August was heralded in by the pink trumpets of the oriental lily 'Robina', which made its presence known by its scent, particularly noticeable on warmer evenings - well there were one or two! August was perhaps not quite as wet as the earlier summer months and the temperature rose. Finally there was more than the odd butterfly on the wing - one day last week saw a mass meeting of peacocks on the buddleja in the garden.
The least said about the allotment the better - please don't mention the word BEAN! I am now fast forwarding to next year and have already started to clear beds in preparation. There have been some enjoyable moments - lots of 'Anya' potatoes which although somewhat on the small side have proved delicious both hot and cold. We have enjoyed the first few apples. Still making my mind up about 'Katy' which produces the picture book rosy red apple that the wicked stepmother must have tried to tempt Snow White with. The texture once you bite into them is on the soft side though and I prefer a crisp crunchy apple. The tree that has been the most productive is 'Sunset' which will be harvested soon. The tomatoes are in full flow now but my earlier delight in the prowess of my cucumbers has been cruelly tempered. After an initial couldn't keep up with them fast enough phrase, I noticed that fruits were turning yellow when small and then withering. I'm not sure but think that this might be a result of overwatering. My cucumbers are growing in a community greenhouse and I suspect that other plot holders have been watering them too. However there are still some waiting for me to pick so all is not doom and gloom. There have been sporadic courgettes but no danger of a glut. The shallots and garlic have now been harvested and removed back home where they will no doubt be appreciated in the coming months.
Back to the garden and to my end of month view for May when I mentioned a new to me word - 'gabion'. In case you are wondering a gabion is a wire cage that can be filled with rocks, concrete or soil. They can be used in various situations including landscaping and retaining walls. After himself has shedded blood, sweat and nearly tears the pile of rocks (plus many more) which featured in my May end of month post ~
is now looking like this ~
On the far side of the wall is a small stream which forms one of the garden boundaries. We have never really tamed this area which sloped down to the stream. The level of the land has been built up and we now have a clearly defined formal edge and have reduced the risk of accidents. Himself has had to raise the inspection tanks for our septic tank, hence the concrete mixer but he is now nearing the end of the construction phrase. There has been talk of planting sempervivums to soften the edges of the walls and then we need to mull over what we are going to do with this extra space. Hopefully there will be planting underway next month and into October.
This months plant purchases - monarda 'Fireball', heuchera 'Circus', day lilies 'American Revolution' and 'Strutter's Ball' finishing of with a mentha arvensis otherwise known as banana mint.
With thanks as always to Helen over at 'The Patient Gardener's Weblog' who hosts the 'End Of Month View'.