End of Month – August 2014
Oh how time flies, and although I’m beginning to get excited for Halloween, Bonfire night and the dreaded C word I’m also stuck in the mind-set of June or July.
The garden on the other hand has very different ideas and clearly believes it’s very much late summer and moving towards autumn. I’ll continue to deny this though. Ignorance really is bliss.
So, I have the internet back. Woo hoo. In a lovely, fast and easy installation on Saturday I get to forget what it was like for two weeks without any internet. Reminiscing that this is what it must’ve been before the ‘net arrived…
Not that I really remember those days, after all we got our first PC and the internet way back when I was around 12 or 13, so really I’ve barely lived without the good ole net.
Anyway, I digress. Let’s return to the important stuff.
There are no real changes in the garden, other than few plants are blooming and there’s the odd splash of red or dying leaves here and there. I need to do a little tidying in the back garden but in general things are going well.
I’ve done quite a lot on the front, however. I’ve floored the shrub rose, battled with it, got scratched, chopped it up, gained a few more scratches and thorn-ends in my fingers and hands, cursed a fair amount but finally it’s gone. Then I’ve also cut back the Buddleja a little – I always thin it out and then floor in early spring.
The result of removing the rose? A lot of weeds are suddenly very noticeable. I’ve never properly weeded around the shrub rose in the time I’ve been here, mainly because it’s so lethal and I didn’t fancy losing an eye! But also its growth and branches generally deter from even noticing there are weeds lurking in the shadows. So in my desperation to tidy the area, out came the hoe and weeds are no more – I always weed on my hands and knees and digging them out, but for now hoeing will have to suffice.
I’m also left with large, gaping holes in the front garden and a rather ugly wall… There’s no cure for the wall at the moment, but bark chippings will at least cover the bare soil for now. I’ve considered completely removing the rose and planting a Camilla which will at least provide some interest… but.. Nah.
(Yes, those are Hybrid Tea roses surrounded by the Shrub roses. I believe the shrub roses self-seeded from next door and have taken over)
Oh, and we also found a Frog when weeding. I’ve no idea how it survived, and wasn’t injured by my brother, his girlfriend or myself wielding various garden instruments. At least I now know there must be a pond somewhere nearby! I moved him to a different part of the border where there was no risk of injury.
In the front garden there’s much of the same as previous months, and I need to do some tidying – mostly the Foxglove that’s gone to seed.
It looks like this winter will be a good one for the Garrya which had only 2 or 3 tassels on it last year. Pretty much every branch already has these small tassels ready for winter.
Although not much, this late flowering dutch Honeysuckle is giving me lots of pleasure. It’s only one bloom but considering I haven’t had a bloom on it for a few years for mysterious and unknown reasons, I’m actually really very happy. And I even got to sniff it. And for the first time in seemingly ages I get to appreciate its beauty.
With a day of constant drizzle sometime last week, the Flat-topped Aster has ended up bending over a little, so I’ve snipped off some of its stems for a vase and tried to do some other general tidying but really I need a good few days of fine weather to get things into shape – mainly the hedge needs another trim and the ‘cousin IT’ cotoneaster needs a tidy up. I have a couple of days off before I go to Portugal on Friday and hope to get some work done, but I already have a very busy schedule i.e. actually getting some money and a new suitcase. Oh and maybe some clothes. Some might say I’ve left it a little late…
There’s no change in the Cherry border; the Fern is looking very happy now I’ve removed the Hellebore which the Fern had begun to strangle somewhat.
Considering for much of the year the right border is the main area, it really does look horrific right now! For some reason one of the Erysimums have died – cue the big gap and dead stems – and the Honesty, although the seedheads are very pretty in winter, aren’t helping matters right now. I have some Cosmos I plan to plant in the large hole and I think it’ll help perk the border up a lot.
What you can’t see though, is that the top side of the border is almost as bad. Some of the native plants – White Campion and Bladder Campion – have passed their best and look awful this year! Normally they’re fine. But I’m left with holes there too and might have to pop to B&Q for some cheap, cheerful gap fillers.
I have mixed feelings about this border; on the outside it seems OK, but then you notice the Astrantia in the background all yellowing and brown. Plus the Hebes need moving elsewhere… Ah. Too many things.