The hot weather in June and July certainly showed you the vulnerable plants. This is the first time that I have seen a hosta in deep shade wilting. The problem here is that the shade is caused by the trees and shrubs around it and their roots are winning. The Phlox are especially hit by drought since they are so surface rooting. It is amazing what a bit of shade can do. Roses in part shade lasted much longer. The growers say that fours hours sunlight a day is ample for them, but I have found they will do well on less if they have overhead light. Phlox are very happy in shade. Clematis will do well as they hate hot sun on their roots.
It was interesting to see which plants coped best. I have only watered phlox and willow gentian, and those dahlias that turned out to be the wrong colour and had to be moved (happens every year!) The perennial peas, having survived the wet, slugs and snails of earlier months, are thriving. Alstroemeria which have rooted deeply are doing well though I think they will need some water to keep producing flowers. Surprisingly the annual ammi which had an initial water when the tiny plants were put in is doing well. Not huge, but flowering well. The cosmos is also doing well. Day lilies, euphorbias and alchemilla have all looked good.
There are all sorts of shade. The difficult sort is where there is no overhead light and lots of roots, like under a tree. But a border against a wall the does not get much sun but has overhead light is a real bonus. Plants may flower a bit later but will last longer.
You can apply this to the veg patch by shading leafy plants like lettuce, parsley and spinach with rows of beans or peas. Who said you had to have rows across your veg patch, why not plant diagonally if it suits the plants better.
Do you replant your garden to cope with drought? Our weather is so changeable that all we can do is have a range of plants to suit all occasions and fill those water butts.
Sun 5 Aug Dean House, Kilmiston, 12-4.30.
Wed 15 Aug Dean House, Kilmiston, 10-4.
Sat 11 Aug 22 Mount Pleasant Rd, Alton, 2-5.
Sat 18 Aug Wheatley House, Wheatley, 1.30-5.30.
[Please note that this message is not posted on behalf of Bentworth Parish Council and does not necessarily reflect the Parish Council’s policy]