Last week had a very autumnal feel. Cooler temperatures, windy and wet but I did have the time to spend in the garden and it was not a pretty sight. The sweet peas have mildew, the knautia gone to seed and everything looks a little bedraggled. My first of the six for this week is a sorry sight but it gets better.
The apples are ripening but one tree in particular has a bad case of brown rot. I must have lost at least half the crop so far and apparently there is nothing to be done about it. I pick up all the windfalls and remove any of the affected apples from the tree and throw them away. So far the other apple trees do not seem to be affected and some of the younger trees are now producing a good crop which will compensate for the lower yields on this tree.
I am still adding to the August garden to keep the colour going. My local garden centre tempted me back in with a timely money off voucher which made the helenium ‘Short and Sassy’ more attractively priced. After that I headed for a local nursery that offers plants at a much more reasonable price and paired the helenium with perovskia ‘Blue Steel’. This is a smaller, more compact variety, chosen for my thin border. I managed to get these planted out into a very dry garden before the rain set in.
The bees were flocking to the helenium and perovskia before they were even in the ground. This echinops has a similar pulling power. For this reason alone it has remained in the garden but it is in danger of going in the great rethink that is on the horizon. Some things need moving around and some may have to go. Such is gardening.
I inherited a large collection of water butts from the previous owner and they have been invaluable in helping to keep the garden watered but there is the eternal problem of mosquitoes and after suffering a number of bites (also not a pretty sight) I decided I would try adding olive oil. This is the most popular suggestion that comes up on an internet search, the second most popular is keeping goldfish in the water butt. It’s interesting how the same ideas come up in different places. I am trying it out in one water butt. Will I be able to live with oily watering cans? Has any one else tried it?
The coneflowers took a bashing from the wind and the rain, more staking required if that is going to be the pattern for summer. They have been in the garden for two years now and are clumping up well. They are a good bridge from the end of summer into autumn.
I have some new agapanthuses this year: ‘Navy Blue’. In their first year in the garden they have managed to produce one stem per plant, more patience required before the full affect can be enjoyed. I have to be good at remembering to feed them up before they flower. They are giving me a summer feeling for a little longer.
For more end of summer flowers call in at The Propagator’s garden. Our host of the SOS meme shares the links to other SOSs in the comments section.