July GBBD

Sorry this is late, pressure of work and other commitments.  I took all the images on the 14th.

I am surprised by just how many plants are flowering this month.  Usually in July the garden is entering its summer dormant stage.  But this year it seems that just about everything is flowering.  I am very happy that all the roses are flowering for a second burst.  Some like Gertrude Jekyll only put on a second show during September and October last year, but this year they are nearly as full of blooms as they were in May.

R. Gertrude Jekyll

I have mentioned before that I am becoming more and more aware that it is the overall grouping of plants and the fullness of the borders that is pleasing me more than individual plants, however special they may be.  This doesn’t mean that I don’t enjoy seeing other bloggers special plants and proudly produced ‘difficult’ flowers; just that for my own garden and when I am designing for clients it is the overall effect I am aiming at.  I feel this is achieved by the correct choice of plants for a particular environment.  If this means I can’t grow some plants I really love, so be it.  A plant that is not happy where it is will never give of its best and will appear sad rather than giving the joy one hopes for.

View through the island beds

So I really enjoy seeing these plants vicariously on other bloggers posts of rarely in visits to other gardens.  I think in the UK gardeners are not so aware of this because in reality the climate is more accommodating than in the extremes we experience in Italy and of course other countries too.

In England the summers are never too hot for too long; and in winter never too cold for long periods and of course it does rain fairly regularly.  In Lazio there is always a 3 or sometimes even 4 month period with no rain at all with hot winds and daytime temperatures that hover around the low 30° C and only falling at night into the mid 20°s C.  I don’t believe in irrigating excessively and large areas of my garden are not irrigated at all.  I will water if I see a plant suffering and naturally new plants, especially if they are large specimens will need irrigation until they are established, but my aim is to select plants that will thrive in these conditions.  Where I do irrigate I do so by means of buried drip hose so that none of the water is lost to evaporation.  I also water for a long period but infrequently only once a week or every 10 days, this encourages the roots to grow deep to search out water that is deep down in the soil.  I also mulch and this definitely makes a big difference to the water retention of the soil.

Click on the image below to see all the flowers blooming in My Hesperides Garden today.

View from the back of the left hand border

Thank you to Carol at Maydreams for hosting GBBD for us all.  I will enjoy looking at many other posts to see what is flowering all over the world today.  Happy GBBD to everyone.

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21 thoughts on “July GBBD

  1. How lovely is that rose? I also love the soft effect of the grasses aginst purple flowers. I think we in the west of England have learned from the last two hard winters (-12ish) that despite our mild general climate, it really isnt New Zealand.

    • The biggest problem in the UK isn’t reallly the cold (it was minus 9 here this winter) but the combination of the wet with moderately cold temperatures. Most plants won’t survive that. Christina

  2. Dear Christina – I’m so glad I actually clicked on your last image which took me to your wonderful Flickr gallery of all your blooms! A wonderful showing – one of the very best I must say, for this GBBD. What stunning blooms you have!
    Happy GBBD 🙂

  3. you have lots of beautiful blooms Christina, I like your approach to watering, an uncle that worked as a market gardener on a Kent fruit farm told me when I had my small garden in the seventies to water as little as possible but when you do water water well so the water goes deep then the roots will go deep to find water, he said when people water little and often the water stays near the surface so the roots do a U turn up to the surface to find water, I like the buried drip hose idea I bet most people don’t even consider evaporation, over here the radio garden programmes I listen too keep encouraging people to go for drought tolerant plants if they are in an area of low rain fall, also people are told to have water butts, when you think of what is happening in Somalia with the drought it seems a crime to waste water,
    I love when you show photos of the long view of your garden, all the close ups become a bit like viewing a catalogue instead of a garden, thanks for sharing, Frances

    • Your uncle is exactly right. Unfortunately many gardeners water too little too often. The people who set up irrigation systems often don’t really understand the best way either and they set up systems that water every night for 10 minutes – terrible! Christina

  4. Goodness Christina, you weren’t kidding when you said you had a lot of plants flowering in your garden right now. What an amazing array of blooms. Like you I find that more and more of my satisfaction comes from combinations of plants rather than individual specimens, however lovely. I love some of your planting combinations, they are more than the sum of their parts, which I think is the essence of good garden design, everything working together to create a whole. I think it is there that the alchemy exists that makes a garden “great”. So, I love the way that the borders closer to the boundaries of your garden seem to blend in with the surroundings, with more solid masses, using the trees and larger shrubs, where elsewhere the planting seems more ephemeral. I am learning a lot from how you combine grasses with other plants, and how you seem to make roses fit in so beautifully. My favourite shot, though, is the one of the Verbena bonariensis and Stipa tenuissima around the greenhouse, with the cyprus (?). The mounds created by the planting masses seem to echo the landscape beyond. Beautiful. And it took me a whole mug of tea to reach the end of your slideshow!

    • I don’t know why there are so many more plants flowering and repeat flowering this July. I am constantly amazed at how quickly the garden is maturing here. Christina

  5. I also put my vote in for mass plantings… even in a confined space, which is so often the argument I hear used against large plantings. It gives so much more cohesiveness to design than using a smattering of odds and ends.

    You have created a beautiful garden! I envy the roses!! And I agree with Janet, I think that my favorite was the verbena b. with the grasses dotted around and the cypress(?). Beautiful for your setting.

    Hope you get to enjoy more fruits of your labor this summer.
    Julie

    • Thank you for your generous comments. Yes it is a cypress – actually one of the few trees or any kind of plant that was in the garden when we moved here. Christina

  6. Just as well I had my early morning tea with me, what a wonderful slide show with so many beautiful flowers in spite of your heat. I envy your verbena bonariensis, I had masses like that, but the snow and ice last winter killed most of them. A few survived so they will be allowed to seed everywhere and build up again. Your Trachelospermum jasminoides must be filling the air with its delightful perfume at the moment, must go and smell mine ! Loved the shots of the long views at the end, I too am now going for drifts instead of “one of everything” as I did years ago. Thanks for sharing your lovely garden with us.

    • I hope your Verbena do seed for you, they are such generous plants; attracting butterflies and humming bird hawk moths as well as giving some vertical interest in winter. Christina

  7. I always enjoy seeing the long view of a garden and how it all fits together, as well as the beautiful close-ups. I enjoyed the slide show! Just a few of your plants also are growing in my climate, different from yours but also difficult, especially in the summer. The key really is to find the right plants.

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