The vaguely green-fingered thoughts of a rambling rose.

September joy


It's the last days of the summer holidays. There is a warm glow in the garden. Already the staghorn foliage is beginning to take on its autumnal hue.  The sedums are smothered in bees and the nights are drawing in.


Now all the birds have fledged, the conifer hedge has been reduced by around three feet allowing the hills to once more be viewed from within the house. 



The next task will be to rearrange the Pink Garden. 



But for a week or two, we will just enjoy the embers of summer before autumn is ignited. 

The Big Reveal


It's been many months in creation.  It began as a basic sketch from an idea rattling around in my noggin:


To a 3D model:


A computer aided design was produced thanks to Darryl who works with TMTC:


Complete with detailed measurements. 



Work began with Brandon cutting and drilling the holes for each piece of steel to the specifications,



before he welded each section.



He then built the project in the workshop to ensure everything would fit together perfectly.


The Friday prior to August Bank Holiday, The Man That Can and Darryl transported it home and built it on site.



The impacted ground was dug over...


...adding the compost from the final bin to level it.  The weed membrane was laid and the gravel raked back over the ground. 



The steel was painted in black.


With red highlights.

The Wisteria will drape elegantly around the outer edge.

Finally the old bench was repaired and given a lick of paint in black to tie in with the theme. 








It's been well worth the wait. 

August endings


As the summer holidays draw to a close  the heat builds once more in South Yorkshire. 


Flower buds are forming on some of the winter shrubs already.  However, the summer bedding isn't finished yet.



Three of the compost bins were emptied, riddled and spread over the borders. The remaining not-quite-composted material was returned to one of the bins in preparation of the autumn clearance, when the bedding plants and other matter will be added to help create new garden compost for next year.


Our neighbour decided to creosote their side of the fence this week, which prompted an early prune of all our clematis before the fumes and splashes damaged them.  Our side has had a stiff brush in preparation for painting (we don't use anything quite so toxic however).


And since we have a long weekend, a moment to actually sit down and enjoy the garden.


TMTC sanded down the old seat and repaired a broken slat.



It will have a new coat of paint and some new cushions before being placed back in the Yen Garden. 




Calm before the Storm.


August is the eighth month of the Gregorian calendar and derives its name from Augustus Caesar.  The traditional birthstones of August are peridot and sardonyx.  Gladioli and poppies are  traditional flowers of August.  I haven't grown gladioli since moving 'up norf' but I have grown some lovely varieties of poppy.  This year none but simple red poppies have flowered.  I must right both of these issues next year.


After their holiday trim, the bedding is looking better.



The lacecap hydrangea in the front garden has suffered no ill effects from my beginning to reduce its size this year as it is smothered in tiny blue flowers with lilac bracts. 


A closer look shows the tiny flowers.



I do like the clashing red new leaves on the Photinia.  I will trim back these leaves once more before they start to turn green.  This will encourage another flush of bright foliage to take us through til spring. 


Beneath the Staghorn tree some leaves have turned yellow.  I suspect this is due to lack of light as the haircut given last winter produced a heavy canopy this year.  It will be interesting to reveal the shape of the framework as the leaves fall in autumn, after its firey display.  This new branch is covered in soft down which is where it gets the name staghorn. 



The plants have filled out surprisingly well with many such as r. Tall Story putting out yet another display. 



Osteospermums in yellow and orange are a vibrant blast of colour beside the deep purple-black foliage of heuchera. 


Another flush of clematis Warsaw Nike.


I've removed most of the fuchsias in the garden due to wasps finding them irresistible. This one however is too pretty to compost and is quite happy to drape over the dry stone wall for a feature viewed from the house.


This weekend, the remnants of hurricane Gert may cause some damage around the garden so I thought it was important to blog earlier this week.  

Talking of damage,  this fatsia japonica hasn't quite found happiness in the Yen Garden. Hopefully once some shade is created here, it'll settle down. 


Similarly this deep wine coloured acer has been scorched by the summer sun, but with shade will perform even better. 


Staying in the Yen Garden, the various succulents are beginning to flower.



This wee chap below had a trim around 6 weeks ago and is producing another flush.



The new Rhododendron above is forming it's flower buds ready for next spring.  It's very important to ensure they do not suffer any drought during this time of year or they'll drop the buds.

The old Rhododendron which was pruned hard after flowering is responding well with new leaves. It'll have another prune next year to continue its rejuvenation programme. 



The Wisteria needs it's summer prune very soon to cut back these long whippy stems.


Clematis Princess Kate is a little sparse of both foliage and flowers. I may move this next year to grow in less harsh sunlight. 


In the Pink Garden:







On the patio there's a lot going on.  Verbena Bonariensis beginning to open,


The potted mint has sent up a flower.


The sedum is beginning to colour up,


And white Japanese anemones sway airily in the breeze above the 'rescued' hydrangea. 




Above H. Blueberry Cheesecake beside the arch.




There is little colour around the pond apart from various greens of hosta, grasses, ferns and herbaceous perennials, with a cloud of pale pink Japanese anemones. Some  injection of late summer colour is required here. Something to think about over the winter.