in my garden | Summer’s End

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.

Raised bed with sage, thyme, marjoram, calendula and borage

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.

Eschscholzia californica / Californian Poppy

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!

¹Daily Post Photo Challenge | corner


  1. beetleypete says:

    Your garden is a real treat, and puts mine to shame. (More than shame, if there’s a word for more than shame…) The succulents look really good, but I have no idea if they would grow here. Well done, Jude.
    Best wishes, Pete. x

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Pete. It has taken an enormous effort to finish this off as I lost momentum with first my illness and then the son’s rush into hospital. A couple of days ago I just decided I had to get it done and went out and did it! I am now looking forward to planning the changes for next year. Hopefully without any upsets! The succulents don’t like frost so you’d have to take them indoors during winter. Mine stayed outside last year but I did lose a few, so I shall be bringing some of them into the conservatory.

  2. Su Leslie says:

    Your garden looks utterly beautiful. I was reading sweet tomatoes, basil, chillies; mentally adding “pasta” and getting hungry! I’m so glad your son is recovering well. 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      He made us a lasagne last night, using all the above ingredients!! Very tasty 🙂

      1. Su Leslie says:

        Yum; that sounds delicious! I love lasagna, but hardly ever make it. I’m tend to treat pasta as a “quick supper” thing, and just toss a few fresh ingredients into it with olive oil. Did he add meat too, or was it vegetarian?

        1. Heyjude says:

          He used meat. I tend to use quorn, but I’m not vegetarian.

        2. Su Leslie says:

          I’ve never used quorn. I cook a lot with tofu (though not with pasta). My last lasagna was probably more of an eggplant parmigiana — with the addition of pasta.

        3. Heyjude says:

          Ooh. I love parmigiana too. Never thought of adding pasta.

        4. Su Leslie says:

          I guess then it blurs the line between parmigiana and just eggplant lasagne! Not that it matters as long as it’s tasty.

        5. Heyjude says:

          Now I need to buy some aubergines (eggplant)!

  3. Your garden looks lovely! Great photos too. I especially love your gravel garden. It looks so pretty….😍

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you! I don’t really need the lawn (it is full of daisies anyway) and I did want more flowers, so that was the birth of the gravel garden.

      1. Yes, my lawn is being cut into to make new borders!

  4. Sorry to hear of your son’s illness, glad he is doing better! Your garden is beautiful! It does not look neglected at all.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Ah, well that is because I took the photos AFTER I had spent hours weeding, pruning and planting!!

  5. tachiwi says:

    Your garden is beautiful. I wish I had such a green thumb.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you 🙂

  6. Shibin Dinesh says:

    Great photos and write up! Keep clicking!

  7. BeckyB says:

    Oh I’m so so glad he’s turned a corner and what an incredible garden to recover in. Hope he, the garden and you have a good September. Sending hugs but I’ll keep my ground elder qhich has taken over my garden this year!! xx

    1. Heyjude says:

      He has been making the most of the sunshine, sitting in his chair in the garden! And yes, please do keep your ground elder, I have enough to cope with!!

  8. Chillbrook says:

    Good to hear your son is recovering well Jude. Cornwall is a good place to convalesce that’s for sure. The garden looks great, as does the blog! 🙂

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Adrian. The Cornish air is doing him good 🙂

  9. D > That’s quite an achievement, family drama AND getting so much variety from your garden. Well done! I’m thinking J and I should invest in some cultivated blackberry plants, as the wild ones here in Uist yield very poor quality fruit. We have enough scratches with gooseberries, so are thinking about thornless blackberry: do you think the fruit is as good as that from conentional varieties – and if not, on what way?

    1. Heyjude says:

      I have both the thornless and some wild blackberries in my garden. The cultivated ones are much bigger and sweeter than the wild ones and also a lot less painful when picking. It fruits next year on the stems grown this year so you simply cut back all those stems that have fruited this year after they finish. So it never gets too big. Saying that I have had loads of berries this year and still left a lot for the birds to enjoy.

  10. Lynn says:

    Oh my goodness, your garden looks so beautiful Jude, regardless of those pests! Wishing your son continued improvement in his health!

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thank you Lynn. The garden is my sanctuary and this year has been his too.

      1. Lynn says:

        I can see why!

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