Sunday, 1 September 2013

End Of Month View ~ August 2013


It seems that there has been much idle bee gazing and sitting supping outdoors this month. I'm blaming this lack of activity on another fairly warm, sunny month which has now slip - slided inevitably to September and nearer to autumn.

Plans for the gabion garden are on on hold whilst I have second thoughts so there's nothing to relate there for now. Some other planting has taken place elsewhere in the last week or so the plants concerned being mightily relieved no doubt to have been liberated from the confines of the cold frame. I've also taken a few penstemon cuttings, have made a start on dividing some day lilies with the aid of brute force from himself and have sown a few seeds. 

I've also been playing around with pots as you can see in the above photo. I used to have a small collection of foliage plants outside in the courtyard just by the front door. This area is north facing so fairly shady although the sun creeps round in the afternoon. I'm not sure what happened but one year the gathering was moved for some reason and never made its way back. These are not the original plants but fairly similar to all intents and purposes. Now all I need to do to complete this arrangement is to buy one or two more permanent containers and  possibly one or two more plants probably hostas. The pots will be situated at the base of an old whisky barrel, which is home to a much loved water feature, parts of which are in need of a lick of paint. Will hopefully reveal it next month.

It's 'The Year Of The Bean' at the allotment - all three varieties especially 'Blauhilde' are positively dripping beans so we are eating and freezing them non stop or so it seems. My courgettes have had a so so year so there's a gentle trickle rather than a steady glut. They were planted not long before we went on holiday at the start of July. I think the really hot weather must have been a struggle for such young plants despite my allotment neighbour's kind ministrations. The 'Black Futsu' squash which I planted at the same time looked on its way out when we returned but is now making a serious attempt for world domination. Small squashes are forming but I'm not sure whether they will mount to much. Shallots, garlic, peas, broad beans have either been lifted or come to an end so work is in progress clearing beds. The new strawberry plants are showing a small but welcome crop, the apples are in fine fettle whilst the delicious autumn fruiting raspberry 'Polka' is early out of the starting blocks. I've decided to remove the summer fruiting raspberries later this year. They taste insipid in comparison to 'Polka' so will not be missed. In the greenhouse the tomatoes have finally just started to blush and the cucumbers are in their stride.

Plant purchases this month are up on July's sad nil return. On the first day of the month I bought a penstemon 'Garnet' from the local Country Market, having fond memories of the same plant in the dim and distant past. A most enjoyable day out at the Southport Flower Show saw me come home with a heucherella 'Redstone Falls', actaea simplex 'Pink Spike' and a plant that has been on my wish list for a couple of years - anemone 'Wild Swan'. The latter has inconsiderately just dropped the petals from the only two flowers on it but there are more to come so should feature in September's end of month view post. Finally on the last day of the month I visited Chester Cathedral for their first National Garden Schemes open day. There was a plant stall outside which yielded a pot of sempervivums and a few babies from a green spider plant. I've potted up some up and put a couple in water. I've also had some snowdrop bulbs arrive in the post from Avon Bulbs - one or two more little gems to add to my specials.

Thanks to Helen over at 'The Patient Gardener's Weblog' whose inspired idea allows us to share our gardening progress each month. I'm heading off to the allotment soon but will put my feet up later, enjoy a cuppa and visits to the other participants in this meme to see what everyone is up to.


26 comments:

  1. Ah, all is explained. You came up as 'Green Tapes' in my sidebar list!

    That's a mega picture at the top of the post.

    I bought a penstemon for the first time this year and was wondering if it would drop seed. I hadn't realised I could take cuttings. I'll have to find out how to do it. Into action!

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    1. Mmmmm - wonder what is going on in your sidebar Esther - maybe it has shrunk :) Thanks for saying such nice words about my photo. Penstemon cuttings are relatively easy and it's worth taking a few in case of a hard winter.

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  2. I do like the foliage in your photo - I think I am definitely going this way rather than flowers. What is the large leaved plant? a Bergernia?

    I bought Anemone Wild Swan the year it came out when I went to Tatton but lost it that winter so beware

    Thanks for joining in again this month

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    1. Thanks Helen :) You are looking at begonia 'Little Brother Montgomery' which came home with me this year from our garden club plant sale. Sad to hear about the fate of your 'Wild Swan' - will keep a close eye on mine.

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  3. I love container displays, there's so much you can do with them, and as a plant fades, it can be moved and another brought in to replace it. You were definitely slacking in July, no plant purchases? Glad you made a recovery in August.

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    1. Container displays are great for shuffling about Jo although I'm hoping to get together a reasonably semi - permanent group, that will last most of the summer and into early autumn . Well that's the plan. I think that I should have taken my temperature in July but as you can see I'm on the mend now :)

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  4. Hi Anna, Don't give up on your squashes - my spaghetti squash did exactly the same last year, sulked through to August and then gave it their best in September! I ended up with several torpedo squashes and very delicious they were too!! Love the foliage in the top photo, I'm not clever enough to know what they are so do tell! Looking forward to your next end of month view, should be a showstopper!! C xx

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    1. Hi Caro and thanks for your encouraging remarks about my squashes. I'm just wondering whether there will be time for them to get a bit bigger and ripen. We shall see :) I have lost some of the labels for the plants you can see in the top photo but there are some ferns there including a Japanese painted fern, begonia 'Little Brother Montgomery', a sarcococca humilis and finally hakonechloa macra 'Alboaurea' in the big brown pot.

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    2. Thanks for this info, Anna - I recognised the Japanese fern (so beautiful, am thinking of getting one!) but it's good to know what the others are ... I'm really going to have to revise my plant names before I go back to college!! If we get a bit of September sunshine, as so often happens, I think your squashes will surprise you with a late harvest! Fingers crossed for you!

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  5. That is a really great photo of your foliage plants!
    So glad to hear your vegetable garden is doing well, too.
    Hope you are having a beautiful day!
    Lea
    Lea's Menagerie

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    1. Thanks for visiting Lea and for leaving a comment :)

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  6. Your first photo is wonderful, or should I say, the plants in your first photo are wonderful. I'm assuming you have a Begonia in there along with the Japanese Painted Fern, they are delicious together! You have been busy as usual, yes, now is penstemon cutting time, they root so easily thank goodness and look so good for such a long time.

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    1. Yes you are spot on with the begonia id Pauline. I like taking penstemon cuttings as they usually root unlike some of my other attempts :)

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  7. The pots with foliage look lovely Anna, and I look forward to seeing your barrel water feature as I shall be doing some sort of feature in the galvanised tank on our paved area so need to get some ideas. Your crops sound brilliant - thanks goodness it wasn't all happening while you were away! I have had Anemone 'White Swan' from Hayloft but they are still quite small - shame Helen is warning us that it might not be hardy :(

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    1. Thanks Cathy. I will try to include the water barrel in my September EOMV. Will keep fingers crossed regarding 'White Swan'. The plant was bred in Scotland so I'm keeping my fingers crossed :)

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  8. I can just imagine you fighting with the day lilies. I had to call in reinforcements for that job too!
    Thank you for the recommendation of 'Polka', I am planning a bit of a sort out of my raspberries too. I love them and was delighted to inherit a fruit cage full, but none of them have done very well.

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    1. Dividing the day lily was proving to be such a tussle Jessica so I was so relieved that himself came to my rescue otherwise I would still be out there now :) 'Polka' is well worth seeking out for its sheer taste and it goes on fruiting well into the autumn here.

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  9. Nice contrast of foliage and texture, Anna. What's the name of the begonia (?), it's delightful?! What kind of plans do you have for the gabion garden...so curious :)

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    1. The begonia is 'Little Brother Montgomery' Annette. Still much ruminating about the gabion garden Annette so no definite plans as yet :)

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  10. Love the foliage in your photo - I have a shady spot that needs pepping up, and I think ferns are a good idea. Is that a Heuchera? Or a Coleus?... I'm glad my tomatoes are not the only ones to take so long ripening - the first one should be ready for picking in a day or two! Enjoyed reading about your August.

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    1. I think that it's the begonia that has caught your eye Cathy. It does not take long once they finally start ripening and now that one has blushed it seems to be infectious :)

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  11. Love the photo on you blog Anna, the combination of foliage and the texture looks wonderful. Summer has been on the whole good this year and I don't blame for sitting and enjoying your garden for most of it :) Thanks for the update!

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    1. Ah thanks guys - it's a combination that I am pleased with but just needs a bit more tweaking. Sitting outdoors has been a pleasure this year. After all we've all had to make up for all that sitting indoors looking out that we did last summer so there's no guilt.

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  12. The months do whizz by don't they. I've had great gluts of beans this year too but I've also had a lot of courgettes (I did have to water daily and shade them at times too though).

    In answer to you question on my blog about how big Hydrangea Vanilla Fraise gets - here she's about 2 and 1/2 feet tall and quite airy and open. I give a gentle prune most springs. Having just looked on Crocus they say 2m though! Mine will never get that big even if it wanted to!!

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  13. The year is turning all too quickly Su. Thanks for getting back to me with the information on the hydrangea. I'm sorely tempted :)

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  14. Loving the foliage in your pots! I'm really gutted I didn't grow any runner beans this year. I had some amazing broad beans and just ran out of space to house my usual bean wigwams. Really missing them now, not just in terms of the harvest but the aesthetic appeal too. Lovely to hear about how your garden is getting on :)

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All your comments are much appreciated and treasured. I wil try to reply to everyone who leaves a comment, but it may take me a few days, especially when I start spending more time in the garden and at the lottie. I know that you will understand :) I am sure that I will also visit your blog if I have not already done so. If you have any specific questions I will either reply to them here or you can email me at : thegreentapestry@gmail.com

Namasté

- Anna.