People often complain that by August their gardens are looking rather dry and dusty with the best of the planting going over. Many compensate for that by growing autumn flowering perennials and annuals like Heleniums and Rudbeckias and Asters (or whatever guise they go under nowadays). I had some of those last year, but not this. For some reason Heleniums and Rudbeckias struggle in my heavy moist soil even though they were planted into raised beds. There is no lack of colour though. Especially in and around my ‘Gravel Garden‘.
In the central bee & butterfly bed among the Verbena ‘lollipop’, white cosmos and the peachy daylilies are two Lobelia which only begin to flower in August.
(1) Lobelia ‘Hadspen Purple’ is a handsome plant and grows quite tall. It is looking better than ever this year against the slightly paler verbena and the now fading Allium Sphaerocephalon and the tall Cosmos ‘Purity’. Odd how the colour changes depending on the light.
(2) At the other end where my colour co-ordinated Helenium once grew is Lobelia cardinalis ‘Queen Victoria’ which clashes with the pale pink of Lythrum salicaria ‘Blush’ and the violet-blue phlox; not being as tall as her purple cousin she gets a little lost in this bed. But do I dare move her?
(3) Some of you may remember that in the spring I had a zinc container full of multi-coloured tulips which looked pretty vibrant. The container stood on the large flat rock which was really the inspiration for turning this area of the lawn into a gravel garden. I wanted to plant it with something orange. Begonia ‘Glowing Embers’ was one idea or Lotus maculatus (fire vine) but due to the Covid restrictions I never managed to buy either plant. Instead I eventually threw in some Nasturtium, California Poppies and Zinnia seeds. The Zinnia seedlings all got eaten as they emerged, but I was left with a pretty pot of colour eventually.
(4) On a cooler note I have a couple of pots of Abyssinian gladiolus, Gladiolus murielae, an elegant gladiolus, bearing spikes of fragrant white flowers with a central maroon blotch. Last year I only had one flower spike. This year despite very healthy sword-like leaves I have two! At this rate it will be five years or more before the 20 bulbs I bought are in flower! They are lovely though. During winter they were kept dry in the conservatory.
(5) Black-eyed Susan (Thunbergia alata ‘African Sunset‘) and Purple Bell Vine (Rhodochiton atrosanguineus) were if you remember, planted in a large container with an obelisk for them to climb up. They seem to be very slow climbers, still only having reached half way! I like them though and the sparrows are happy to use the top of the obelisk as a look out perch before heading down onto the rock for a drink or a bath.
(6) And last this week is an old favourite. I brought these Penstemons with me from my old house as a cutting from my neighbour’s plant. I have several clumps around the garden from further cuttings, though some seem to have gone to plant heaven. A reminder perhaps that I should take more cuttings as a safeguard.
It has been awfully windy and wet here in Cornwall this week, especially Thursday evening when there was a massive lightning and thunderstorm! Things have been blown about a bit in the garden and I had to rescue my overwintered chilli plant and bring it indoors, I lost a stem with about 12 fruit on in the last storm! This week’s photos were taken in the middle of the week before the weather turned.
As always, if you want a peek over other people’s garden walls then please pop over to our host, the lovely Jon, AKA ‘The Propagator’ where you find links to many more wonderful garden enthusiasts from all over the world.
See here for the participant’s guide.