Not working so well...

The Frisbee Lawn Gardens are not working so well any more. Actually they're quite disappointing. I look at the early photographs, full of dripping roses, healthy shrubs and grasses, perennials glowing with mid-summer colour, beautiful irises flowering in late spring. Humph. So what's changed? What's gone wrong?

OK, so only a few things have actually died, but things that are supposed to flower have simply not been bothering to bloom - for example, the big bearded Irises and the Knifophias. This summer has been particularly difficult, with very little rainfall, and me busy irrigating elsewhere. Organic matter I've added to the soil has quickly become dry and dusty. So it's a watering issue? I think so. The whole area needs replanting - needs a huge rethink, which has already started : I've dug out most of the roses and rehomed them elsewhere.

The Allotment Garden is particularly disappointing. This started out with a hiss and a somewhat rosy roar - and loads of organic matter added. I kept all the bays well enough watered. The daylilies flowered, the Nasturtiums self-seeded and reappeared the following year. I even grew a huge patch of Salvia uligosa (quite a thirsty perennial). Now there's only one bay with roses (a trio of Graham Thomases) - it's the one easily reached by my little watering hose. Luckily the large rambling and climbing fence-line roses are OK, as is the rugosa hedge.

Climbing roses and self-sown annuals in the Stables Garden have all died. Even the Lychnis which used to fill this garden in summer is now very sluggish to grow. The green Astelias are still OK, but my recent mass planting of Agapanthus has hardly grown at all. Agapanthus are drought toughies.

When I read through my early, gushing Frisbee Garden Tour pages I feel rather sad. What to do now? Plant new Lavender plants each spring? Definitely shift out the last struggling roses (like the Pilgrim). Don't want any more rose blood on my hands, so to speak. Am very puzzled as to why the big bearded irises have stopped producing - I thought they liked dry and dusty. Well, I've got all winter to think this through and make some sensible drought-tolerant decisions. Watch this space.