End of Month View: Full Circle

It was this time last year that I summoned up courage to expose the garden to public view for the first time in the End of Month View feature hosted by Helen at Patient Gardener – follow the link to her site and find more links to enable you to drop into lots of other gardens and see what else is happening at the end of August. Thanks, Helen, for enabling this. To make more sense of how the following photographs relate to the garden as a whole, don’t forget you can have a look at a map of the garden under The Garden tab. To save uploading time I have paired several of the views but hopefully the quality is still acceptable.

Firstly, the garden immediately behind the house, and the view I have from the main kitchen windows – at this time of year the greenery wraps round the space, seemingly enclosing it and making it look perpetually lush, whatever the weather. The big lead effect pots are now all planted up with different shrubs, some with winter interest, so on the cold greyer days there should still be some colour. The galvanised tank is going to become a small water feature and the little sink will probably have some alpines – both on-going projects. The roses on the pergola are ‘Danse du Feu’ – nothing half hearted about this second flush. The second photograph shows the same view from the opposite direction, looking towards the house.

paved.areaI had to smile when I looked back at last year’s EOMV and discovered that the stream was in mid overhaul with rocks all over the grass then, as it is now, although most of the rocks are just out of the picture today – the stream has been running periodically in the interim but has persisted with a water loss issue and should be my next project unless I can distract myself with an alternative before then. On taking today’s photo I realised how desperately the grass needed cutting and have since mown and trimmed as well as possible within the constraints of rocks and length of grass. There are more crocus bulbs in my pending bulb order so there needs to be some semblance of order here when they arrive and demand to be planted.

The picture on the right is the woodland, an oasis of green and calm that currently requires no attention other than to be walked through:

stream.woodAlthough there are still gaps in the main herbaceous borders (right and left and two at the back) I can now accept that plants are settling down and filling out and perhaps even next year will look well established, although there will no doubt be a need for placement adjustment or removal of non-performers in the process. The bed on the right is fairly satisfactory, but the one on the left still needs to be dug over and enriched – there are several penstemon in there that have grown quite well but still not flowered, although perhaps they need a bit more sun? The hostas in the foreground are a recent success story and I hope to add to these – I saw a pot of tiny ones at an NGS garden recently and I particularly want to look out for similar varieties.

CIMG2119The clematis colonnade and the recent art installation ‘Spirit of the Garden’ are settling into their roles, and I am hopeful that more of the clematis will be in flower next year. There are at least two different clematis on every pillar and most of them were moved from different locations when the colonnade was built last year, so their lack of flowering can be forgiven, as can that of the newer acquisitions. The hardy geraniums at their feet seem to have had an unusually short flowering season, having been chosen not only for their lack of height but the length of their flowering season – apart from an odd flower I would say that none of them have been in flower during in August.

Like the woodland, the woodland edge border in the second photograph has needed no attention in recent months apart from a light trim of the Geranium phaeums. I have also tried to remember an occasional bucket of water for the rhododendrons, to encourage flowering next year after this dry summer. The new wall can just be seen at the end of the path.

colonnade.woodedgeAlthough still awaiting the addition of dahlias, the left hand hot border is managing to look reasonably vibrant, mostly due to the rudbeckia but Geum ‘Mrs Bradshaw’ is just having another little flush, which is always welcome. The nasturtiums have been great too, and have not succumbed to blackfly which is what I recall always seemed to happen to nasturtiums in the past. The border on the right is looking less hot now Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’ is over, but both borders are in sun for much of the day and this always highlights the range of greens regardless of any other colour.

hot.bordersA quick glimpse through the gate in the wall at the bottom of the garden shows from left to right the fruit cage, the almost tropical rain forest appearance inside the greenhouse, a veg bed transformed into a nursery bed, and the lush growth of the courgettes and squashes:

fruit.vegTwo views of the blue & white border, the second one taken from the opposite direction, standing next to one of the entrances to the rose garden. The new wall changes the look of the area completely, and like the main herbaceous borders are beginning to fill up with more established plants. In colour now are echinops, verbena, white phlox, tradescantia and a few other oddments.

B&WCIMG2130I should perhaps have taken another picture of the rose garden from a different angle as it is quite difficult to show much of it in just one picture, but the angle of the sun at the time made that awkward. Like many of the other plants in the garden, most of the roses were moved into this new location last year and I am not disappointed that they are still re-establishing. Looking back twelve months though shows just how well the lavender has done – who would have thought that those tiny finger size plug plants would have bushed out quite as much as this in barely a year? There are a few gaps, but they were planted densely enough to move some around and fill the spaces. Not so welcome is the increasing presence of yellow oxalis, which so far resists all attempts at eradication.

Maintaining a blog is such a good way of observing and keeping a record of the garden and this End of Month View makes comparison from year to year even easier. For those gardening but not yet blogging I can heartily recommend it – and interaction with other garden bloggers brings so many unexpected pleasures including friendship, support and knowledge. My garden has benefited and so have I – thanks everyone!

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27 Responses to End of Month View: Full Circle

  1. Liz says:

    Hi Cathy,

    it’s amazing how quickly time passes in the blogging world, a year can easily pass and you’ll feel like you’re repeating the same things over and over… Hrm, I often feel like that anyway, especially after having my blog for 5 years…. 5 years??!! Really?

    Anyway… Lovely to see your garden, do you feel you’re in a little bit of a lull at the moment? I do. And what worries me more, is that there’s very little yet to come. I’ve even been tidying this morning, tidying spent/dying plants that are too much of an eyesore to leave in situ – i.e. plants which definitely do not die well.

    • Cathy says:

      Hi Liz – because I still have various little projects I have still been kept busy in the garden, which successfully distracts me from the fact that it may be in a bit of a lull at the moment. I just keep looking out for new things and try not to notice those that are definitely over although, like you, I did do a little tidying and cutting back the day after we came back from my Mum’s.

  2. Pauline says:

    You have such a lot going on Cathy and your plants are certainly looking good, considering that a lot of them have been moved recently, borders take a few years to settle down after planting, we have to be patient!
    I feel that I am repeating some things each year, but then there are new readers each year, so maybe it doesn’t matter so much, as long as we write about what we find interesting at the time.

    • Cathy says:

      I think the EOMVs are beneficial for ourselves, Pauline, regardless of any wider audience, as it reminds us to take stock of a wider picture. I have certainly realised, like you say, that I must be patient for my revamped areas to become properly established and I can accept this now.

  3. Anna B says:

    Hi Cathy! Your garden looks great! I agree having a blog is a great way to keep a record of the garden but the part I didn’t expect was this lovely online community of other gardening bloggers, like yourself, who I enjoy interacting with 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Indeed Anna – I hadn’t contemplated that possibility at all when I started, not even that there were other garden bloggers out there 😉

  4. Time flies, no? It is nice to have the garden documented from year to year. In my garden little changes, so I post far less often. I like spaces that nothing is to be done, but to walk through. My kinda gardening! Hosta are great plants, they just give and give. I like them in pots too.

    • Cathy says:

      To me it would seem strange having few changes in the garden, so I will check you out and see what sort of garden you have and where it is – it’s so intriguing visiting other gardens like this, isn’t it?!

  5. Thanks for the lovely tour of your garden. Keeping pictures from year to year is always a fun way to keep up with the progress of a garden. Blessings, Natalie

  6. Alison says:

    Hi Cathy I really like your garden, its looking great. Love your blog too. Alison

  7. Helen Johnstone says:

    Hi Cathy
    Cant believe its a year since you joined in but then I cant believe I have been blogging as long as I have! I, like you, think the dry will impact on the rhododendron and camellia flower displays next year. They were amazing this year but then we had a such a winter summer the year before.

    Thanks for joining in again this month and letting us have a nose around your garden


  8. Lea says:

    I love the structure of your garden: the paths, arbors, sculpture, seating areas, and how you have mixed potted plants with those growing in the ground. I hope September is a beautiful time for you in your garden.
    Lea’s Menagerie

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Lea – there will always be something to admire, I trust, but I suspect things will really be starting to wind down now we are in September, more’s the pity…

  9. Annette says:

    Very enjoyable, this little ramble through your garden and I have to say you’ve done so well in creating interest and making it all seem rather large, too. Your hot corner and the foliage bed look especially nice and I’m amazed how green it all is. Here we slowly notice the lack of rain but so far the well hasn’t let me down. I’m glad to have met you and your garden through blogging and look forward to your future projects and writings.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Annette for all your support and kind (most of them!) comments – it has been a pleasure to have your blogging friendship. I think that because the soil is pretty deep and fertile here the impact of the dryness is slow to take hold – I certainly don’t water my borders – but there will be plants that suffer, I am sure.

  10. rusty duck says:

    It’s a brilliant idea to review your garden’s progress at the end of each month, especially if you are in the process of developing it. This is my first month and it will be great to look back (I hope!) having completed a full year.
    Your garden is looking beautiful. I love your courtyard sitting area and clematis colonnade, and the woodland area too. Look forward to seeing how it all blossoms!

    • Cathy says:

      Thank you for dropping in – there are so many garden blogs that it can take up a lot of time visiting them and unfortunately most of us have to be selective. It is such a supportive environment and I look forward to us sharing more visits to each others gardens

  11. Anna says:

    Gosh where has that year gone? 🙂 It’s been a pleasure getting to know you and your garden Cathy and I look forward to seeing what you get up to during the next twelve months. I’m most tempted by those teeny, tiny hostas too but think that my mollusc visitors would be partial too. One bite and that could be it!

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, I am so pleased I was brave enough to go public! Can you imagine one of those ‘land snails’ amongst your hostas, Anna?! Sorry you have a slug problem though – for some reason it’s not an issue here although there are some about.

  12. Lyn says:

    You have been so busy in your garden! This is such a comprehensive EOMV – mine are usually much shorter – that it gives a first-time visitor like me a real feel for your space and style of gardening. The distinctly different areas are very interesting, and I love the colour you have painted the woodwork. I will be exploring more of your blog. Thanks for visiting mine and leaving a comment.

    • Cathy says:

      You are welcome Lyn. Those who have been posting and EOMV for longer than me say they sometimes feel they are saying the same things, but there will always be new people reading the posts and it’s a good discipline to monitor what’s happening for your own benefit. Look forward to chatting more.

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