Temperatures are falling and the evenings have a chill about them. My third summer in this garden is coming to an end. The previous owner (PO) loved to grow fruit, figs in particular and this week I woke from a dream where I had collected armfuls of sweet soft figs. I am sure this was inspired by a tweet from Fred, a French gardener who had been doing exactly that. In my garden I watch as the birds flutter in and out of the fig trees magically finding in their branches the ripe figs that I keep missing. All the ones I can see are green.
Here’s the largest fig tree. This was tentatively pruned back early this year but I can see it really needs to be brought down in size. Ruthlessness is a gardening skill I am beginning to develop. Cutting this tree back will give the summer borders more of a chance to keep going through into autumn. I will be able to bear any loss of fruit as I don’t see much of it anyway!
Because the PO’s interest were in fruit and veg the flower borders had been left to their own devices and I have been reclaiming them from the weeds. One corner was in the grip of ground elder and I spent the first two summers digging it out. I think I am now at the stage where I can plant this corner up. My dreams have recently focused in on a white hibiscus and a Trachelospermum jasminoides to cover up a fence. That’s my dream for autumn or spring planting. For the moment this is how the corner looks now. Each summer I plant a group of annuals to keep the ground covered. This year it was Zinnias which are filling out now.
A close up of that corner showing the convolvulus cneorum bought at the Beth Chatto garden now in situ among the erigeron karvinskianus. I’m happy with the front and I hope I will be happy with the back, now I need something mid border to bridge the gap. I have persicaria on the wish list so maybe there is an opening for it here.
Three 9cm pots of Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Album’ were planted out earlier in the summer. I have to be patient but next year I am expecting these diminutive plants to transform into dreaming spires of late summer interest. They should reach 1.2m. Some way to go then!
In my dreams, particularly in my day dreams, I see a luxuriously verdant garden seamlessly moving from one season to the next. At this time of the year I find myself struggling. The summer border becomes increasingly shady as the big fig tree branches out. There is just enough sun to encourage the roses in a second flowering and this one is Gertrude Jekyll.
A long term dream has been to fit in a water feature. My original expansive daydream of putting a rill down the middle of the lawn was strongly vetoed and probably rightly so. Instead I have in mind a much smaller feature to replace this laurel bush. It also shades the summer border and doesn’t add any great interest to the garden. Taking it out will leave a large hole – the first step towards the pond.
Dreaming and planning for the garden is much on my mind at the moment. I was feeling the pressure of exhortations to prepare and plant up for next year. It was all too much and I left the catalogues on the table and went out into the garden. Even after the recent rains it was still dry and difficult to work but I relocated a few seedlings, planted out some mid summer purchases, cut back the lavender and rosemary and felt much better for it!
Many thanks to The Prop for gathering together a diverse crowd of fellow gardeners who share weekly their gardening delights and sometimes the nasties! You are welcome to take a look.