August has been a mixed month weather wise, hasn’t it? Warm days and very warm days, and days when it felt like summer had left completely, and then coming back warmer than ever. The very warm weather isn’t for me, that is, it isn’t for me when I have to function normally, which at home I do. Give me a beach and hot weather, and it’s a different matter. That’s also a different post, so let’s get back to the garden.
August was the month that finally the agapanthus really bloomed. They’ve been every-presents throughout the month, and even survived the strong winds. It’s definitely the month that they’re at their best, they’re also right by the conservatory window so we get to see them every day too. The second smaller pot, never managed any flowers, so I’ll need to rearrange the pots so they get the conditions they need to thrive. With plants, there’s no point trying to grow them where they’re not happy, as they just won’t and you’ll only be disappointed. We’ve had some success in previous years where they are now, but I don’t think a wet winter helped.
My garden accessory of the month has had to be twine. I’ve finally finished this ball - the last throes of the ball seemed to last forever. The fence and trellis on the patio has been the main recipient of most of the twine, which I’ve used to rearrange the overgrown climbing plants which I’d saved after quite a bit of thinning. I think we’ve gained about three foot of garden at trellis level, so the garden has a much more open feel to it.
At the back of the garden, in my new pots the lettuce has reached and grown through the chicken wire, no doubt helped by the rain. It’s also kept us fed and avoiding those plastic bags of salad. It’s still going strong, and I’m hoping while the weather lasts, so will the salad.
Here’s the work in progress, and where the twine has ended up. It now looks a lot more tidy, and the plants are already filling the trellis again providing privacy once more. There’s good news too in that the honeysuckle has survived, and I think it will benefit from a bit more space. All of this enforced tidying and pruning was as a result of some overzealous ivy removal from our next door neighbour. They cut the ivy so it died, but then just left it there looking ghastly and brown, so with some help from my side of the fence it was released to the floor, and subsequently the green bin.
Time for another agapanthus picture. Enjoy.
In the sleeper bed the Lords and Ladies have thrown up their hand grenade ‘flowers’ which have started to turn orange throughout the month. I’m not sure they’re coping so well with this latest bout of warm weather, or if they’ve just got top heavy and given up.
The everlasting sweet peas on the patio have been enjoying the early evening sun and golden light of the evenings, just as much as me.
This month we’ve been reminded again of the wildlife in our garden. The foxes have been noisy, and while out investigating one evening we almost tripped over this toad. He went into survival mode, and stayed dead still. I thought I’d trodden on him, so was feeling a bit guilty. However after a poke with my flip flop (sans foot) the poor thing acted like one of those frogs from the board game of old. It was still alive, but then I soon felt guilty again as it seemed to fly head first into the base of our parasol. Whoops. After that I left him to his own devices, I’m sure he was grateful.
There’s also been time for some annual maintenance, the yew had it’s yearly shape and trim. This year I mostly directed MOH, until it got too painful and the shape we’d been growing towards looked in jeopardy. Our hedge trimmer though is heavy, so it makes sense to split the trimming between us, and let’s be honest who doesn’t like a bit of power tool action?
As well as the lettuce, the courgette has started to flower. No vegetables yet, but I’m ever hopeful. The seeds were planted quite late so I’m not too upset with no yield yet, I suspect we might not be in glut territory with this plant, but that’s ok too.
Look, all of our hand grenades are orange, but as you can see the largest had already collapsed.
And finally we have beans, in pots. The runner beans failed to germinate at all, but we still have some dwarf beans - although they seem to have taken a shine to climbing up the pea sticks, which is a little odd.
So despite the weather, the garden has done really well. The tomatoes are taking forever to ripen, but I think I know why. Our trees are at the tallest they grow to, so there’s less sun coming into the garden, and onto the greenhouse, so getting those cut will be on our list before the growing season starts next year.
How’s your garden coped this past month?