End of Month View: the Long Haul

As the end of the season, or what we think of as the end, approaches I will not be alone in assessing the relative successes and failures of the garden as the long haul of spring and summer tail off and autumn approaches ever more closely with the freshening of the breeze and the cooling of the nights. This end of month view is, once again, an excellent medium for doing this, whether it be a public or private assessment and I am grateful to Helen, the Patient Gardener, for hosting this opportunity. I may throw in the odd comparison along with the photos, but today the thoughts will be kept mainly to myself, to digest and cogitate on before coming up with potential solutions to improve any shortfalls next year. To orientate yourself with where the pictures fit into the garden don’t forget there is a plan to look at under The Garden tab, and do follow the link to Helen’s blog too to see more gardens at the end of September.

From the back of the house the paved area still looks busy and leafy, but the large pots with viburnum and cornus, planted up after envying other bloggers’ plants last winter are beginning to put on their warmer coats. The big round pot has a second flush of ‘Munstead Wood’ roses, and there is still a flurry of blooms on the ‘Danse de Feu’ on the pergola on the right. The magnolia is still in full leaf as is the hazel beyond the sitooterie. the second pictures shows little change, with the streamside area waiting for a another streamside overhaul, but there is a splash of lilac from some very beautiful Colchicum ‘Water Lily’ right in the middle of the photo – see tomorrow’s post for a close up!

backofhouseThe woodland changes little over the summer months so instead there is a picture of the progress of the Great Plum Tree Lop. The plum trees are in the hedge at the end of the woodland behind the sitooterie and the first picture shows the successful lopping carried out over the weekend, whilst the second shows just what a challenge the remaining plum trees are, soaring rather higher than one might comfortably choose to tackle…

plum.loppingThe main herbaceous borders are a bit spotty and dotty, but existing plants are filling out and even without additions should be looking better next year but nevertheless will still lack cohesion, I suspect. The hostas in pots in the foreground, quite newly grouped, are clearly beginning to change colour:

IMG_0121The clematis colonnade with its underplanted geraniums has the makings of a successful feature, but like the adjacent borders has been undergoing a settling in period this year. The ‘Spirit of the Garden’ artwork on the back fence injects colour into what will be an increasingly green and brown garden over the coming months:
IMG_0122

The woodland edge border has been a huge success story this year, from the hellebores and snowdrops of early spring to the rhododendrons and persicaria and other foliage at other times. Best of all, it requires virtually no maintenance. This time, there are views from both directions, looking towards and away from the hot border end:

wood.edgeThe left hand hot border has been reasonably successful, with some continuity of colour, but the right hand border, currently with a large gap where the lysimachia has been removed, not so, requiring an injection of taller and longer flowering additions to reach any degree of success. Definitely an area that needs targetting!

hot.bordersThe blue & white borders have both observed and survived the building of the adjacent wall and the subsequent inclusion of a new home for the recycled blue bowl, and have acquitted themselves reasonably well, but there is of course room for improvement!

IMG_0127Finally, the rose garden, where it is always difficult to find an angle to photograph it at its best, it’s best being a ‘Satisfactory’ this year. The growth of the underplanted lavender has really surprised me, as they started as very tiny plug plants barely a year ago, whereas the roses are no doubt grateful for a complete season without being moved.

IMG_0129Today’s ramble and other recent rambles have certainly given me food for thought, but on the whole there is much to be satisfied about, given that the whole back end of the garden underwent a complete overhaul last year. The platform of blogging has not only given me a ready means of recording the progress, but has brought friendly comments and advice from you lot out there which has both assisted my progress and encouraged me in my endeavours – thank you!

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17 Responses to End of Month View: the Long Haul

  1. Great post and awesome photos!

  2. Christina says:

    I really love the colour of your T clematis colonnade and the other fencing in the garden. It is a classy colour that blends so well with the planting. You’ve designed the clematis colonnade beautifully too.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh thanks Christina – it took a lot of trial pots before we found this one but knew straight away it was just right. Cuprinol Heritage Shades – ‘Wild Thyme’. The Golfer and I make a good team for our projects – I come up with the idea, the Golfer draws it up for my approval and tweaking, then constructs it. I would have done the construction myself in the past, but he is eager to please so I let him get on with it as I always have plenty of other stuff to do!

  3. Helen says:

    I know what you mean about the dottiness of new plantings, I have to remind myself to be patient and allow room for plants to fill out. I suspect your lysimachia will be back, I have never managed to get rid of mine! Thanks for joining in again this month

    • Cathy says:

      This went to spam with others of yours – what are they trying to say? I shall pretend I didn’t read what you said about the lysimachia!!! It’s easy to forget how much plants fill out, isn’t it?

  4. Anna says:

    I enjoyed your end of month view Cathy. As you say now is is an ideal time for digesting and cogitating – time to observe before moving on to make plans. It’s just as well that there is a relative slowing down in the gardening year as we would all be exhausted if there was no opportunity to take that deep breath.

  5. rusty duck says:

    It does take a garden a while to settle down, as I am learning the hard way whilst trying to develop my own. But you have achieved so much and it really is looking good. I had been meaning to ask you the colour of the paint, it provides the perfect backdrop for the plants.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Jessica – and Cuprinol have extended their range of colours hugely since then, mixed to order. It’s such a pleasant water-based paint to work with too, and colours and protects for years.

  6. Christina stole my comment, and you answered my question! I too love the colour you have chosen to stain all the woodwork, it pulls all the different areas together well, and the lavendar foliage looks perfect against it. Your woodland border is, as ever, stunning, as is the “successful” hot border, soon to be joined by its currently slightly naked companion I am sure. I get the impression that you are suffering from a bit of that gardener’s curse, that of always seeing where there is room for improvement, particularly where an area doesn’t match up to the vision in the mind’s eye. There is so much that is truly excellent in your garden, I hope the tweaks and improvements are a pleasure to contemplate rather than an overwhelming burden. There again, I could just be projecting!

    • Cathy says:

      Janet – I have just retrieved this from ‘spam’ so must apologise for not replying to your lovely comment earlier. Fortunately I know I would never see the garden as a burden in any way (ask me again in 20 years though!) – I rather suspect that if everything was just as I think I would like it to be I would still be coming up with new schemes. Keeps me from sitting twiddling my thumbs though…

  7. bridget says:

    Lovely to get the wider view of your lovely garden.

  8. Anna B says:

    I just love snooping round your garden and am glad I’ve found out what the ribbons were for! It’s great catching up on blog reading 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anna – there are so many lovely blogs out there and it’s hard to keep up with favourites, so thank you for making time to catch up with mine 😉

  9. Cathy your woodland border is so lush and textural, I know I’ve said it before and I think it’s becoming my favourite, you’ve created a lot of individual micro climates for your plants,
    now, I’m not in anyway suggesting this and have read Christina’s comment and your reply, I love the colour of the painted wood in your garden, but, when I was looking at the clematis colonnade the shape of it with the buda and ribbons at the back it should be red, chinese red, no, I know that will not work in your garden but it’s the eastern images that prompted this mental image in my mind, Frances

    • Cathy says:

      I see exactly where you are coming from with that, Frances – I suppose that with the Buddha’s position there being a coincedence (having been ousted from elsewhere). It was just a good place for him to sit, adding a focal point to the path, and he was there before the colonnade, although it was in the planning stage. The ribbon sculpture was a late addition, prompted by the pattern of the jasmine twining behind the lattice. As you say, though, a red (or even black, as black lacquer is common too) structure would not look right in our garden but it is interesting to consider the concept 😉

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