In the garden – July
Summer tends to be a quieter time in the garden, watering and weeding to keep on top of, but hopefully time to sit back and enjoy the warmth, and maybe start to plan for the autumn!
July is normally one of the driest months of the year, and a time in which the garden is often resting and can look a bit jaded with not so much colour. Plants which do flower in the summer and which are drought tolerant are thus all the more important. There are a number of plants in the genus Verbena which are excellent for summer colour.
The well known Verbena bonariense grows to about a metre high and has mauve flowers from late May until September; butterflies adore it. Verbena venosa is a lower growing verbena with similar flower colour but which spreads by underground runners to make a dense ground cover, there is also a form of this with paler flowers – Verbena venosa lilacina. And for a lower growing ground cover the intense red of Verbena peruviana is hard to beat.
All require some supplementary water during the summer and like full sun. The foliage can look tatty at the end of the winter and they all benefit from being trimmed back around the end of February.
During July think about the following:
• Continue to keep an eye out for damage by slugs, snails, insects etc and take appropriate action
• Continue deadheading perennials after flowering to encourage a second flowering spell
• Vigorous climbers such as ivy, Virginia creeper, wisteria and trumpet vines (Campsis) may need some pruning from time to time over the summer
• Clip back aromatics such as santolina and lavender after flowering, remember that lavenders should never be cut back into old wood but only into this season’s growth
• Roses which aren’t repeat flowering can be pruned after flowering
• Keep an eye on the watering requirements of your garden, recently planted items (especially if they were planted this spring) particularly need looking after even if they are drought resistant once established.
Remember that we are now open regularly just once a month but also always by appointment. Remember too that we do encourage you to visit the garden over the summer months just to see what is looking good (and bad) at different times of the year.
Many of you are aware that we now have so many different species of plants in the garden that keeping them all in stock in the nursery is impossible but we will always produce plants to order, if you would like to make specific orders for the autumn it would be useful to make them by mid August.
Open weekends during the summer are (10h to 18h each day): 11/12/13 July, 8/9/10 August.
For further information contact Gill Pound at La Petite Pépinière de Caunes (shrubs and perennials, ornamental grasses, unusual plants and plants for dry climates), 21, Avenue de la Montagne Noire, 11160, Caunes-Minervois. Tel: 04 68 78 43 81 email Gill@lapetitepepiniere.com www.lapetitepepiniere.com