July is one of those months when we tend to think everything is done for the season and no doubt hope to be able to relax in the garden maybe with a nice BBQ and a cooling drink, weather permitting of course. You can still plant clematis and indeed other climbers, many of which are available all year round as pot or container grown plants, but if it is hot and sunny they will need plenty of watering in to ensure they don’t fail. Very often the large double varieties such as Vyvyan Pennell will give a full double in May/June and then a single or semi-double in September. Nothing to be alarmed about, that’s the way the variety performs. There are also good varieties such as Arabella, a lovely blue that will flower from April through to September, smaller flowers but plenty of them. For the Autumn there are other varieties that will be in flower and indeed even later the Cirrhosa types which are evergreen and flower in the Winter.
Of course there are many other lovely climbing plants to choose from and many are evergreen too, which helps to mask a wall or fence and soften the appearance. Honeysuckle (Lonicera) and Jasmine will give lovely scent too and encourage the bees. If the location is nice and sheltered you could be growing the Bluebell Climber, more correctly called Sollya Heterophylla. Good for our area with salt winds is Solanum Crispum “Glasnevin”, the Potato Vine, but beware; it is a member of the nightshade family.
Our Club meeting for July focuses on the Annual Open Flower Show in Bideford Pannier Market on 19th August, plus a gardening quiz. As usual it’s at Bideford Methodist Church Hall off Honestone Street car park. We are running a coach trip to Bowdens Hosta nursery near Okehampton and the Garden House, Buckland Monachorum on Friday 26th July. Full details on our website www.bidefordgardenersclub.co.uk or from myself Mike Avis 07710 454230.