Second half of July

We are still in advance of usual, and the roses have nearly stopped flowering. The new rose called ‘Gentle Hermione’ has been commented on a lot of times, as it is particularly beautiful, a shell pink, surrounded by eryngium ‘planum blakappe’ which is a soft blue. The garden looks very pretty, but I find myself longing for the autumnal light, which we is still a long way off. We had a large group from Australia round the garden, who were very enthusiastic and quite charming. All of our grasses are flowering now, except the panicums and the miscanthus. You stand at the top of the bank and look down to the shapes in the par terre, and the blaze of colour created by the dahlias, alstroemerias, monardas and heleniums. The three huge mounds of Miscanthus ‘Yakushima Dwarf’ in the autumn border are particularly striking. To look good the shapes in the par terre have to be trimmed pretty regularly. The other morning I saw a rabbit in the garden, and hustled James to get his gun, this was at 6am, so he did not respond very well. We have some enormous mole hills coming up the path to the Schisandra Rubiflora up the back of the house. We will have to find someone to deal with them, as we seem to have lost our main mole catcher, James.
Polly and I have decided to make some changes in the garden already, even though we have had absolutely no rain of any sort. In the apricot border we took out about 7 pieces of Thalictrum flavum ‘Illuminator’, as though pretty early on, was pretty dull and fell over afterwards. We have replaced it with at the front Agapanthus ‘Navy Blue’, and Stemmacantha Centauroides. The latter starts off with pretty grey foliage, followed by tennis balls, looking as if they have been wrapped by Christo, and then pink thistles. All of these foliage will look good together, and cope with the dryness. To brighten up the Gustav Klimt border we bought some red crocosmias, and some more have gone into the Fern Cottage border which needs some more sparkle. It is a real challenge to keep these large borders looking good all the months between April and the end of October.
I am afraid Polly is lagging behind with her ‘Plant of the Month’, but we hope she is going to catch up soon.

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