End of Month – August 2013
I really wish the months would stop passing so quickly. It’s been another lovely summer and I don’t want it to end. Especially after last year, this year has been such a welcome relief.
We’ve had hot weather for around a month and since then more reasonable temperatures which sometimes begin to reach the too hot stage but mostly I’m pleased. Although, saying that the garden would probably appreciate some rain.
So, what’s been going on in the garden.
It’s slowing down.
I’m not happy.
There’s quite a lull in blooms at the moment, the Asters aren’t yet out so I’m in limbo and unfortunately the roses still haven’t produced more flushes. I wonder if the hot temperatures stopped them? I’m not sure but I haven’t had any in vases for a few weeks now and I’m suffering from withdrawal.
Hoverfly larvae have done an excellent job of getting rid of the aphids on my sweet peas so they are once again full of blooms and I love the perfume that greets me whenever I go through the kitchen door.
It’s the time of year where the grasses begin to take centre stage. Well they would if they weren’t being dwarfed by various plants that have grown much larger this year than previously! I can’t even see my Miscanthus ‘Flamingo’ underneath the Persicaria that decided to grow to shoulder-height this year. I also discovered fairly recently there are two Stipa Tennuissima hiding under it too which I was certain I had moved!
Japanese blood grass hasn’t done much because it too was swamped under the feverfew that seeded everywhere and it wasn’t until I completely cut the feverfew away (I’d gradually thinned it for vases) that I discovered the blood grass under it! Panicum virgatum ‘Rehbraun’ also suffered the same fate when a Ragwort chose to seed itself in the middle of it. Consequently I can barely see the poor grass.
This time we’ll start with the Upper Tier, really this area needs some real work on it. Actually, perhaps that’s a little unfair. Basically what’s happened is a lot of plants have ended up falling over, after lots of dry weather and then came thunder storms they’re now horizontal. Including the Teasel. Which is quite a problem as it’s across the centre of the area. So to get past I have to pick it up and run under before it falls again and stabs me. I think, now the blooms are gone I’m going to have to cut its head off. I could always use it then as a stake for the Gold/greenfinches to eat the seeds. The Monkshood, Veronicastrum and Ragwort has also done the same. So it looks really rather messy.
Consequently I’m not showing wider views 😉
Ah, the Cherry border. This area has been mostly ignored this year except a bit of tidying i.e. ripping out of Herb Robert before it completely took over. It didn’t take long for it to grow back again, thankfully this time it’s formed a nice cover without swamping. I also need to do a general tidy – raking the flint to rid it of the debris and removing dead foliage.
Also, in the flint/wood chippings there are a lot of Geraniums growing. No doubt hybrids of Phaeum and Maccrorhizum. I’m tempted to keep them until they bloom and then see if they’re worth keeping. Would anyone like any? Some have dark on their leaves like Phaeum, others are plain green. If you enlarge the image you can make them out dotted around towards the bottom of the image. Actually, the lower tier makes a great nursery for any self-seeders. I often get Verbena Bonariensis and Foxgloves in here too which I then move.
Moving down the garden to the Aster border, I’m unsure of my feelings for this border. It does its thing, and I mostly leave it with a touch of editing here and there. I think in all honesty it needs a complete shake up. With the Persicaria being so large this year, the Nettle patch behind it has grown too large and needs to be dealt with. I will have to leave that job for a while yet because there are Comma caterpillars on it. I do try to keep on top of cutting the flower heads off to help stop the spread of nettles elsewhere in the garden, but some still manage to pop up.
Stepping further down the garden we’re now to the decking and house… The Buddleja has had a booming year with more blooms than I’ve ever seen, and they’re huge! No wonder the butterflies have loved it. It does mean though, that the border beneath is darker than ever before. Plus, with the thunder storms, a number of branches snapped and this is the result… I’ve begun to dead head it, removing branches to thin it out so the plants get more light. I know the Buddleja is a brute, but it provides the only shade in the garden. My mum said I’d have to cut it all back for people viewing the house because it makes it too dark. I pointed out that actually, that’s why I leave it because otherwise it’s so hot in the kitchen because it’s south-facing that I need the shade from it! But anyway, I know I’ll have to cut it back, and I do at this time of year anyway.
The Hosta has been blooming for so long… And had so many blooms on each stem…
The Magnolia border probably has the most interest. I’ve had to cut some plants back – Sea Holly which inexplicably died and Tuberous thistles which really don’t die well at all. I have some gaps where I am tempted to place some grasses for late-season interest. But I know there are a lot of bulbs in the areas which are bare.
Check out the Ragwort lying on the lawn… It’s mostly seed heads now and I will have to cut it to stop it seeding. There are still Cinnabar caterpillars though…
Finally let’s finish with the front. It’s looking much better than it did only a couple of years ago. I’m quite pleased, although I would like more blooms and preferably for the roses to bloom again! The Stipas act as blooms by themselves and I do enjoy seeing the Crocosmia next to them. There are some small signs of Autumn on the Geraniums, however this actually happened when it was hot and dry. Since it’s a little cooler and some rain they’ve stalled.
Centaurea looks much better now, another plant which flopped over after growing huge in the warm weather, then flopped over leaving a real eyesore of bare crown and stems. I chopped it and it’s grown from the centre again and looks lush once more. I need to remove from of the Geraniums – they were planted only as fillers until others matured; I think it’s time to remove them now.
It’s an odd feeling being in limbo – do I/don’t I work on the garden knowing I aim to move. I’ll be calling estate agents soon to come and value. Over the coming months I want to lift/divide plants and take them to my parents so I have something when I move. I’ll only do this with the plants I know I really cannot be without or are more difficult to find in nurseries/garden centres. I will probably also remove my roses, at £25+ for each David Austin, I don’t plan on replacing them.
Copyright 2013 Liz.
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