I have finally come to realise in recent months just how localised the weather is in our village, as we seem to avoid many of the showers that cross the UK Midlands and promised downpours often don’t arrive or are nothing but a damp squib when they do. We have had rain in July and August but in both months all the rain came in the last few days, leaving 3 or 4 weeks of dry days in between. We are on a hill, albeit a small one, and from experience we know it can be bucketing in the local town but dry as a bone here – and only occasionally vice versa. It would seem that in our position which is not quite West but still not quite East Midlands we will have even less accurate weather forecasts than some, and perhaps weather systems from either direction are petering out by the time they reach us!
Whatever the forecast it was damp yesterday morning and again overnight, so my ramble this morning for End of Month View photographs involved a change of direction, avoiding the inevitable wet leg syndrome of a ramble through the woodland edge border. Standing at the back of the house, under the recently summer pruned wisteria, the paved area is still enveloped in vegetation and increasingly home to windfalls from this year’s prolific apple crop. ‘Danse de Feu’ roses are having a second flush on the pergola on the right and Clematis jouiniana ‘Praecox’ is looking pretty good on the arbour on the left. In the foreground the five new pots stand empty awaiting tulips for next season, their predecessors gradually having succumbed to frost and age related wear and tear:
You may have seen the streamside grass and the new shrub border in a recent post, the latter flourishing most satisfactorily. Having recently had an email from Burncoose Nurseries informing me that the rare as hens’ teeth Daphne bholua ‘Jacqueline Postill’ will be available in a limited quantity this month I shall not be reserving a space in this border and will thus save myself £70…
The woodland is largely unchanged since the bluebells and wild garlic were over – still leafy enough to hide the view of The Bothy at the end although you can just make out the stark newness of one of the two new fence panels recently installed by a neighbour.
I now have improved access to Bill’s Chimney for my elevated view of the middle section of the garden, with a made to measure ship’s ladder and a car boot rope to help me on my way – even more of an advantage today, when everything was damp.
Behind me, as I took the next picture of the main herbaceous beds, is the corner where the cherry tree was being lopped and ivy removed. This is a work in progress, but plans have been drawn inside my head and bricks have been fetched…
Looking back at the EOMV from last year the comparison is striking as the garden really was running out of steam by this time last year. Growth at the end of August this year is still relatively lush and there are no real signs of autumn yet, aided by those end of month showers perhaps. The clematis colonnade is still leafy too, but with few flowers, like the geraniums at their feet. A few additional geraniums have been added to these beds in the last few days and hopefully the removal of the jasmine at the far end will allow increased light and improved growing conditions all round. Framing the picture on the left is Acer griseum and on the right witch hazel Hamamelis ‘Arnold Promise’.
The woodland edge border is full of lush leg-wetting vegetation and mostly looks after itself with only minor trimming required, although I am conscious that there is ivy at the back of the border that needs attention before it gets out of hand as it has tried to do elsewhere. From this end (see the the early morning sunshine on Persicaria ‘Red Dragon’):
The three bold borders are very different in their boldness – the newest, full of the newest and choices plants including one of my new favourites, herbaceous Clematis heraclifolia ‘New Love'(centre of the bed), the right hand border largely purged and awaiting a new retaining wall, and the left hand border, looking at least fairly warm:
The second picture is of the bed against the fence, previously occupied by a ceanothus and occupied this year by blue and white annuals. I have all but decided that next year I will add to the bee bait of the comfrey to the left with long flowering blue perennials that are also attractive to bees – perovskia and nepeta are being considered but I would welcome comments and suggestions…
The roses were brilliant in June but there have been few blooms in the last couple of months. Meanwhile, advance planning of what annuals to use for underplanting next season is required. Note how the nearest bed is suddenly all but infested with creeping woodsorrel which had been previously appeared only in the paths ….grrr!
Even though I rambled a different route this morning, these End of Month View pictures have been shown in my usual rambling order so will finish with the special snowdrop border with its summer clothes on, and the hedge border where Annabelle is about to be joined by two other hydrangea, waiting patiently in their pots. I expect by the time the end of September rolls around autumn will be knocking on the door, but until then the garden will continue to enjoy its late summer lushness and, in parts, colour. The cutting beds and tomato filled greenhouse, although not always featured in EOMVs, are certainly worth the ramble to the bottom of the garden. Thanks to Helen for hosting this monthly meme, and do visit her blog to see what’s been happening in other gardens at the end of August.