The monthly update on my garden went somewhat awry due to a family emergency in early July which meant my being away from home for most of the month. Arriving back in early August with the invalid in tow I found that the slugs and snails had once again decimated the few vegetables that I had growing (dwarf beans, broad beans, courgettes), bindweed had clambered over everything on the shady side and everything else had shot up! Luckily the OH had been good and fed and watered the tomatoes which have been a roaring success this year although I had far too many plants due to a ‘Manager’s offer‘ of 6 plugs for a £1 in late April. I bought 6 ‘Gardener’s Delight’ and 6 ‘Sweet Million’ both of which have produced tons of fruit and are so sweet that I often picked them to eat straight from the vine. I also have several basil plants, most coming to an end now and seven chilli plants of various varieties and colours and heat. All in the conservatory.
Raised / vegetable beds: Currently these are a mixture of vegetables, strawberries, herbs and edible flowers. Not edible are the sweet peas and poppies! Though perhaps you could use the poppy seeds.
It’s odd being here with three of us and I have spent much of August in a state of anxiety. I am pleased to say that my son’s recovery has been much better and quicker than any of us expected and he has turned a corner¹. Despite eating like the proverbial horse he is still underweight, but at least doesn’t have that gaunt look any more. He gets tired and naps a lot, but that is good for him. We try to get out a couple of times a week to explore the county and give him somewhere different to walk and hope to do more once the school term begins and the roads are a little quieter and car parks less crowded.
Sunny Side: After much weeding and pruning (again) I managed to summon up sufficient energy to finish off my new ‘gravel garden’. I am quite pleased with how it looks, but suspect that more lawn may disappear over time!
Hardly any of the new plants I had in mind for planting this year have been bought due to being away and it is too late now to sow any flower seeds; the one bed I did manage to seed before I left is now full of bee loving flowers. I shall attempt to grow some winter lettuces and other autumn sown veg in the other bed which could be a complete waste of time. Next year I will use these beds to plant a couple of shrubs. Maybe a Callistemon and a Grevillea if I can source some dwarf varieties. And some agapanthus.
Nothing much has changed along the woodland side. I pulled out all the Herb Robert plants when they stopped flowering as they spread everywhere and so far I haven’t got around to planting the ground cover I envisage for this space. The Fatsia Japonica has been drastically reduced as it was blocking the path to the patio. Now we can actually use that path again. The foxglove, hardy geraniums and white daisies have all finished flowering so I have made a note to plant some late summer flowers along that border, just need to think about what will be suitable. I have several fuchsias that might enjoy being a little higher up as currently the flowers trail on to the ground. However, I am not sure they will enjoy being in the shade for a lot of the day.
New plants: During a visit to the nearby Sculpture Garden last week for lunch I was tempted into their nursery which mainly stocks succulents and other Mediterranean plants. Of course I couldn’t resist a couple or three.
The Patio: Not much different from last year as I didn’t get around to buying the new pelargoniums I had promised myself. I also want a large pot in which to plant my ornamental cherry tree, that should restrict its size as I think it is going to have to be placed on the patio (I can’t see any room for it in the garden!) My Zwartkop aeonium are doing well from the cuttings I made last year – unlike Monty Don on Gardener’s World last week, I also cut my stem into pieces and they also rooted and developed leaf buds.
Notes for the future: Next month I shall order and plant some dwarf narcissus along the ‘woodland’ border and also some muscari armeniacum (Grape hyacinth) and anemones in the gravel area to give it some colour in early spring. The two raised vegetable beds will be recreated next year. One will be planted with herbs and flowers that are white, the other will be planted with aromatherapy herbs. I am hoping they will attract pollinators and not slugs and snails and provide interest and fragrance. I really need to look at my colour scheme too as I have a lot of clashing colours going on: orange, purple, pink. My garden is a rainbow!