There are definitely hints of a change in the season at the end of August this year, most noticeably the sudden drop in overnight temperatures (and the need to have a jumper or cardigan at the ready in the daytime) and a clear shortening of the days – my last ramble of the day has been in darkness recently, and I tread gingerly in case of wandering hedgehogs. Tomatoes in the greenhouse are coming to an end, damsons are picked with apples crying out for the same, blackberries are on the wane and the Autumn fruiting raspberries, after the bountiful first pick of their double cropping, are now fruiting again: all these fruits were earlier to crop than the average year. Amidst this has been the almost overwhelming urge to tidy up – empty spent pots, plant out anything that has been glaring at me for weeks or months, sweep the paths and above all prune – lop- cut back – pull out! The compost heap is rapidly filling up, the green waste bin is always full and bags are filled and on the ready for the next trip to the tip. Perhaps the increased number of projects undertaken in July and August is part of the same thing, and not just a matter of timing?
Underneath all this, however, some things change less from month to month, and may not be evident in this monthly view of the garden but, for me, keeping a photographic record has proved useful over the years. There is also now a video to accompany this post, so do click on the link at the end and you may get more of a feel for the garden as we move into September. Don’t forget there is a map and an aerial view under The Garden tab above, so come on, let’s go!
The main picture, as always, is the view we get from the back of the house, looking out at the paved area and the sitooterie, where the sense of green enclosure is enhanced by a second flush of blooms on various roses. Below is the streamside grass and shrub border, viewed from both ends, with a similar rosy display and overactive Persicaria ‘Firetail’ in the foreground!
Recent posts have described how the ‘path less travelled’, a second path through the woodland, came about, and you can virtually walk this path when you watch the video; it veers to the left on the photo below and is a work in progress as ferns and other suitable plants are moved from elsewhere to line its route.
From the bothy at the end of the woodland you can look out over the main borders, seeing quite clearly the changes that have been made in their layout. Part of the gallery fence has been removed to display Magnolia ‘Susan’ better.
The same area from ground level, the photo taken in front of the back of the shed then, swivelling on the same spot, views of the clematis colonnade and the entrance to the woodland edge border:
The latter looks more open and exposed than it has done for a long time; not only has the mid hedge been severely pruned, but the oak tree has been felled and the two sculptures (nominally representing the Golfer and myself) have been cleared of ivy and now look naked. Most of this end of the garden will benefit from the increased light, and it will green up considerably by next year as the mid hedge grows again, although in the meantime it will still produce a carpet of snowdrops and hellebores in the early months of the year. Below is the view from the other end:
The three bold borders are having their contents rationalised, and I am hopeful of an improvement in boldness by next year:
In the cutting beds, the dahlias are still going strong and many of the annuals are still producing a good display, whereas it is coming to the end of cropping for the tomatoes in the greenhouse:
The blue & white border is also undergoing a big overhaul, particularly since the removal of two large aconitums…
…and in the rose garden the Blush Noisette roses against the fence have been cut down ready to be moved to make way for roses that don’t grow as tall. The amount of light this area will get now the oak tree has been removed will increase considerably:
We walk under the clematis colonnade and get a different view of the realigned main borders…
…before heading back towards the house, past the snowdrop border and its poor showing of white annuals, looking across the paved area towards the gable end of the house with the wisteria:
If we bear to the left we can have a quick look in the Coop, before walking down the side of the house to see the shady Coop Corner, as leafy as ever. The hosta in the foreground is one of the few to have received attention from slugs or snails.
That’s about it for our August visit, but do now please click here to have a guided video tour.