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- July in the Parsonage Garden

July Garden Diary
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Not a vapour had stained the breezeless blue
Not a cloud had dimmed the sun
From the time of morning’s earliest dew
Till the summer day was done.
                                       Emily Jane Brontë
What a lovely month July has been − so warm and sunny – although we could have wished for a little more rain, we’ve relied on the garden hose.  There have been no disappointments this year, all the plants have performed beautifully, especially the roses: the Charlotte rose is growing and flowering well, as is the new Branwell rose in the Branwell bicentenary bed in the back yard.  I noticed only today that it has put on new growth and is budding up for a second flowering, which tells us it is happy. 

Flushed with this success of the new Branwell bed, I thought it might be nice to refresh the bed beneath the scots pine that Charlotte and Arthur planted when they got back from honeymoon.   The huge tree sucks all the moisture out of the ground and creates a canopy of shade.  It is a drab, dry patch and other shrubs have grown up in it, further depleting the soil, so we plan to clear the area, reducing the shrubs and the ever-invasive cranesbill.  Once we have done that, we will enrich the soil with good organic compost and re-plant with a variety of shade loving plants that will never be a riot of colour but something more subtle.  It is a challenge to create something interesting in difficult conditions but, hopefully, next spring and summer, this refreshed bed will be giving us a show.

Geoff and I have a budget for the garden which allows us to buy the things we need and this year we are rejoicing in a nice chunk of surplus so, on receiving the news, Geoff and I went away to think how we’d spend it.  Geoff, within hours, came up with much needed machinery − a hedge trimmer and mechanical lawn rake – while I was busy planning new planting.  As usual, we came to an agreement: Geoff would buy the much need tools and I would spend what was left on new planting − and so we have!

This is the time of year when I would like to respectfully remind everyone not to forget to water and feed their hanging baskets and tubs.  Nothing saddens me more than to see a plant dying for lack of water.  Imagine if that were a caged bird or hamster, it would be fed and watered and cared for, but our captive plants rely on us just as much and they will pay us back a thousand fold if we give them lots of love.
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