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JULY 2024

In the garden here at Blackbrook, the month of July often feels like a scene change between different acts. The story of spring and the first large flower flushes have played out and we move onto the developing tale of mid-summer as new characters are introduced and take over the narrative.

As something that changes through the year one always has to keep in mind how

different plants will look and perform through the year. So the Geraniums for example are key players in the spring but are cut back before their flowers have fully disappeared. In this way by the end of July and into August they are in time to re-flower as the next wave of players rolls through.

Other plants such as climbers and shrubs are also given a 'light' prune at this time of year to keep them reasonably contained and tidy. They will continue to put on new growth through the summer, but it ensures that they won't upstage any of the smaller herbaceous plants.

The Vegetable Garden is one of the more labour intensive parts of the garden. It, like other areas, has knitted together well, which helps to retain moisture in the soil, around the plant roots, and also prevents weed growth. The Vegetable Garden is unusual in the wider garden for having so much plant material removed, which then has to be replaced. Different crops are grown in different ways so that replacements can fill any gaps. This may be successional sowings where, for example Lettuce, is sown at different times meaning that younger plants can be used to give a continuous cropping season.

In the case of other plants such as Broad Beans, the stems of the plants are removed once the plant has finished cropping and

the space will then be used by Winter Cabbages that are currently in pots 'waiting in the wings'.

July is certainly a busy transitional month ensuring that all the plants are where they need to be, ready for the next part of the performance. However the joy is in knowing that when all these jobs are achieved then the next act will be all the more spectacular!

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