Problems and solutions

Even if your not into the outdoors or gardening, you cannot help but being affected by the recent bad spells of weather. 

With that in mind, I went and put the last post together, and found it a real positive experience and the feedback was great.To this end, I think it is only fair to post up a few pictures of things not going quite so well, to allow balance in my recordings for the month of July 2012. By the way, some regions in the UK and Ireland have recorded their total month's rainfall with the first week of July, while across the pond, friends in some parts of the US and Canada are experiencing unusually high temperatures.
Anyway, back to the problems:

Botrytis on a strawberry. So not only were they attacked by slugs and snails, they also have this to content with. Pull off any affected fruits and remove any plant debris where the mould might be hanging about. Good air circulation is important too

This is called 'balling' and I am more accustomed to seeing it with certain varieties of roses. It  happens where the outer petals of the flower are saturated by water, turn mushy (an invisible grey mould becomes involved in this too!) and are then baked by the sun, preventing the flower from opening. Its a good idea to remove affected flowers to ensure there is no spread of the mould to healthy flowers.  

What can I say about this! This is a lovely pot-grown Lychnis that I have over  on the side decking. I  hardened it off in May and placed it here in early June, was away for a couple of nights and came back to this. Night time slug hunting and beer traps are the order of the day, as well as some organic slug pellets (which just keep disintegrating in the rain)!

This is a flower stem from one of my white geraniums. You can see some of the flowers have collapsed into a brown mush and will begin to affect other flowers. I am not sure if a mould (anyone know?) is involved, but it is something I only see in wet weather conditions. I remove the stem with the dead flowers to ensure the plant is kept in peak condition.  

And there is more slug damage ... although anyone who owns a Hosta will not  be surprised to see a hole or two (or twenty!). I could write a book on my slug and snail prevention adventures, but all I will do is point you in the direction of  my latest scientific (ish) beer trials here

Yes, these are native plants (good vernacular when you don't want to say  weeds!).  The reason they are there is as a direct result of either rain hindering me getting out to remove them or lack of my motivation to remove them as the weather has been so bad. Many different approaches to controlling unwanted native plants. I tend to do a lot of digging and removing, occasionally spraying areas too, and of course getting other to do it for me when they can be bribed! 

Wind damage on one of my bamboos. You can see the tips have been scorched  by wind , and there has been an abundance of that around the garden. We are located about a mile from the sea. I would think this is a factor too, although the biggest reason for damage and death in Bamboo plants happens when they are in containers and just not getting enough water.

This is a leaf of one of my white Hydrangea. The leaves were lovely and lush , although  I would have considered them  'soft', and I think what we see is the result of the adverse weather, although if anyone has any other ideas, let me know.
So yes, all gardens have their share of challenges, and I think this is what can stop people when they first get involved. My advice to any new gardener is to be patient, enjoy the success and learn from things that don't work. 

I suppose that's a life lesson really! Happy gardening