Santolina in flower


I’m clutching at straws here; but there is one advantage to a three-week heat wave in June. The santolinas all over the garden haven’t flopped yet from any sudden downpour or heavy rain.

I keep heading out (super early, or late) armed with secateurs checking to see whether I need to hack back these marvelous drought tolerant plants.


The first sign of flop and I will wade in.

Well, this is the case in the part of the garden I plod past often. The barn garden is adrip with lovely cotton lavender – the santolina.


But I’m giving you a dreaded shot of the santolina Primrose Gem in the deep shade of a chestnut tree on the shade garden bank.  This is what happens when you have a santolina in the wrong place.


Way too much lush growth and the weight of it sends it sprawling.

I will have to reduce the entire plant by half, leave it be for a month at least and then be able to walk along Alice’s path without shuddering and averting my gaze.

And make a note to remove it from this spot in autumn and place it in full sun and give it a bit more love. I have some ideas. The new guesthouse garden will need populating with plants. I haven’t even started planning that area yet.

IMG_7445I still haven’t made time to cut down the deutsia in flower.

I keep peering round the huge shrub and pondering what I’ll do.  But with hot weather and house guests galore it’s a project for July.


The best thing about santolinas is when they are happy they grow very stout indeed.  Some of the ones in the barn garden are easily four feet round.  And there is no point doing a fast prune before June.  I tried that once as an experiment a few years back.

And even with half the shrub reduced in height, it all grew back as thrillingly keen as ever a month later. And all done without the magic of watering. My kind of plant.