year since 1976, drought was officially declared across wide swathes of England at the beginning of August. Gardens everywhere are struggling, because of the lack of rain and now hosepipe bans brought in by several water companies. The grass at Myddelton has turned yellow but we know from previous years that it will bounce back. Although many parts of the garden are suffering there have been a few shrubs and trees that seem to have enjoyed this dry weather.

On the drive I found the Eucryphia x nymansensis 'Nymansay' flowering profusely, photo 1. Definitely one of its better years. In the Arboretum some trees have kept their leaves whilst others have already had their leaves turn brown ready to drop, photo 2.

The House as always is standing tall and proud, photo 3. Unfortunately, the Cedar tree on the lawn looks as though it is thinning out somewhat, photo 4. The bed in the centre of the lawn was doing well with the Buddleja davidii and Hibiscus syriacus in flower, photo 5. The flowers on the hibiscus are exquisite, photo 6.

Walking along the path to the Old Conservatory I was pleased to find it looking splendid, photos 7 and 8. All the plants there were at their best and the whole display was very pleasing. Outside on the lawn, the Cedar tree is struggling a bit, photo 9. Although it is covered with a fine display of new cones, the top of the tree looks a bit flat.

Further along the path I came to the Pond Terrace. Always a favourite place of mine. The planting has been chosen carefully to cope with the hot weather, photo10. The Tulip Terrace is looking good too, photo 11, with all the succulents enjoying their summer holiday on the wall. I can almost imagine that it was Mr Bowles himself sending the rays of light down on to the terrace.

Down in the Kitchen Garden the bed of annuals was full of colour, photo 12 and I love the sunflowers creating that lovely wall of colour along the back. Standing in the border along the west facing wall is this magnificent Koelreuteria paniculata or Golden Rain Tree, photo 13. The flowers were a dazzling shade of yellow against the blue sky, photo 14. I do not remember seeing it looking so good before.

Behind the Glasshouses is the pumpkin patch which is full of Pumpkins and Squashes, photo 15. The Turk's Turban is my all time favourite, photo 16.

For the fauna selection this month I am extremely grateful to Paige Harmes, an apprentice in the garden for sharing her photos with me and allowing me to use them in this newsletter. It pays to be out and about early at this time of year and catch the action before it gets too hot. The bees have enjoyed both the Echinops, known as Globe Thistle, photo 17 and the Nectaroscordum siculum, known as Sicilian honey garlic, photo 18. Also seen in the garden was this Lime Moth, photo 19, this Emperor Dragonfly, photo 20, this Common Darter dragonfly, photo 21, this Black-headed Cardinal Beetle, photo 22 and this Common Frog, photo 23. Then finally a heron, photo 24. I have not seen a heron in the garden for several years so it is good to know they still visit now and again.

My thanks not only to Paige but also Dawn Richardson who also works for the LVRPA. Dawn is a Bio Diversity Officer and very kindly identifies all these wonderous creatures for me so I can give you their correct names. I do not know everything so it helps to know people who do !!

I hope you have enjoyed this wander in the garden with me.

Best Wishes



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