21 July 2018

We are having the summer of a lifetime. At least that is if you are not a gardener. After a prolonged cold and wet winter, we skipped spring and went straight into summer. The weather has been hot and dry for two months already, with no break in sight as yet.

I knew that after the winter, young plants would struggle when it eventually dried up but didn’t envisage anything quite as intense as this. I keep being amazed to see how well many of our plants are doing in these conditions. The daylilies have been particularly beautiful.

The trees are doing remarkably well too. Most of them are planted with weed-suppressant fabric and bark chippings on top so that all the moisture is retained in the soil. If only we could put chippings on the banks!

We lost a few small shrubs over the winter, and I am glad that I didn’t rush to replace them already. Autumn is going to be very busy, and I have already started to save seeds and plan to take lots of cuttings once the temperatures fall back towards normal.

Today we had an excellent number of folk turn out for the July working party, and on such a hot day your support was much appreciated. The ground was as rock hard, and consequently the morning was spent tidying as best we could, stopping weeds running to seed, and making space around those plants that needed it. We left a lot of cut foliage on the ground to act as a mulch and hopefully prevent the soil surface from drying out any further.

Thanks, as ever, to all those who came to help. And thank you too, for the coffee and sausage baguettes, we needed that break today more than usual. I hope to see all next time and please persuade your friends and neighbours to come along too.

Jane Jewitt