What summer? August here in the south-west has been rather cool (average 18°C) with some dull grey days, breezy days, overnight rain, mist and intermittent sunshine and showers. Despite which I have managed to do a bit of tidying up in the garden. And making plans.
(1) Houttuynia cordata ‘Chamaeleon’ is an attractive low-growing shrub, bearing a striking carpet of variegated red, cream and green heart-shaped leaves from late-spring. Planted in my ‘Woodland border‘ close to the shed where it receives very little(if any) sunlight this has slowly built up over the past couple of years. It likes moist soil and makes excellent ground cover through borders or around boggy pond margins. Apparently the leaves have a strong orange scent when crushed, but I haven’t tried this out. I believe you get more intense red if it is in a sunnier spot.
(2) Echinops bannaticus ‘Blue Globe’ grows in one of the raised beds. Each year I think I will remove it as the spiny, deeply-divided, grey-green leaves are very tatty, but then the heads appear and the tufty blue flowers open and the bees and butterflies arrive.
(3) Japanese Anemone ‘Wild Swan’ is one of three types of JA I grow. The taller pink one is by the patio and although I removed a clump or two last year I need to remove some more! It does add colour to the late summer garden though. In the raised bed I have two clumps – one is ‘Wild Swan’ (60 cm H), a pure white flower with attractive lavender-blue bands on the reverse of their petals – the other is ‘Pamina‘ (90cm H), which is deep pink and just starting to come into flower so we’ll have a look at her another week.
(4) Hydrangea paniculata ‘Vanille Fraise’ as shown in the header photo this starts off as a pure white and gradually turn a delicious raspberry pink. This year has been the best flowering so far. I do cut this back hard at the end of the year and again to about two shoots from the base on each stem in April.
(5) Physostegia virginiana ‘Bouquet Rose’ is often called ‘the Obedient plant’ because it turns it’s flowers to the sun. Elegant, tapering spikes of soft pink foxglove-type flowers are carried on upright stems and although it is supposed to grow to a height of 80cm mine has well exceeded that this year!
(6) Chocolate Cosmos / Cosmos atrosanguineus has lovely rich reddish-brown petals that feel very soft and velvety. I have one plant growing in the ‘Bee and Butterfly’ bed and I cover it with wool over the winter months. Each year I think I have lost it and then it appears throwing out tall stems of this lovely flower. So lovely something (I suspect earwigs) has been munching on one of them. I bought another plant this May and have it in a pot which will come inside the conservatory over winter, just in case!
It is good to see Rosa Gertrude Jekyll putting on another display, no less than six flowers seen this afternoon. And Rosa Graham Thomas looks to be having another go at flowering too and there are many more plants just coming into flower now which will make an appearance next week.
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.