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In the Garden This Month
Dotted Line

Borders are at their peak through July, with perennials such as Astilbes lighting up damp, shady spots, their jagged leaves contrasting with fluffy spikes of richly coloured flowers. Hostas too are in bloom; their nodding flowers held on strong stems above their decorative leaves, creating a cool, elegant picture.

Old rambling Roses languish against sunny walls, at the height of their performance for the year, their garlands of flowers creating a beautiful backdrop for high summer perennials including pastel pink Penstemons, Delphiniums and the often two toned flowers of Lupins all combining for a decadent, cottage garden picture before the late perennials begin to move in next month and the garden changes once again.

The pace of work eases somewhat this month with spring planting finished and any major changes waiting until autumn. The vegetable garden is ongoing but begins to give up the rewards of all the planning, digging and planting of spring and the taste of our own produce spurs us on to plant winter crops and plan again for the following seasons.

This is a time to relax and enjoy your garden as an outdoor space, as well as admiring the plants and wildlife that also live here. Given sunny weather, butterflies will begin to appear in numbers now and feed on Buddlejas, Verbena and many other plants.

Hedgerows are plump with growth and bow under the weight of flowers after heavy rain showers. Blackberry bushes are still full of flower and the fruits begin to set this month, giving a reminder of the harvest to come. Bees busily investigate pink Foxglove flowers and the huge, saucer shaped white flowers of Greater Bindweed open triumphantly after their leaves and stems have used other plants as a climbing frame to the light. The air is full of insects, chased by House Martins, Swifts and Swallows and on humid days, tiny Thrips appear en masse until rain clears them along with the air. Dragonflies appear and clatter around pond and river banks, their long bodies and wings adding an exotic touch. On sunny cliffs and down land paths you may be lucky enough to see lizards and snakes sunning themselves along with many butterfly species warming their wings.

Not sure what to do in the garden this month? Try our July Jobs List

Worried about watering the garden during the summer? Try our Holiday season watering guide

Hosting your own garden party? Why not read our guide Garden party guide