End of Month Review August 2021

I sometimes look back over previous End of Month Reviews to see what was happening this time last year.  This time last year I was writing about how much rain we had had; this August has been very dry in comparison.  Some parts of the country seem to have had a very wet summer, this has not been the case here.  The ground is very dry and hard, plants are struggling.  We could do with a drop of rain.

As the season starts to the turn, there are already signs of Spring.  The magnolia tree in the front garden is already covered with buds ready to flower in the new year.
The front border is looking quite full.  The red rose that is flowering its best even this year.  
If you look carefully you can see the Mina lobata growing up the Gertrude Jekyll rose by the front door.  I first tried this last year and I liked how it looked, so it had to be repeated again.  I still like how it looks.
and this may not look like much, but this is the myrtle by the front door finally starting to flower.  I have waited five years for this to flower and whilst the flower might be small, it is sufficient to make me smile.
In the back garden the coleus I grew from seed this year are all doing well.  I am now letting them start to flower in the hope I can collect seed from them for next year.  I will bring a couple indoors to try and keep alive too.  Say hello to Pete making his first blog appearance.  Pete is a rescue cat who came to live with me about six weeks ago and is just starting to really enjoy exploring the garden.
The Conservatory Border is looking ok, it has a few gaps in it but gaps are always a planting opportunity.  The new windspinner makes me happy, it gives a wiggle every now and again as buying it does seem to have becalmed the garden.
The Pond Border has good height but lacks colour.  It needs more colour.
Did I mention there were gaps?  sigh.  This is a cut back astrantia that has not sprung back quickly because, I think, of the lack of rain.  
I started to feel a bit gloomy as I was walking around the garden.  There is much that needs attention at the moment and I feel that parts of it are getting away from me at times.  So I decided I needed to focus on the positive.  This sedum/Verbena bampton moment is one of my favourite bits of planting in the Pond Border.  
The Prairie Borders are looking good at the moment.  You cannot see the smaller one that I have cleared.  It remains cleared.  I am unclear what I am going to do with it yet, I might just replant it now the weeds have been dealt with.
The Veg Garden looks like it has been abandoned, but it is still producing veg despite it needing urgent attention.  It will get sorted.... I have plans..... 
The Courtyard Garden is starting to look autumnal.  This area has done well this year and I am pleased with it.  You can just see the leaves of the Monstera plant enjoying its summer holidays in the outdoors.  I have to keep an eye on the night temperatures so that I do not let it get too cold.
The little Christmas tree has grown well in its pot, it is waiting to see if it will be called back indoors for duty this year.  I think it highly likely it will be.  You can see the paler green fresh new growth on it, as someone who is firmly convinced that conifers are boring; this is looking highly likely it could convert me.

The Spring Border looks a bit scrappy, this is because it is a Spring Border and not an Autumn Border.  I decided a while ago that different parts of the garden did not have to give all year interest.  Some parts would have 'a' moment of interest and this would be ok.
The Exotic Border, though is making my heart sing.  This year I finally have it looking a bit exotic.  I finally have made it so that even I am happy with it.  I don't even mind how green it is, this is fine.  I know I have to work on the understory and also I want to add colour by adding climbers.  Next year, next year.....

The view down the Wild Garden is looking good too.  I cut the grass earlier this year and then let it grow again.  It has made it more manageable and I will give it a final cut in a week or so.  Then the grass will grow with just paths mowed through it until next summer.  For this is the way of the wild garden......
The Mulberry Tree and the Iford Cherry have grown well this year.  They are developing into really good trees now.
and I have subtley staked the Ginkgo tree to help it grow a bit straighter.  The stake is so hard to see isn't it?   This tree has put on a lot of growth this year, a good six inches, so it has not minded the very changeable weather we have had.
I have been doing some work on the pond.  I know you cannot see the pond in this picture, this is a view across the pond towards the tulip trees in the background.  The cortorted salix that overhung the pond obscured this view so I have pruned it back to let in more light.  The discovery that it meant I could see the tulip tree from here was an added bonus.
This is how the pond looks with far more light getting to it now the willow has been pruned.   It does look a bit like someone dropped a big lump of tree on it at the moment, but I keep telling myself it will bounce back (the pond planting, not the lump of tree).  Next on my list of things to deal with (remove brutally) is the Carex pendula.  It is overcrowding everything and a total menace.  I did some work on it last year and I have controlled the self-seeding, but now it really needs to go.  This might take a while as it has rooted in well.  I foresee a busy autumn ....

Stay safe all and be kind.

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