Garden Blog | July
High summer is always such a busy time in the garden; lawns need mowing and edging; hedges require clipping; borders must be dead headed and weeded; and not forgetting the constant round of watering and deadheading required to keep the glasshouses, pots and urns, and summer bedding displays in tip top condition. All of these tasks are essential to keep the garden looking at its best, and although time consuming the results of our endeavours are well worth the effort. So, let us take a stroll through the gardens and enjoy the fruits of our labours.
The low box hedges that define the beds of our parterre, and the tall hornbeam hedges that mark the eastern and western boundaries, have recently received their summer clip and are looking very crisp, just the job for this most formal part of the garden. Following the hyacinths and tulips of spring, the Iris of May, and Geranium of June, Salvia and lavender have taken the helm in the cycle of blue and purple flowering plants filling the Parterre beds. Although the Parterre is not the biggest feature of the garden, it does take up the most time in maintenance, as the formality here requires a great deal of marshalling.
As we move from the Parterre and make our way down the long Borders and White Garden, a more relaxed and informal feel becomes apparent. Without doubt the easiest way to reduce the need for weeding is to have borders that are so full of desirable plants as to stifle any potential interlopers. So that is what we do. The Long Borders and White Garden have a very English country garden feel, with a succession of shrubs, herbaceous plants, and bulbs, providing colour throughout the season. We are happy for self seeding to proliferate as it is the perfect way to ensure that the plants in the garden are suited to their environment and tolerant of its stresses. At the moment we have masses of hollyhocks, verbascums, and Macedonian scabious, to mention but a few, jostling for attention.
In the Four Seasons garden situated half way along the Long Borders, and Stone Summerhouse that marks their end, Victorian style formal bedding displays are used to add a bit of drama. The Four Seasons garden, with its tall enclosing hornbeam hedge, is named after the statues that stand quietly on their low wall, eyes permanently fixed on the giant urn at the centre of the garden and its ever changing display of seasonal colour. At the moment we have cannas, love lies bleeding, heliotrope, celosias, and fuchsias, which as the summer unfolds will become more exuberant and overflowing. The centrepiece of our display at the Stone Summerhouse is an Ethiopian black banana. This towering exotic is surrounded by beds edged with spider plants, filled with petunias, and pots of love lies bleeding as ‘dot plants’.
For many, the epitome of summer gardens are roses. The Rose Garden planted here a little over a year ago on the east side of the house has performed wonderfully. The roses, and underplanting of white catmint, white Salvia, and chartreuse Alchemilla, in beds edged with pink lavender, are just beautiful to see and fill the air with the most wonderful scent.
Whatever the size of your plot, it is well worth taking time out to enjoy the beauty of it. Hopefully, you’ve enjoyed this virtual tour of the gardens here at Deene Park.
Until next time, happy gardening.