Posted by: Christine | September 1, 2013

The Garden in August

Before I sat down to write this post, I had a look through my photographs to see what had been happening in the garden during the month. There weren’t very many to choose from. I can only conclude that there has not been a lot of change.

The weather has been warm, but not too hot – a relief after the heat of July. We have not had enough rain for the garden though. At one point (24th?) there was a forecast for heavy rain for the whole of the UK. There were floods in some places but here we only got 5 minutes of drizzle. By the end of the month we had to resort to the hose pipe. The last week has been sunny during the day but sometimes misty in the mornings. The nights seem to be drawing in quickly. Autumn is on the way.

Early in the month there was a bit of colour in what I call the Pink Bed. 

Shades of pink

Shades of pink

At the back is a Phlox and in front of that a Lavatera that I planted last year – it’s supposed to be Barnsley, but I don’t think it is. The Geranium at the very front is Geranium sanguineum Alan Bloom. I’ve had this for years and it always puts on a good show. I have been a bit disappointed with this bed this year. I think there is too much shade for what I want to grow there. I’ll have to have a re-think.

The main border which I have been highlighting this year gets more sun and is now starting to get more interesting.

The main border - lots of yellow and orange.

The main border – lots of yellow and orange.

The flowers of the Echinops ritro are over and are looking a bit untidy, but we leave the seed heads for the birds. There is a blue aster but everything else is an autumnal yellow and orange. The weather this year has suited the Rudbeckia goldsturm. This was a plant that was moved last winter.

A closer look at the Rudbeckia

A closer look at the Rudbeckia

I think I must have accidentally moved a lot of Montbetia (Crocosmia) corms in the digging over of this border – they are coming up all over the place! The corms for the larger Crocosmia Lucifer were big enough to see, so they were removed, potted up and await replanting. The other flowers in this picture are some annuals, Cosmos ladybird mixed – a nice variety of colours from yellow to orange and not as tall as other Cosmos. This was one of several plants I grew from seed this year. Some french marigolds turned out to be the wrong shade of yellow for the border, but are doing well in a pot. A selection of Nasturtiums has had mixed fortunes – they started off well but some thrived and others just turned up their toes. There was a lovely range of colours among them.

Some of the more successful nasturtiums

Some of the more successful nasturtiums

I also tried a couple of perennials. I have fought a losing battle with the slugs over the Dahlias (bishops children). Only one, so far, has made it as far as flowering, but it is the perfect colour for this border. I hope I manage to keep it through the winter.

The survivor of many Dahlias

The survivor of many Dahlias

I have had more success with a Rudbeckia, Irish Spring. I now have several planted out in the border that have just stared to flower and there are extra plants in pots.

The first flower on Rudbeckia Irish Spring

The first flower on Rudbeckia Irish Spring

I’m hoping that all these will continue well into autumn.

Finally, for those of you desperate to know what happened to the Choisya that got a drastic pruning earlier in the year, there is good news. By the start of August small buds had started to appear on the bare stems.

Signs of life

Signs of life

By the middle of the month it was definitely growing.

It's growing!

It’s growing!

There was no growth on the right hand stem, which must have been dead, so we chopped that off. The middle stem, at the end of which had been left the only original leaves, was growing outwards. For the sanity of the person who mows the lawn (not me), this was shortened, leaving a more balanced shape of bush. It is now well on the way to recovery.

The Choisya at the end of August

The Choisya at the end of August

I’m sure by next spring it will be covered with flowers. This work has also benefitted the white Buddleia, just behind. It was looking very feeble from having had its light blocked by the Choisya for so long. It has enjoyed its summer in the sun.

Lets hope the garden will get plenty more sun in autumn (and a bit of rain as well, please!). I’ll let you know how things go in “The Garden in September”

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