With temperatures again in the 30s I went away for the week. Yes, I know. No real gardener ever leaves the garden in summer, not ever! I did the usual frantic watering, moving pots into the shade and putting everything on trays or saucers and off I went. My garden is well past its best so I was really quite relaxed. I went in search of inspiration from some of the great gardens of England and I found that they too had gone over plants, roses devoid of flowers and scorched lawns. But some ideas for late summer colour were found and I returned determined to take more care of my phloxes.
But here is what is happening in my garden this week.
Rosa Natasha Richardson is in her second flowering and is looking gorgeous. I’m very happy with the background of Agastache Black Adder but she needs something the other side of her. I’m still looking for her ideal companion.
Sometime in May I optimistically sprinkled some zinnia seeds that came free with a well known gardening magazine and in the week I was away they opened up. They were sown at the foot of the now towering tithonia and in amongst the Pentsemon Plum Jerkum. They have given me an extra spot of late summer colour.
You would not expect me to visit three gardens and come away empty handed now would you? I nearly did as Hidcote had sold out of Agapanthus Navy Blue – a later flowering variety that’s now on my wish list. Fortunately across the road at Kiftsgate I found a lovely pink Salvia microphylla Blush Pink. It should flower into November and be frost hardy. If it does I shall be very happy.
I left my tray of Ammi visnaga out in a shady/sunny spot hoping they might put on a spurt of growth. I really don’t know if they are going to make it into flower but I am going to plant them out anyway and enjoy their feathery green foliage in amongst the white zinnias as planned.
My vegetable patch has struggled this year, falling foul of lack of rain and my feeble attempts to water it. I harvested the onions before I left and put them in the potting shed to dry out – as if they needed that! Small but delightfully formed I think.
The apples are also much smaller this year. I received an email from my apple juicing farm telling me that this is the earliest apples have ripened in 12 years. I still don’t think mine are ready for picking and I’m hoping that the welcome deluge of rain that arrived on Friday will give them an extra boost. I also need to decide what to do with this poor specimen. Do I shorten the leader and keep the laterals in tight or will the leader strengthen over time? So much learning to be done!
The bulb catalogues are arriving and even as I review how to improve the August and September garden my thoughts are turning to Spring. I am well and truly on the gardening roller coaster and on the whole enjoying it.
Be dazzled by the diversity of gardens that get shown each week by checking the links given on The Propagator’s blog You will see that there is an occasional ‘cheat’ and this week The Prop has smuggled three extras into his six. There must be a sub section somewhere that allows that then!
The apples are also so much smaller this year. I received an email from my apple juicing farm telling me that this was the earliest apples had ripened in 12 years. I still don’t think mine are ready to pick and I am hoping that the welcome deluge of rain that came on Friday will give them an extra boost. I need to think what I do with this poor specimen. Should I cut the leader much shorter and keep all the laterals in tighter or will the leader strengthen over time? There is so much learning to be done!