Top Ten July Blooms.

I have been AWL from the blogging world. My sunflower header perhaps gives a clue to where I’ve been. We have been cycling in La Belle France. First a magical island, L’Ile d’Oleron and then Burgundy.

Whilst we were away the garden has grown a bit wild and woolly.  But I always fall a bit out of love with it in late July, it seems to be suffering from middle- age spread and all the freshness has gone out of it. It just needs a bit of a tidy up and lots of dead heading and all will be well. And there are lots of lovely blooms to choose from. Dahlias are my number one but they will have their own post.

My first three are all deliciously fragrant. Coming in at number one is the lily. The first two lilies are finished now, they are early July bloomers. The first to bloom in my garden is the glorious Lilium candidum, the Madonna Lily with spikes of silky white trumpets. She is a pernickety lady. After flowering this plant goes dormant and then the rosettes of apple-green leaves grow in the winter. I read that at one time you could see huge beds of this lily growing in cottage gardens but that it is a rare sight now. It is very susceptible to disease. I keep my clump growing with lots of tender care, but only just.

Lilium candidum

Lilium regale blooms a bit later and has white trumpets backed with pink. It looks lovely with roses but it also grows well in a pot. It is the easiest and quickest to grow from seed and will bloom in two or three years, so you need never be without it.

Lilium regale

The next into bloom here is the dark and sultry ‘Night Rider’.  It is almost black and incredibly exotic.

Lilium ‘Night Rider’

I have several lilies in my secret garden. The first to flower is the lovely  white and yellow ‘Lady Alice’. This lily just gets better and better with age. She needs staking though.

Lilium ‘Lady Alice’

Of course, growing lilies means a constant battle with lily beetle and a daily disgusting squishing job. I don’t use chemicals so I have to rely on the finger and thumb. But I can’t and won’t have a lilyless garden.

Fragrance is an essential element of the summer garden and the Trachelospermum jasminoides growing on the wall by the French window is wonderful on a summer evening. I have a pink one too called ‘Pink Showers’ but it is not very big yet. Next to the trachelospermum on the table is a pot of fragrant Helioptropium  arborescens which the Victorians called ‘Cherry Pie’ because of its delicious scent.

Trachelospermum jasminoides

Heliotropium arborescens

I also have several jasmines for fragrance but my favourite is the creamy-flowered  Jasmimum officinale ‘Clotted Cream’. It has larger flowers and is more strongly scented and floriferous than any of the others.

Jasmimum officinale ‘Clotted Cream’

For evening fragrance the annual  Zaluzianskia  capensis ‘Midnight Candy’ is unbeatable. I grow it in pots and move it into the house in the evening if we are sitting inside. It fills the whole house with fragrance. It has top notes of honey with maybe vanilla and a little citrus and perhaps a touch of coconut. The pretty star-like flowers close up during the day but the buds are round and pink.

Zaluzianskia capensis

If the July garden looks a bit flat then clematis can be relied on for an injection of colour. Cathy at Rambling in the Garden has forty varieties so her garden must be a wonderful sight in July. I particularly like the small flowered  viticella and texensis bybrids and they are particularly useful as they can be cut right down in late winter. Here are a few of my favourite July clematis.

Clematis viticella ‘Purpurea Plena Elegans’


Clematis ‘Madame Julia Correvon’. Clematis ‘Tie Dye’

Clematis. Lost the label. Any suggestions?

Clematis viticella ‘Alba Luxuriens growing round Echinops ritro

Clematis viticella ‘Betty Corning’

Annual diascias come in a wonderful range of colours and I love them for pots. But best of all is the perennial Diascia personata. It comes from South Africa and is supposed to be a bit tender but I have never lost it to frost. Anyway it is incredibly easy from cuttings. It grows to a height of 3 feet and so it makes quite a statement.

Disacia personata

It has just occurred to me that it would look lovely with grasses.  I grow it in my gravel garden and unless it is staked it flops. Never mine it looks nice flopping into the Geranium ‘Azure Rush’.

Disacia personata with Geranium ‘Azure Rush’

Angel’s Fishing Rod, Dierama pulcherimum come in various sizes but I like the tall one as it makes a real statement. It is easy from seed and if it likes you it will seed around. It is a lovely sight swaying in the breeze. This is another plant from South Africa and it loves full sun.

Dierama pulcherrimum

I have mentioned before how much I love the little bells of campanulas and one of my favourites has to be one that is in bloom now. Campanula cochlearifoila ‘Elizabeth Oliver’ grows in my gravel garden where it makes mats covered in tiny double flowers in powder blue. It seeds around too so you can have more for pots.

Campanula cochlearifolia ‘Elizabeth Oliver’

Readers of my blog will know that I adore orchids. This year I bought a new hardy orchid which is a gorgeous new hybrid. It is called Calanthe takane and it likes a woodland position so it looks good with ferns. It like rich organic matter and a winter mulch.

Calanthe takane

It is always a joy when unexpected beauties turn up in the garden but to have an orchid hitching a ride on an unusual pine tree which I bought a few years ago is a particular treat. The seed must have been sitting there all this time. I think it is an Epipactis helleborine.

Epipactis helleborine

So there are my ten for this month. If you have time to pick out some of your July favourites to share it would be lovely. Now I think it is time to pour out a couple of glasses of wine and find my hammock, the Pianist is already out there. It’s time for our competitive crosswords and then when it is cooler a game of croquet.

Summer afternoon, summer afternoon; to me these have always been the two most beautiful words in the English language‘ .This quote comes from Henry James; amazing that he confined himself to just two words; he is not known for using one word where several hundred will do . But I do agree with him. Summer evenings are magic too. I hope you are enjoying the heatwave. You really need a hammock and a shady tree to get the best out of it.

This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

30 Responses to Top Ten July Blooms.

  1. The Lilies are magic. Interesting the Jasmines are in full flower here, I am not quite sure which one is the most fragrant. Your hammock looks so inviting. I am going to pour a glass of wine and stay inside until October.

  2. bcparkison says:

    Every thing is just so pretty. Our heat wave is waving goodby for a day or two and that is a welcome. It has just been aweful.

    • Chloris says:

      It has veen very hot here and I like it as long as I don’t have to work in it. But now it is cooler and we have rain which is a relief for the garden and the gardener.

  3. All your flowers look fabulous.

  4. Kris P says:

    Your garden must smell heavenly. And oh, to have orchids growing in the ground! That hitchhiker Epipactis is adorable. I admire the Clematis and have committed myself to adding more to my own garden. I bought a small vine on my favorite mail-order nursery’s July sale as a start, even though July is the worst possible time to plant anything here. My July bloomers are very similar to those I had flowering in June but the dahlias are coming along nicely now.

    • Chloris says:

      Yes, hardy orchids are a joy although some if them are tricky to keep going. To get one for free was so exciting. Here clematis are very useful for the July garden, they can scramble through shrubs so you always have room for one more. Dahlias are the main bloom from now until the first frosts here but they will get their own post.

  5. Tina says:

    Your garden is lovely with lilies and I see why you won’t do without them. As well, your various clematis are gorgeous! I had a good chuckle at your explanation of your garden’s middle age spread–it hit home on several levels.

    • Chloris says:

      It’s the weeds going to seed everywhere that are getting me down. That’s what happens when you go away.
      I have more lilies in bloom now, I love them.

  6. Pauline says:

    Your lilies and clemaris are really gorgeous, your garden must smell divine at the moment! I don’t have as many lilies as I used to because of the lily beetle, but I think after seeing yours I must try again and just be more vigilant!

    • Chloris says:

      I find some lilies are more susceptible than others to the dreaded beetle. Martagon lilies get wrecked each year despite my best efforts. Thank you for joining in and sharing your July favourites Pauline.

  7. susurrus says:

    Your comment about Henry James made me smile. His sentences feel like he was rubbing them partly away with the eraser all the time he was writing, adding another word or idea here and there and rubbing those partly away too until, finally, he had an eureka moment, published them all in black and white and left the reader to make of it whatever she could.

    The garden looks lovely even though you’ve been away. I especially like the clematis pairing and the campanula.

    • Chloris says:

      Oh what a great description of Henry James. Having said that ‘Portrait of a Lady’ is a great book and I think ‘The Turn of the Screw’ is the greatest ghost story ever written. The garden is still looking a bit woolly, it will take me another couple of weeks to turn it round.

      • susurrus says:

        I like ‘What Maisie Knew’ too, but I remember trying to read one book – ‘Wings of the Dove’, I think, getting partly down the first page, finding the sentences just too much and putting it away. That happened every few years for decades until I finally punched through the opening chapter and read it.

  8. I’m jealous of all your Lilies. I want to plant all of them, especially ‘Lady Alice’.

  9. Heyjude says:

    Your garden must be a perfume heaven at the moment. How do you keep your lilies free from being eaten by S&S and your Jasmine from taking over?

    • Chloris says:

      Slugs don’t seem to go for my lilies perhaps they have too many other delicacies. But the lily beetles need constant attention.The jasmine gets a regular haircut.

      • Heyjude says:

        I rather think it is the snails that attack a lot of my plants, they are everywhere and great at climbing! I now have something (earwigs?) eating my lovely clematis 😦

  10. tonytomeo says:

    The clematis are more enviable than the lilies for me. I am determined to grow them, and they can sort of grow here, but they only look good in early and middle spring, and then start to get roasted by late spring. They are lasting longer this year because of the weather, so are only now getting dry. The humidity is too minimal for them here.

    • Chloris says:

      I like spring flowering clematis but late July clematis are different varieties here. Can you grow small flowered viticellas? They are my favourites.

      • tonytomeo says:

        They are about the same for us. The vines are more manageable, but the foliage and bloom is no better. Clematis lasiantha, ligusticifolia, pauciflora and (exotic) montana do well here but they are completely different. Clematis armandii is a nice for the foliage, but the bloom can be sporadic, although it can be spectacular too.

  11. Pingback: July Blooms : Let’s Hear it For Lizzie! | Rambling in the Garden

  12. Cathy says:

    Lots of lovelies, Chloris! Are most of your lilies grown in the ground? If so then presumably they get through winter OK. I have tried other than just Asiatic lilies this year but don’t want to risk them in the ground. I did start an L candidum in a pot and it had levaes over winter but then did nothing so I left it alone, but in hindsight perhaps it would have flowered after all – must check it out. Good to see some of your clematis – one of te Staffs HNG gardens professed to have over 100 viticellas so mine are small fry in comparison 😉 Is your lost label a non-climbing one? I grew Zaluzianskia one year after you recommended it but it underperformed in the ground so growing it in pots sounds a good idea. I lost my perennial diascia but it was always more salmony than pink, as yours is – is it a named variety (and can you spare some cuttings….)? My July blooms are here:
    Thanks for hosting

  13. Chloris says:

    I leave the lilies in the ground but Lilium candidum needs protection from slugs and snails when the leaves appear. Lost label is a viticella but I can’t remember which. 100? Wow, I clearly need a few more. I think my Diascia personata is ‘Hopleys’, of course I will send you a piece. Thanks for joining inwith you top July blooms.

  14. snowbird says:

    Oh, how lovely it must be to lie in a hammock in your garden surrounded by so many jewels! I love all your blooms, especially the lilies, Night Rider truly is a beauty. Loved the campanulas too, I have such a soft spot for them. Your holiday sounds perfect!xxx

  15. Oh, I hear you with the late summer garden “aging.” I lose some of my interest this time of year, too, or maybe I should say my expectations lower at the end of July. There’s still plenty of garden magic to enjoy, but I find myself accepting that the garden is so, so far from perfect. I felt happy today to clean up a few areas, and it feels much better. Your lilies are amazing!

  16. Anne says:

    What a beautiful garden you have nurtured! Zaluzianskia capensis is another beautiful import from South Africa – beautiful to see growing wild.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s