Sunday, 1 September 2013

End of Month Review - August 2013

"Fairest of the months!
Ripe summer's queen
The hey-day of the year
With robes that gleam with sunny sheen
Sweet August doth appear."
-  R. Combe Miller  (http://www.gardendigest.com/monaug.htm)

I am in danger of starting each End of Month Review with saying 'gosh didn't that month go quickly', next I will be saying how young policeofficers/doctors look.  So I am not going to comment on whether August was a quick month or not though now I am actually thinking about it, I think quite a lot has been packed into August so maybe, maybe, it has felt a month of 31 days, fairly standard really. 

I start in the front garden which is looking quite good.  The box knot garden is starting to look more and more like a knot garden and the Phlox are in full swing.
I have also recently trimmed back the lavender edges so it looks a bit neater.  It has to be one of the sweetest smelling pruning jobs in the garden.  Please note the cool crazy paving path, crazy pathing will be make a come-back at next year's Chelsea Flower Show - you read it here first.
The pots on the front door step have also done well this year.
Around the corner the gravel garden is looking like a mess really, the mexican daisies look quite good but otherwise it is just a jumble, now ask me if I care?  (I don't really).
Further in to the entrance to the front garden.  The phlox on the left are in the small ignored Bird Feeder Border, the Coal Bunker border is to the right and the main way I wander into the back garden is between the bench and the chair.  I love the amaranthus that is straight ahead, I hoped it would look nice there, I have been more than pleased.
However I am not going straight ahead, I am turning to the right to wander along the back of the Coal Bunker Border.  The cardoons and perennial sunflowers are in full bloom now and covered with bees most of the time.  They match well in height and the colours go well together.
There are too many aquilegias in this border.  I keep digging some out but they are persistant in wanting to stay.
The Courtyard is next, which is also looking quite green and a bit mossy too.  I must buy a yard brush.
Across the back of the Conservatory Border looks quite good.  There are touches of orange/yellow that I am really enjoying this year.
Right in the corner is one of the Rosa Sir Cloughs and a Manx fushcia, both look happy.
The front of the Conservatory Border looks even better than the back.  Really pleased with how the Rudbeckia look, they look good with the pink Echinacea too.  You might notice a V of dead looking grass, that is some border shaping that is going on.  The Autumn 'let's dig up some more of the lawn' project is in its early stages.
Walking back now in front of the Coal Bunker Border (which can be seen quickly disintegrating in the background), the Eschscholzia californica are doing very well this year, lovely orange and ivory ones.
Just the other side of the Cardoon is this rather wonderful pink aster, which is just starting to open.
So the view down the Long Shoot (plus Geoffrey).  Again some areas of border reshaping are appearing, I want to just refine the edges a little.
The Heleniums are doing well in the Pond Border and there is another pink aster which is yet to start flowering.  After finishing last months End of Month Review I decided I really did have too many verbascum so I have removed a few.  Next year I shall be even more ruthless with the plantlets when they start to form.
Up the side of the Pond Border is looking very good, the Sunflower 'Vanilla Queen' is now in flower, there are Echinacea and some white cosmos towards the middle of the picture.  There is a tiny glimpse of a red zinnia too, these are yet to really get going.
This aster and crocosmia combination makes me incredibly happy.  I think it just shines.
The Persicaria Orientalis have flowered earlier this year, but are much shorter.  I have pondered this quite a bit and I think it is that part of the border that is the issue.  I usually plant them a bit further along and I the soil quality is quite different between the two places.  The soil is harder and almost feels thinner where I have planted them this year, there seems more depth of topsoil where I usually put them.   Lesson learned.
At the corner of the Pond Border to the left and with the concrete planter to the right there is a bit of space really with no name that leads to the Prairie Borders beyond.  This bit of grass is about to get much small so it will be less of a nameless lawn, more a passing place, it will get a name but it sometimes takes a while for me to get the feel of what a name should be.
Behind the concrete planter, Natasha and Elsie are looking flowery.  This makes me happy.
The Spring Border looks like a border that looked good in Spring, now it is just mainly green with the odd splodge of orange welsh poppy.
I'm happy with the Prairie Borders to a point.  The grasses look good, the echinops have been fantastic this year but the Rudbeckia have been underwhelming.
The Bog Garden is looking a bit better, it has filled out more now.
The Woodland Border is also looking ok, it is quite colourful and has done quite well this year.
The teasel patch is really doing well, already the birds are starting to take the seeds.
The Wild Garden is about ready to be scythed, I usually do it early September.
The Dancing Lawn is covered in fallen apples.  There suddenly seems a lot of wasps this year.
The Tree Lupin Border is almost the riot of colour that I always want it to be.  This bit of it looks quite good, it is not all this colourful so I am only showing you this bit then you can say ooh and ahh and not realise how scrappy the other 2/3 of the border really is.
Back down now through the pergola that marks the edge of the Wild Garden, these sweet peas smell incredible, especially in the early evening when I am usually having my post-work garden-inspection wander.  The pink petunias are mixing with the sweet peas wonderfully well and I think they are one of my favourite new combinations now.
The Four Sisters seem happy enough, all are putting on new growth well.  I particularly 'cluck' over the Edgeworthia, it has some really good large leaves but I wonder if it will get through the winter ok.
In front of me now is the Rosa Hyde Hall hedge and the veg beds beyond.  Some of the potatoes have now been harvested, the cobra beans are still producing as are the courgettes.  The sweet corn is producing a couple (yes two) cobs, I was concerned that they were very small but then I remembered I sowed small ones.
In the greenhouse are some Verbena bonariensis seedling and some assorted perennial plugs that have been potted on.
There are also some small yellow wallflower seedlings and some aquilegia seedlings at the back.
Plus the tomato plants that have produced quite well.  For my first real attempt at tomato growing I am pleased with them.  I have made a sauce or two and now I am saving up to make soup.
There are also various cuttings, you can just see right at the front of the photograph an Amicia zygomeris cutting that has taken.  This has made me very happy (and slightly smug).
and finally the pond.  It is quite full still and this is good, I haven't even seen Ellis Island this year which means the water level has not dropped significantly.  It seems to have one tadpole left (apparently a long tadpole is more accurately called a todpole).  I am not happy though that it is choked up again with parrot weed.  I removed loads of it but if some remains it just comes back with a vengeance.  I will have to work harder at this.

So that was August, a good month all in all.  Thanks as ever to Helen for hosting this meme.

9 comments :

  1. My Rudbeckia have been underwhelming this year as well - I wonder if it has just been too dry for them.

    I do like your Asters and as ever your front garden which has looked great since you had your light bulb moment and put the gravel in.

    Thanks for joining in again this month

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  2. Dear Papaver
    Your garden looks really colourful and you can see the late summer plants coming into their own. I particularly like the Prairie Border with the swirls of the grasses. I wish I had more space in my own garden to have more grasses.
    I am looking forward to seeing your autumn plants in the garden round up at the end of September.
    Best wishes
    Ellie

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  3. So much colour in your garden! The aster and crocosmia combo really is lovely.

    I don't know where I've gone wrong with Verbena bonariensis seed, it hasn't worked for me. Perhaps I just got a rogue batch. But it is such a lovely plant, especially en masse, I am going to have to try again.

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  4. Your frontgarden looks great! And the crazy pavement path, I should like to have one. Fun to read about all your different borders, the Coal Bunker border, the name is already pretty. Your prairy border looks beautiful. You can be very happy with your garden, I like your style of gardening.

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  5. You have so much that is going on and so many borders looking really pretty. Love your very pale sunflower, all your echinacaes and your prairie border with its swishing grasses - lovely! Your front garden is beautiful too, it must be lovely working there.

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  6. A very beautiful garden!
    I like orange and yellow flowers at this time of the year, so they were the ones that caught my eye the most. I especially like the photo of the front of the Conservatory border.
    Thanks for your visit and comment on my blog.
    Lea
    Lea's Menagerie

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  7. Whew, that was a very comprehensive EOMV (as always). I feel quite tired from all that walking :) Your garden reminds me of how mine will look in about 6 months, with summer shading into autumn, but looking at it now in early spring, I can't quite make myself believe it. Aren't plants amazing?

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  8. I too love your aster, if you don't mind me saying !

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  9. Looking fab Alison! Thanks for the peek and the round up on how the past month was for your garden. Time flies so quick, autumn is just around the corner...

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