This Month

This Month August 2020 - Friday, 31 Jul 2020

My oh my are these seasons confusing! The warmth and wet are making things grow apace although it doesn’t always feel like what we think of as summer-warm, at the moment it feels more like October to me, then we get a few days when we swing back into summer and everything is too dry.
We increased the size of the herbaceous bed by the new seating area at the top of the garden and I have planted Kniphofia Ice Queen, Kniphofia Timothy, Geum Scarlet Tempest and Paeony lactiflora Inspector Laverge along with a few other perennials. A small new bed the other side of the seat has Lavenders, Germander and Rhodanthemum Casablanca. I also bough a few more plants for other areas including Cornus sanguinea Anny’s Winter Orange which has brilliant leaf colouring and orange stems in winter which are best pruned about the end of March for more vibrant colour. I have planted several new Hydrangeas recently one of these is Hydrangea paniculata Little Lime. I also got Salvia africana Lutea which I think will have to go somewhere in the warmer kitchen garden. I have had an inspection walk around the garden and think that even when the haul of new plants are in the ground there will still be space for more. I had to remove shrubs that the late frost killed, it could also have been the effects of the long winter wet which also rotted some bulbs and herbaceous plants.
I am pleased that I have had time for summer pruning and even time to think more carefully about each plant I prune rather than the usual rush to get it all done in winter but I still have the horrid job of clearing up after myself. It is really the herbaceous I struggle with as there is just too much bending to weed and chop back, I am trying to restrict the amount of time each day I spend doing it but it doesn’t always work.
I have just been strimming so am now trying to revive myself with a cuppa as the job is getting more tiring as the years progress, it needed doing so I have to pace myself as with all jobs now.
We have a very good crop of plums and there are only so many that can be eaten straight off the tree so I am putting a lot in the freezer to eat through winter. We are now eating oodles of runner beans and courgettes, it isn‘t easy thinking up varied meals when you are overwhelmed with these two but I am partial to courgette and feta cheese omelette with new potatoes and runner beans.
I am still not getting out much but do not miss it, I have only twice been into a shop since March but that is certainly no loss to me. I much prefer to be working in the garden although I do occasionally grab a few moments sitting on the veranda. A wren nested on top of one of the veranda posts and as long as I wasn’t too fidgety it would fly very close back and forth to the nest. I saw the chicks just after they left the nest on 30th July.

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