I feel a little bit of both the above about the garden at the moment – a touch underwhelmed about its appearance and lack of vibrancy and a tad overwhelmed about the amount of maintenance that suddenly seems to be required. Having become conscious about the longer term maintenance we have embarked on a reassessment of some of the trees in the garden, as mentioned in some recent posts and evident in some of today’s photographs – but perhaps much of the other maintenance is a seasonal requirement that is always necessary at this time of year as the garden begins its gradual slump towards hibernation. Posting photographs of the garden at the end of the month is a great way of recording differences from year to year, and I am grateful to Helen, the Patient Gardener, for hosting this meme. Don’t forget to look at the map of the garden if you need to check the layout of the garden as you look at the photos.
Firstly, directly behind the house the trees in the background appear to be still in full leaf but in fact have been shedding the odd leaf or two for a few weeks as a result of the dry summer. The ladder was necessary to reach the apex of the gable end and summer prune the wisteria, which I did yesterday – but delaying the summer prune from midsummer’s day to the end of August for the first time had the undesired effect of allowing the tendrils to start wrapping themselves round the solar panels – not a good discovery to make.
To the right is the streamside area with the reclaimed topsoil that forms a new bed which will be planned (sort of) over the winter. The 3 pillar fruit trees are still in situ up to their ankles in soil and will be moved later in the year. Two hazel trees and a holly have been removed from the hedgeline to the right, fortuitously providing a location for some species roses.
An ash and a wild cherry have been cut down to their trunks at the far end of the woodland, already substantially improving the quality of light here and in the adjacent border, but producing a copious quantity of timber and leaf to deal with. The shredder, still under guarantee, is on strike so it is a slow job.
The Golfer had just finished dealing with one batch of trimmings before the next photo was taken – he had moved all the potted hostas out of the way and this sunken area has been piled high with the smaller offcuts. There are odd spots of interest in the borders, but no cohesion whatsoever and a distinct lack of appearance of asters and performance of penstemons:
The clematis colonnade is devoid of flowering clematis other than a strand of Ernest Markham and there is only an occasional flower on the geranium at their feet. The sweet pea fence to the left has been pretty successful this year, with annual sweet peas this year supplementing their everlasting cousins.
The woodland edge border, viewed from both ends, has changed little over recent months, although the thalictrum in the right hand picture was removed later in the day, having finally been deemed just too tall:
The fruit cage is undergoing changes this year, with some old bushes being replaced and the pillar fruit trees finding a new home here; today I have been tying in loganberry canes and generally beginning a tidy-up. The main greenhouse is chocabloc with tomatoes and peppers and currently a satisfying place to visit as it amply displays the fruits of my labour:
The cutting beds have been the subject of a learning curve but are producing some flowers for admiring and cutting, and there is still room for crops like squash which is finally climbing up the purpose made support instead of sprawling along the path:
The blue & white borders have worked hard but are now having a break – I am especially pleased how well the two ‘Snow Goose’ roses are establishing against the wall, already requiring me to extend the wiring framework for them.
I gave the lavender in the rose garden a light trim today, quite pleased with how well the plants have filled out to underplant the roses. Meanwhile the roses, despite being past their best, have generally performed well this year and no doubt deserve a break – I wonder if I should feed them more than I do?
Elsewhere there are some pots which have done well despite a lack of watering, but generally the garden seems to have run out of steam a little earlier than some years – or does it always feel like this at the end of August? Well, at least I have the excitement of a large new planting area to plan – and the joy of watching new seedlings emerge! Then next year it all begins again….!