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Well its July and I am fed up. Here in Wales the weather had been and is awfel. Most of my ground is waterlogged, the roses are budding then falling off, the honeysuckle has given up and only the fist in the pond are surviving.A bit of good news - I have lots of nice lettuces.!
Roses rotting; courgettes; yuk! Grass ousing water.There has to be a plus side: I have found my new clematis, (4 of them) planted in May are thriving and in bud, and I haven't had to water the many new shrubs.
Oh and no heavy watering cans to carry. and no worrying whether my water butts will hold up
Let's hope the sun doesn't come out too fiercely to bake my clay soil!
. I am sitting at my computer feeling sorry for myself, just waiting for the rain to stop reading your message. Yes I suppose you have described a plus side - but I still want the rain to stop.
I've had my wobbly moments in these last few weeks - I went to dig some potatoes the toher day nd was almost in tears when I found how few there were. The French beans and tomatoes and courgettes are not yet a disaster but are way behind. I've put in so much work and by April I was feeling really confident about the garden, it all looked so good. My husband keeps bees and will probably get no honey this year. Like so many others, we're very disappointed at what the weather has (or hasn't) done.
But: my raspberries, rhubarb and gooseberries are great, my mangetout have been good, and my broad beans not quite the total failure I expected when I saw the extent of the chocolate spot on them. The lavenders and climbing hydrangea look better than they ever have, and so does the lawn (at least until you walk on it).
I've never known a season like this, so hopefully it will be better again next year. We may still see some reasonable weather before the summer is out. Yesterday, when I'd cleared a space where some of my pathetic potatoes were, I was optimistic enough to put in a few more seeds ( dwarf French beans and wild rocket). Gardening is all aobut the long term, and I'm trying not to get too daunted at all the failures of the last couple of months.
One more reason to be cheerful - there's no hosepipe ban!
Of course next year will be wonderful, it always will be huh?
No worrying about watering any of my 400+ pots, in fact rather the reverse, although in fact some of them are not so wet, huge leaves diverting the water to the ground (as if it needed it) rather than into the pots. My rhubarb has given up the ghost, the astratias have spread like a forest fire (which wouldn't burn if you asked it ever so nicely), baskets and pots of classic red geraniums bright and happy, ditto hardy geraniums, hostas adoring it all, also the golden hop but not the tiny miserable peas that have just about succumbed.
Needn't have bothered installing our 4 water butts when the Thames Water hosepipe bans started this year. They have been overflowing! Oh well - ready for next year
Now then Hostas - thats a thought - do they like a lot of rain? Any varieties you can recommend?
They all adore as much rain as they can get - there are literally hundreds and hundreds of different types, from a couple of inches high to several feet high, bluish foliage, green, all shades of variagation, purple, lilac or white flowers, recently scented ones coming in too. I have 65 different types and have barely broken the surface of all those available. Look for a good seller such as Bowdens or Mickfield hosta, there are lots of good companies out there who specialise in them. I usualy buy on line, or at garden shows. Often good to get from a nursery that grows only whatever plants it is that you want, as they will be the experts.
thank you Bookertoo - one question - do I need to take them indoors in the Winter or am I able to grow them in the ground.? Here in South Wales we have some good old frosts.
You need to protect the pots, for the sake of the pots, not the hostas! They are as tough as old boots, some of mine have been in their pots for 10 - 15 years and have never seen a cover except that of snow. They are adored by all slugs and snails, I nearly gave up the collection until I discovered copper tape. A strip around each pot had really made a huge difference. Before then by this time of year the leaves were like net curtains, now although there is the odd damaged leaf, on the whole they are stunning - they are, as I said, loving this wet weather.
thank you so much - by the way - I have just brought Mickfield Hostas up on the machine, and by accident pressed Print - I now have their complete catalogue (16 pages in all) in front of me - so I have enough choices of Hostas to keep me going!!!!! Have a good week - weather permitting.
My home and garden are my life, but I have ordered hundreds of paving slabs(cheap from council) as I cannot cope anymore as my garden looks like a war zone.
On reflection, there are some things to smile about, for the first time in 16 years my water bill shows a CREDIT , and in summer too! The patio gets washed every day and fish in the pond are thriving. The frogs will have to be put on contraceptives soon and moisture loving plants are having a ball......hmmmm, cancel the slab order.
I hope someone else feels like me too, typical the ever optimistic gardner, it will be all wonderfull next year!
Interesting. You mention you are getting cheap slabs from council. I am all for re-cycling but it worries me that a large part of gardens nowadays are being "slabbed" /paved. Where is all the water supposed to go? and doesn't this coontribute to the flooding in recent years? I love to see a bit of grass which personally I think enhances the plants. Our grassed areas are not the perfect lawns - my husband likes the clover and the odd violets that spring up - but I still wouldn't change it for slabs. They have their place for some areas (A shame that people have to pave their tiny front gardens to provide parking) but give me a bit of green any day! We also intalled water butts this year which proved necessary with the early hosepipe bans. I got used to watering plants from the butts and will continue to use it in future in place of tap water to save water generally.
Good luck with your
my hostas have been eaten.
The snails are just having a party. i have taken to collecting them in a bucket of salty water as the pellets are not not lasting long enough to have any real effect. I have collected what seems like 100s of the little bugg@rs
My holly hocks are rusting away to nothing, fungicide is not having any effect as it keeps getting washed off in the rain.
Beans and courgettes have all been eaten, tomatoes only just begining to form fruit. Courgettes only just flowering, pumpkins sulking, every single of the 100 + sunflowers sown have either been eaten or didn't germinate.
I normally have a garden party the last weekend of July( when the garden is at its absolute best ) , bunting, sandwiches, scones etc, always serve a home grown tom salald and a bean salad, will have almost nothing home grown to feed people this year and for the garden it looks dismal
Lovely of read all your news, but cannot stop now- the sun is shining.
Seems we are all in the same boat (some people literally!). My tomatoes are a disaster this year, the courgettes are pathetic, and the beans are way behind for the time of year. The potato crop seems to be ok though - probably because I'm on sandy soil.
We live in Norfolk where we usually have drought conditions year on year. Our garden is planted with drought loving plants and some of those aren't very happy with being soaked. All veg is poor. Peas are huge and lush but no peas. Courgettes still only have 6 tiny leaves with 5 male flowers so far. Onions are like giant spring onions, they haven't bulbed yet. Tomatoes are pretty good though, given them very little water and kept the greenhouse ajar. Too cold for chillis though, had to throw them away.
One good thing I have found is that it's cool enough to concentrate on cuttings. Plus we can keep on top of garden chores like weeding, pruning & pot washing. (Between the showers). Something else i've been able to do is move plants around, which normally has to wait until autumn. Then, when summer does arrive we can be more relaxed and enjoy the garden. I've also sown grass seed because it's cool and wet enough. It can get frustrating when gardening is your life, don't give up, it will get better.
And although water bills are down, heating bills are up. Can't win can we?