The vaguely green-fingered thoughts of a rambling rose.

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.


There's always something to do in the garden. TMTC's aunt kindly watered our pots and baskets whilst we spent a week at the coast in Wales, and I'd already cut back the bedding plants which is something I find helps prevent them running to seed and giving up when left to their own devices.  In another week or two more flowers will be produced to eek out the summer display. 

A quick visit to the garden centre on our return home allowed us to add to our little plot this Agapanthus 'Twister'. I've never grown them before, but on holiday there were many varieties on show, which led to us buying just one - to see how we get on and if I can successfully bring it through the winter months by moving the pot into the shed.

This huge variegated grass in the terrace border has begun reverting to plain green. It was tiny when we planted it on our arrival here.  TMTC dug it up, along with the stump of a shrub we cut down but was unable to remove it at the time.  Eventually he managed to split the grass and replanted a nice variegated section behind the Photinia beside the pond...

...along with the heuchera which had also been temporarily planted in the terrace border.  The colour picks out the red hues in the Photinia nicely. 

Some topsoil and compost were worked into the large hole left by the grass, before a Verbena Bonariensis and two pinky purple Salvia Superba 'Merleau Rose' planted.

The Gaura has been moved from the partial shade of the Long Border to the full sun position of the Terrace Border. It should be happier here.

On the other side of the Eryngium (which for some reason hasn't flowered this year), a further Verbena Bonariensis and two blue-purple Salvia Superba 'New Dimensions Blue' has been planted. 

And finally a clump of Perovskia 'Little Spire' added beside the Eryngium.   The bees are already finding these new acquisitions irresistible! 

The blackbirds have been ferreting around in the pots of spring bulbs beneath the workspace table and some are already sprouting.  I've therefore sorted out the bulbs and potted up as many of them into single types as possible, in plain plastic pots.  The plan is to pop them into spaces in the garden in the spring. A few have been planted into containers to put on the patio with room to add violas when the temperatures lower in the autumn. 

Either side of the patio arch, a couple of grey ribbed containers similar to those housing the Viburnums have been planted up with lacecap hydrangeas 'Blueberry Cheesecake' in ericaceous compost. They're a little pinky-lilac at the moment as I suspect they've been watered with tap water, but they're very pretty and if the lacecap we have in the front garden is anything to go by, very floriferous. 

In the Pink Garden, two scented Phlox have been added - in pink of course. 

And finally a new purple grass Pennisetum 'Summer Samba' replaces the Japanese anemone that really wasn't happy in the dry soil of the Yen Garden. 

It looks like the new rose Gertrude Jeykll is happy to be sending up fresh stems and buds beside the arch on the patio. 

All we need now is some warmer sunshine to sit and enjoy August in the garden.