The end of July 22 in the garden

The shutters are closed while the sun is up. At least now the nights are cooler and we can air the house in the cool of the morning.

Most plants are showing signs of heat exhaustion and the lack of rain. The Chitalpa does not get watered but it has flowered for even longer this year, having had flowers since early June.

The plants in this patch of the back garden get sun most of the day. The lavender has survived for many years, although it has finished flowering for this year. I am not sure whether the Colutea will survive as all I can see is its seed pods with no leaves. Surprisingly, the Eucryphea has started to flower even although some of its leaves have been burnt by the sun.

I’m not sure what the yellow flowers are in this area. They are very tough perennials which grow out of tubers that must allow them to survive in the heat and dry.

They are very attractive to the honey bees and although I find them rather invasive, I do appreciate them during hot summers.

The cat’s ears in our “lawn” provide a splash of colour in the sunshine as the lawn is a crispy brown.

The honey bees love the pollen and have been bringing in this bright orange pollen to the hives.

The cat’s ear weed attracts the Dasypoda bees. They are also called pantaloon bees as their hind legs have such long hairs for collecting the pollen. These bees nest in sandy soil, digging tunnels into the ground to lay their eggs. I am sure I must have nests nearby but I have never discovered any.

The larger Tetradium daniellii (the bee-bee tree) has just started to flower on the top branches and there is a satisfactory buzz when I stand underneath it. The garden is managing in the heat better than I am but both of us would benefit from some refreshing rain.

20 thoughts on “The end of July 22 in the garden

  1. Jan Morgan

    I have been stunned this by the lack of birds in Brittany, France. We have been coming to the same area for nearly 40 years. Recently we have noticed fewer and fewer birds of all sorts, but this year there are no swallows at all. Many nests used to have two breeding sessions per summer.
    There are very few sparrows, very few collar doves, when they used to be numerous and very little else, save a couple of magpies. It is so distressing to imagine that modern farming has done this to the bird population.

    I imagine the reduction in bird numbers is due to reduced insects (in itself a tragedy in unspoilt Belle ile en Mer, where there used to be wonderful moths and butterflies). The insect population has probably been decimated by the reintroduction of neonicotinoids in Europe, which is a complete disgrace.

    How sad it will be for our grandchildren not to know the joy of birds sweeping the skies and for them not to hear birdsong.

    We are devastated by the change this year.

    Yours, Mrs Morgan

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    1. We have lived here for about fifteen years and we had swallows in the hamlet during the first years. We used to liked to count how many babies they raised. We do not have any nesting now. I think the insect eating birds have suffered the most. What is the most frightening is the speed of the change. Amelia

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    1. I think it must be a perennial Helianthus. I checked and seemingly there are a lot of different types and can be annual or perennial. Shutters are extremely practical and energy efficient but I cannot get used to be in the dark (or artificial light) when it is sunny outside. Amelia

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      1. It certainly is dry and hot this summer. I am pumping all my bath water and keeping every washing up bowl of used water and this keeps most things green, but it can’t do much for the trees and shrubs. I too have noticed less birds but more quantifiable we have lost all our bats. We had two male pipistrelle every summer in the eves but now they are gone and I haven’t seen a single bat hunting over the garden. Last summer was cold and wet and I think they starved. I hope this is the reason not the lack of insects due to hideous farm chemicals.

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  2. It seems that everyone in several regions north of the Equator is writing about the warmth. It really sounds unpleasant. Strangely, the weather here, which is typically as warm as it has been there recently, has been unusually mild. Do people from Europe vacation in warmer climates on the Mediterranean Sea? Do they find such weather to be unpleasant while vacationing?

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    1. France is a popular destination for Northern Europeans, especially the South of France and the West coast which have a lot of beaches. Many Brits like the Northern regions such as Normandy and Britany which are cooler but have fantastic beaches for swimming and sun bathing. The holidaymakers do not appear to be too troubled by the higher temperatures as they do not have to work in a garden or clean their house :). Amelia

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  3. It seems that while some plants are suffering others are thriving – some of your trees look wonderful for instance. The Agapanthus I spot in your lawn photo also looks happy. I have a similar yellow flowered plant that another blogger identified as a Helianthus (Lemon Queen) in my case.

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    1. I actually noticed that on your blog :). I think the perennial Helianthus are a star plant for drought resistant gardens. My husband loves them and they keep appearing all over our garden (?). They do best in the sun but they survive here in shady positions too, but can get a bit leggy. The Agapanthus has huge bulbs so might also be a good plant to survive the drought but I admit to watering it a bit in the front garden. Amelia

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  4. This has been a tough summer for your region. It’s pretty bad here too and we would love some rain! I also thought of Jerusalem Artichoke for that yellow perennial. Ours haven’t flowered yet, but are enormous. The Helianthus on the other hand is shrivelling and stunted in the sun. Hope you have some cooler days soon!

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    1. The tubers are not Jerusalem Artichokes. That would have been a win for me as I like to eat them! They must be some variety of Helianthus and are very drought tolerant. They attract both bumblebees and honeybees and I am valuing them more this year as I think nectar sources must be restricted. Amelia

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  5. It has been a testing summer for the garden, wildlife and us humans. It is sad to witness the decline in insect-eating birds, I use to love to sit outside during the evening with a glass of red to watch the Swifts, swallows and bats feeding, but not anymore! (I still have the glass of red!)

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    1. I hope it was not a Bordeaux red, the vine growers around here are the biggest causes of the decimation of insects using herbicides and pesticides and spraying with no knowledge or thought of what they are doing. I know stuff is complicated now but I think professionals must think about what they are doing. Amelia

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