Primula Propagation and Summer Snow

Where have I been? Well here, but doing what?
Well it happens every July. I really look forward to the end of committee meetings and more time at home and in the garden, and what happens?

Well I spend more time in the garden, but not as we know it. 
July is propagation month, first the Auricula and then the old fashioned primroses.
Almost two weeks are taken up with the task. It is rather satisfying, the rows of young plants grow, you get to meet some old plant friends and you listen to a lot of radio. All good fun.
The other thing that happens in July is that it rains. This year it has excelled itself and we have had torrential downpours and it is a surreal experience sitting in a poly tunnel propagating and seeing the sheets of rain cascading down the outside. When I looked out across the hill, the woodland was steaming and for a second I was on the wet west coast of New Zealand…except I was wearing a fleece in mid summer.
This week has been much dryer and I have been back in the garden real.

After several wet weeks absence, it is very scary to see weed growth and my first task is to tackle the ones that are about to seed….lesser willow herb and bittercress. That’s quite good fun as they come out readily, the only down side is the midges, who are now here in force.
And I have made a point of lifting my eyes from the soil. Many plants have grown rapidly this past month and often surprise you.
I love the corner where many Primula florindae have flourished and are now in full flower. Fragrant and very hardy, they have all come through the past two winters, they are excellent garden plants.
They are normally a rich yellow, and there is also a lovely rich dusky orange, and a rare and lovely red.
I also revisited some of the mid summer shrubs. Flowering shrubs are not so plentiful in summer after the riotous flush of rhododendrons and azaleas, but those we have are all the more appreciated for that.

I love the white flowering ones. Just now we have Deutzia glabra  and several Hoheria . Both are lovely and stand out well against the lush dark green foliage of summer.
And then look down. Below the Deutzia the ground is covered as with a snow shower. And further along the path, Hoheria lyalli blossoms are scattered as confetti at a garden wedding. Just lovely.
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