Heat stress

Taking a summer holiday can be a traumatic prospect for the gardener. But with a bit of preparation, there’s no cause to worry that your plants will die of thirst in your absence. What’s more, a decision to step aside momentarily from the perpetual onward march of the gardening year creates the thinking space in which to reflect on the current season, and plan for the year to come.

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Cool in the shade

A July heatwave, following a June washout. Having been caught dragging its feet, the year seems now to be charging full tilt towards high summer; baking heat, parched lawns and rock hard, bone juddering soil. We’re not quite there yet, though, and before the hot colours arrive en masse to dominate in the latter part of the month, I’m allowing myself a week or so to wallow in cool pastel shades.

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