Home garden Our garden in July

Our garden in July

by Clare Mansell
Our garden in July

Our July update is a little late but I’m determined to keep a record of our evolving outside space as this year has already been a significant one for changes and we have a few more lined up over the coming months.

But first a look at what’s in flower in our garden. We still have an awful lot of small plants which are settling in and still look rather lonely (and very unimpressive) surrounded by empty soil in the beds, but fortunately some of the plants we inherited continue to thrive. The hydrangeass have been in full bloom this month with a varied selection of blooms varying from mauve to pink.

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Our rose bush continues to flourish despite near constant neglect! This year I got as far as buying rose food, but still haven’t got round to giving it any and yet we still get many many months of it in flower!

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One nice surprise has been seeing the privet hedge we planted along our southern boundary in flower for the first time. When we did our research about which hedge to plant, I didn’t pay much attention to whether it flowered or not, as there were greater concerns about finding something suitable for an exposed coastal location, so it’s been lovely to see these blooms for the first and hopefully not the last time.

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Last week after seeing several lush lawns at friends houses we decided to have a second attempt at treating our lawn with Evergreen 4 in 1. I used it last year on our front lawn, but it seemed to do absolutely nothing for us, so this time we followed the instructions to the letter and several patches of the lawn turned black within 24 hours, which is a little disconcerting but according to everything I have read online is normal and at least shows something is happening. Apparently within a month the difference is noticeable so we’ll see what it is like when I do my August update! Theo helped with the spreading, he is quite a keen gardener and has “a new plant for the garden” on his birthday list this year. gardenjuly2

But now on to our plans for the next few months. It’s fair to say that we’ve come an awfully long way as gardeners since we moved into this house three years ago. We had very limited gardening experience between us and I don’t think we even owned as much as a decent spade at the beginning!

Since then we’ve bulked out our garden shed to include a whole range of garden tools and safety equipment from chainsaws to hedge loppers and multiple pairs of garden gloves, even Theo has his own pair of secateurs now! Now we are well equipped, Jim has risen to most of the challenges I have set him such as excavating tree stumps and laying new turf, but there are certain jobs for which you have to call in the experts in order to get a job done efficiently and safely and tree removal is one of them.

I confess I always feel slightly guilty when the subject of felling trees comes up, but when you inherit other people’s planting decisions sometimes you have to undo them. Our pine looks quite nice in this photo, but it steals the afternoon sun from our patio and sheds needles constantly, so we’ve decided to get rid of it, but we won’t be left short of trees. We have a new woodland on two sides of us with over 5,000 young trees in it.

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Our tree removal should take place this month. It’s not cheap and in order to help pay for it Jim will be taking on the job of trimming a rather substantial hedge which we normally get the experts in to do. So we’ll either be hiring or buying a hedge trimmer and a special ladder. It gets quite serious this gardening lark!

The next project we are looking at after removing the tree is redoing the patio itself. Like the tree, it doesn’t look too bad in this picture, but it’s a patchwork of crazy paving, patio tiles and cement with gaping holes in it. I’ve been deterred from getting a quote because everything I read online said you couldn’t place a new surface on top of an old surface like this, but we’ve had the experts in and not only did they say we could do it, but they went as far as saying it would be a waste to dig up the old surface and start again, so we are hoping that means the cost won’t be too horrendous, though I suspect it’ll be a job for the spring whatever the case.

If you are looking for garden tools and safety equipment for your garden this summer have a look at the range at Engelbert Strauss.

Joining up with Annie

This is a collaborative post

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