August 2005

August has been a strange month with some very hot dry days and some days when the rain has lashed down. We still need more rain down here in the South of England but it could be gentler (please) and not trash the plants. The lawn has really suffered - not kowing whether to grow or stay brown - so, it's compromised and become very patchy. A good project for Jonathon to sort it out sometime.

Off we go down the right hand side of the garden. The lavender was lovely this year - it's now all "harvested" and delivered to Gilda to make things with.
The picture on the left gives you a good idea of what I mean about the grass. It looks better when it's just cut (see pic below) but still patchy. It probably doesn't help that the squirrels like to dig in it (and replant my iris corms!)

The hydrangeas have been the best I've ever seen them this year so they obviously like this type of odd weather. They do get watered (from the butts) in the hot dry spells and seem to have thrived.

The pond is much better this year. We now use "Clarity" on a regular basis to help keep the bacterial balance right and the blanket weed has all but disappeared. The fish love to play near the inlet pipe when it's turned on quite strongly - they think it's a wave machine and dare each other to swim up to it!
The sunflowers are peeping over everything else. They are the harlequin ones rather than the really big-headed ones but still add happy faces to the garden and act like satellites for the sun, following it round through the day.
A quick peep through the cotinus and you get a good idea of the various colours. The yarrow you can see hasn't performed as well as normal this year - the few flowers there are are very good but there aren't many. The other yarrow has done much better - possibly time to move this one and give it more space?
Christine gave us the grass you can see in this picture and it's thriving (and spreading all over the garden!!). It's lovely and floaty adding a different dimension to that end of the garden.
A better idea of the sunflowers with the red acer, the cornus and a sedum as well. The sedum is just starting to turn pink ready for Autumn.
Just before we walk along the right hand path, a quick glance backwards to enjoy the spiraea bushes. The golden one is wonderful from early spring right through to Autumn with a great range of colours.

Off we go up the path and past the bed with nicotania (they've been beautiful), dahlias (not too successful but those that have grown are wonderful) and a few other bits and pieces.


A bit further along towards the house, past the robinia and towards the gravel beds. It's even been a bit dry for the plants in the gravel bed this year which gives a good idea of how hot and sunny it's been.
As you can see, Jonathon's cut the grass now and it looks a lot better. You can tell he's done it rather than me because the stripes are straight!

The hardy fuschia is looking good this year with lots of crimson flowers. We have a whole load of fuschias in pots as well that look really nice up on the patio with the geraniums.

If you want a rest and a sit down, you'll have to fight for space with the bamboo, fuschia etc. This seat is about half way down the garden so you can see everything from it. Strategically placed by the previous owners (Pat and Steve) and much used by us.
Wandering back up the left hand side, through the blues, pinks and purples, the veg gardens are behind us at this point. The courgettes/marrows have been prolific this year - we can only eat so many so quite a few have been foisted onto other people.
Finally, back towards the house and up to the computer room to download the photos, sort and label them, resize them and generally get them ready for updating this page!

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