End of Month View: Change of Direction

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:

IMG_5708You 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…

IMG_5709IMG_5710The 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.

IMG_5712I 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.

IMG_5711Behind 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…

IMG_5713Looking 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’.

IMG_5714The 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’):

IMG_5715and the other…

IMG_5716The 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:

IMG_5717IMG_5718IMG_5719The blue & white border, as mentioned recently, has become increasingly white as the season progresses and this imbalance needs to be addressed.

IMG_5720IMG_5721The 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!

IMG_5722Even 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.




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19 Responses to End of Month View: Change of Direction

  1. Christina says:

    It is all so green and lush, it almost hurt my eyes. The views from on high really add to my understanding of your garden layout. I also live in a place where the rain regularly stops 1km from my house!

  2. rusty duck says:

    I think I shall be saving myself £70 too..

  3. Gradmama2011 says:

    your garden is wonderful, I love the variety and the stone paths and brickwork. it makes me want to get out and do some of the things I have long planned. thanks for this inspiring view .

  4. Your garden looks so nice. You must water if you don’t get enough rain. Here it is dry as the desert. We always get a dry spell at this time of year but this year Mother Nature has taken it to extremes. My shrubs are looking wilty, it is dusty and not very inviting out right now. I do get out to water. I can’t wait until this cycle is broken.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Lisa – the rain at the end of the last two months was presumably just enough to replenish and refresh. There were very few things I watered specifically. When can you reliably expect rain?

  5. Debra says:

    I loved rambling through your garden with you, Cathy! Such a lush environment, so apparently you are getting plenty of rain, even if only at the end of each month. I think you must have a perfect balance! Truly beautiful and inviting.

  6. thatssojacob says:

    What a pretty garden! Sounds like a peaceful place for a good ramble.

    By the way, you’ve been chosen as one of today’s nine blogs in That’s So Jacob’s Ninth Month Blog Challenge! I challenge you to find nine blogs you find interesting and give them a comment to brighten their day…well, eight other blogs and mine 🙂 Copy this message in your comment and enjoy your new blog friends!

  7. Taking a step back to take a critical look at a garden is a useful exercise, it’s a great meme of Helen’s and your posts are inspiring to get out there and do it. I especially like your woodland walk with its lush foliage and your tress with interesting bark are wonderful too.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Kate, I agree about the usefulness of the meme – good to compare from month to month and year to year, and notice where the gaps are. The woodland edge border looks good all year round – very obliging!

  8. My favourite is your Acer grisium but to be honest it is all looking really good. I like your plans for the blue border and suggest Echinops ritro ‘Veitch’s blue’. It is not as rampant as some of the echinops and the bees will be all over it. It also is good in a vase!

  9. rickii says:

    The hard work you have put into you hardscape really shows off how well it organizes everything now, when all is in full leaf and flower.

  10. oh Cathy I wish I lived where the rain just missed us, and 3mph wind speed, well it made me giggle, your garden is looking good all round, with your low rainfall I suspect you don’t even own a pair of wellies, they are good at keeping legs dry, your roses like many peoples are mostly over, mine have only just started, here the last couple of days have been like late autumn, cold at 7C, wet and windy, it’s that north wind, I wonder what the bricks are for, mystery, Frances

  11. Anna says:

    I can visualise you pulling yourself up into ‘Bill’s Chimney’ Cathy. How useful it must be to have an elevated view. I’ve never noticed that fine fellow of a hare gazing up at the tree before. Rainfall is a fascinating subject. A friend of mine lives a couple of miles away and quite often we will have rain whilst she doesn’t.

  12. I adore the lushness of your cottage garden. I write about and appreciate all sorts of gardens, but this is without a doubt the kind I prefer for my own garden (hard to achieve in the southern US with the very hot and often dry summers).

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