End of Month Review August 2017

This August has been a bit strange weather-wise.  It has been a bit chilly, rather rainy and then decides to throw in a heat wave just in time for the bank-holiday.  August is also, in my view,  a bit of an odd month for gardening: much is at its peak whilst much is past its best and much are just struggling to be.

The big job to be done this August was some hedge cutting.
The front hedge has gone from being around ten foot tall to about four foot.  It took a couple of days but I am really pleased it is now done.  I got scratched to bits and very insect bitten but it is worth it.  My very wonderful Stihl chainsaw made it possible for me to tackle it easily.
The Knot Garden is loving the additional light that the lower hedge lets in.  I need to keep it better under control.  Part of the issue is that birds nest in it so I cannot trim it for several months of the year and it does grow very quickly.  I shall, however, try and do better.
It was a hot sunny morning when I took these photos and the garden was looking colourful.
I have managed to grow cosmos quite well this year. This patch is just by the bird feeder and it struggles some years, but the cosmos has filled it up with pink and white loveliness.
The Pond Border it looking very full.  You can just see the pink haze of the tall sanguisorba, this plant is amazing and I am so glad I planted it.  Bees and hoverflies also love it.
The Conservatory Border has also done well this year.  The yellow Blythe Spirit rose in the foreground has particularly flowered well.
The Courtyard is looking very green.  I have potted on some of the plants this summer and they seem happier for it.
The spikeys and pelagoniums also seem to be happy.  Whilst it looks a little shady in this photo, the sun comes around the corner and they bask for most of the day.
There is fruit in the garden, the Bramley tree is heavy with fruit as usual.  It always produces a big crop.
There is still my rather precious solitary quince,
and as ever the Medlar has fruited well this year.
The Prairie Borders are doing very well.  I do need to thin out the echinops a bit as they are taking over a little.  I have also planted some perennial sunflowers in the borders this year.  These are a bit of a thug so I am going to have to keep an eye on them, but they will be flowering soon and should add some new interest to this area.
The exotic borders look quite lush. This Musa ventricosum is about three years old now.  Every year i dig it up and keep it safe from frost. It is growing very well this year.
I rather like this view across the Dancing Lawn back towards the Exotic Border.  The sweep of the eating apple tree makes a nice frame.
The teasel patch has been good this year too.  I let the stem skeletons stand all winter as the finches love the seeds and also they add good structure.  This patch varies year on year, due to the biennial nature of the teasel I find I have a good year and then a slightly less good year.  The stems are as spikey as the flowers and care has to be taken when weeding near them.  I have scratched myself on them more times than I care to think about.
The Four Sisters are also doing well.  The Carol Klein acer was badly wind-burned last year, but has recovered well thankfully.
The Clethra is such a good shrub, it has good flowers and wonderful scent, I think it is rather under-rated which is rather a shame.
The Edgeworthia has put on a good ten inches of growth this year.  There are also flower buds forming on it already for next spring.  I shall watch it anxiously all winter as I always do, but it is getting to be very well established now.
The fernery has enjoyed the recent rain and is doing very well.  I am really pleased I decided to use this dark shady corner for ferns; little else seems to want to grow here except nettles.
The Hyde Hall rose hedge is in need of a prune, I shall tackle it with hedge trimmers when the main flowers are over.
I have not grown a lot of vegetables this year as most of the vegetable borders are turned over to wedding flowers for my daughter (have I mentioned this previously? I am not sure I have.....).  This border is mainly sweetcorn, french beans, a solitary slug-eaten cabbage and some dahlias.
Whereas this border is a delightful tangle of beans, courgettes and sweetcorn.  I thought I would try the Three Sisters approach and it has worked really well.  It looks good and the randomness of it pleases me hugely.  I cannot remember a year when I have actually enjoyed growing vegetables as much as I have done this time.
I am not going to show you the cut flowers in this post, I shall update on the wedding flowers soon  (have I mentioned this before......??)  These are the sweetpeas, they are starting to show their age a bit now, I hope I can keep them going for a few more weeks.
In the greenhouse there are seeds and cuttings,
and some tomatoes and chillies.  I am not a great grower of tomatoes, these plants were a gift.  I have kept them alive long enough to fruit which for me is quite an achievement.
I end as ever on the pond.  It is not as full of parrot weed as it has been in previous years.  It has also refilled a bit from all the recent rain.  It remains one of my favourite parts of the garden.

Thanks as ever to Helen for hosting this meme.


  1. Hi Alison, I too have been hedge cutting! At least 7 full days now and some more to do this weekend

    1. You have more hedging than I - though I do still have to tackle the side boundary. I'm working up to that!

  2. Such a lot going on in your garden! It looks wonderful. Thanks for sharing!


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