The state of play

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So here we are in mid-summer. We’ve had temperatures as high as 39℃, severe drought and, today, a very welcome rainstorm. And it’s not even July yet. The garden has gone into survival mode and many of the flowers have disappeared. The super-tough rudbeckia are in full bloom and seem to resist any amount of ill-treatment. I was worried about the fruit trees but I think today’s heavy rainfall will have helped them no end. Just between 9 and 11am we collected 2500 litres of rainwater, ready to use on the garden over the rest of the summer. We currently have around 10,500 litres in the tanks.

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The magnificent magnolia that we planted at the end of 2012 has thrown up its first bloom. I couldn’t be more thrilled as I’d read that it can take up to eight years for a magnolia to flower after transplanting. So thanks M! What a wonderful birthday present.

The parterre that I planted last autumn is coming along famously. All the plants are doing well, although the berberis seems to be a little less tolerant of the drought than the lavender, santolina, rosemary and miscanthus.

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The garden is choc-a-bloc with bees and insects at the moment, drawn to all the fragrant and invitingly colourful vegetable flowers.

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In the potager the mange tout has run its course way too quickly thanks to the very high temperatures, but I’ve sown more french beans to take over when the next lot finish. The courgettes and butternut squash are growing like billy-o and we have already had our first tomatoes from the garden. The new potatoes in buckets have proved successful and we have had an abundance of strawberries this year. Here’s some produce that we shall have for supper.

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