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The Hottest Summer

by Kathryn Cronin – 30th July 2018 @ 10:10pm
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It has felt like the longest summer ever already as I listen to the noise of the rain on our roof. The grass is still a dry shade of crunchy brown from the unbelievable Mediterranean weather conditions we have been having in this little corner of England. It is the hottest summer I can remember since I was a child, collecting water from stand pipes in the streets of Cardiff. Who could have predicted this after the winter we have had.

It continues to be a good year for the roses and now is an excellent time to order your bare root roses for planting in November. "Surely it is too early to be thinking of that!" I hear you cry? Well, if like me you want to plant specific varieties then no, as popular varieties sell out very quickly as I found out to my cost last year.

June has seen a major spurt of growth for all the seedlings and dahlias started off earlier in the year. There are moments when you wonder if anything is going to flower at all, then time passes and suddenly it is all there as it always is.

Despite the worst and the best of the weather, the rather splendid poetic quote from Samuel Taylor Coleridge seems to capture the mood of this summer season:

"Summer has set in with its usual severity........"

I spy the kingfishers flash along the canal, one of the joys of being so close. There are very few boats due to the breach. Their bright feathers are coordinating nicely with the vivid blue nigella hispanica that is now flowering. I am cutting their beautiful architectural seed heads to dry for that event at the big end of the year (it is too early to mention just yet!).

The seed sowing continues with biennials. Even though I know you can buy them, I have decided to grow sweet william for the first time along with sweet rocket, white corncockle and wall flowers. More foxgloves are being planted between other things. Ordinarily, I would say to take care of the slugs but it has just been too dry to worry about them.

My purple runner beans have climbed the canes but alas, they were a few weeks short to make an appearance at the wonderful Nantwich Agricultural Show. What did arrive in time though was my gladioli acidanthera. Not your usual variety, I will grow it again for its scent alone as well as those beautiful white and purple patterned flowers.

I am sure I am not the only one who has had their thinking cap on for the Minshull Madness competition this August. I am looking forward to the whole village looking mad as hatters...well a little bit more mad than usual anyway!

As with all gardens, there is always more to do than there is time during the Summer, but at least there has been no grass to cut!

Learn more about Kathryn's wild garden style floristry at

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