End of month view: August 2015

Late afternoon last Thursday 27 August just after cutting the grass.
Late afternoon last Thursday 27 August. All the other photos below were taken early this morning on Wednesday 2 September. I’m a couple of days late but we have been on holiday in a mostly sunny Cornwall.

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The view from a bedroom window and the pond is as full as ever. I’m not sure why my water lilies have not flowered this year. Too much shade, too much competition from other water plants, chilly nights?

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Japanese Anemone ‘Honorine Jobert’  finally flowering. With luck and good weather the flowers continue until November.

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Hesperantha (schizostylis)  coccinea started flowering just before we went on holiday, again very late this year. I have known it flower continuously from July to December. They make a very good cut flower too.

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Clematis Mrs Betty Corning, again very late into flower. I think all my garden flowers were waiting for the recent very heavy rain to get going.

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Along the back wall of the house I have growing Hydrangea petiolaris, Polystichum setiferum, Clematis alpina, Clematis ‘Etoile  Violette’, Geranium maccrorhizum, chives, Rosa Sussex growing in a pot which has flowered continuously since the beginning of May and lots of volunteers including hardy geraniums. Alchemilla mollis, verbena and Erigeron.

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You can just see Cyclamen coum which has travelled, probably thanks to ants, quite a long way to pop up here.

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The grasses too are just starting to flower and shine. This should be Calamagrostis  x acutiflora ‘Karl Foerster’ but sometimes I think it looks more like a Panicum and wonder if it was wrongly labelled when I bought it 10 years  or so ago. However, it is a well-behaved grass and I divided it about three years ago so I now have four increasing clumps around the garden.

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I think I have a dying or even dead Rosa ‘A Shropshire Lad’, just visible behind the Sedum. I pruned out some dead looking bits before we went on holiday and the inside of the stems were white. I have lost a whole catalogue of mature plants along this border in recent years including Ceanothus Trewithen Blue, Euonymus Silver Queen, Rosa Iceberg, Jasminum nudiflorum and Hebe Midsummer Beauty. The rose was planted bare-rooted during the winter of 2013/2014 and has been very healthy and free-flowering up to now so who knows what the cause is.

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So that is my garden at the end of the summer. I’m quite glad August is over. I don’t think it was a very good month for gardens or gardeners and we certainly had to wait a long time for any proper  rainfall in my South-east corner of the UK. We live in the lee of the foothills of the North Downs and quite often rain misses us completely. But I’m already enjoying September. We had a very good short break down in Cornwall including visiting a couple of different places en route and enjoyed a couple of days of swimming and snorkelling and falling asleep on the beach and an excellent but tough all-day walk. We also had a fun morning taking the little ferry boat across to Fowey to buy our fish and other provisions and we saw some fabulous sunsets from our little cottage just above Lantic Bay. I’ve already cut flowers for the house and I’m looking forward to going down to the allotment later this afternoon and bringing home a big harvest. September for me is a time of new beginnings: we found this house in September, we married in September and I had my first child in September. I wonder what this September has in store?

Joining in with Helen, the Patient Gardener, who hosts this very useful End of Month View.

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13 thoughts on “End of month view: August 2015

  1. Good to hear you had a lovely holiday (sounds idyllic). Your garden is looking pretty great, considering the vagaries of the weather. I, too, love September and see it as a Good Time of Year. My middle son was born in September (he was born just after midnight on 12.9.01, thankfully) and it always seems a month of hope and possibilities, despite the tragic world events that will be forever associated with it. I hope yours is a very happy one. Sam x

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  2. Fowey is lovely, did you go to the fabulous bakers for their chocolate brownies (the best I’ve ever tasted). I think you may be right about the grass, it is very late for Calamagrostis to be green still, if it is the correct one it is very upright like a sheaf of wheat!

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    1. I’m sure you are right Christina. I’ve spent ages looking at the grass beds at Wisley and I think it is a Panicum. Not to worry I like its purplish hue and next time I see C. Karl Foerster for sale … On the subject of food, yes we have been to Rick Stein’s when we were staying on the north Cornish coast. It was a great experience and very inspirational. When we stay at Triggabrowne though we always catch the ferry to Fowey and buy the freshest fish from the excellent fishmonger. This time we bought 12 very large prawns (for a tricolore pasta dish with rocket, chilli and garlic), six John Dory fillets which I pan fried in olive oil and butter and served with allotment veg and a whole bream which we roasted whole with allotment veg. All that and a dressed crab for sandwiches for £24, or less than the cost of fish and chips for two at the local pub! I know the baker you refer to and adore a good chocolate brownie but when in Cornwall we gorge on saffron cake, Cornish fairings and home made scones with clotted cream and jam. You’re making me feel hungry!!! And yes, our holiday cottage was equipped with a dishwasher, I love cooking, hate washing-up!

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      1. When we stay in Cornwall next time I’ll have to ask you about the cottage, last time we stayed in Fowey, in the past we always stayed on Polzeath on a cottage right on the beach, I loved it.

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  3. Lovely to see shots of your beautiful garden. What a great design. I love it. Do you think you might have honey fungus in that border? Are there any dying trees in the vicinity? Roses are very susceptible. I have lots of honey fungus in my garden as it was an orchard for hundreds of years. It is a nuisance, but I have learnt to be philosophical about it. Things die sometimes, but I just put in lots of compost and plant something else.
    Your grass looks like Panicum to me. And very nice too.
    I hope this September has lots of good things in store for you.

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    1. That’s a thought Chloris. Our house was built 25 years ago on a brownfield site after the demolition of a huge hangar built in the 1950s as a milk bottling plant. The surrounding land is farmland and the field outside our house was known as the ‘Home Slip’, the field the cows were turned out onto after milking. The 16th century farmhouse is close by, its fields now owned and farmed by the local council. Our neighbours have felled a eucalyptus, a leylandii and a thuja along our shared boundary within the last 10 years and I’m sure the stumps weren’t ground out. Now they have railway sleeper edged (oozing something?) raised beds built up against the fence and they also use glyphosate weedkiller. (They are good neighbours, just don’t have a clue about gardening!) So it could be a combination of any or all of these factors. I had a rootle around the rose and it is dead, but no sign of any honey fungus. I will keep my eye on the border and perhaps look to plant something resistant to honey fungus just in case.

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  4. Love the colour of that Hesperantha. I have a pink one that I thought I’d lost but spied it yesterday hiding under an Erysimum Bowles Mauve and still trying to put out buds, bless it. Think I may have to risk moving it.

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    1. Mine self-seeds very freely, even popping up in the grass. It likes a moist soil which is why it is so at home in my pond borders. Could look good at the bottom of your slope, if it’s happy it should spread quickly.

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  5. Your holiday sounds wonderful, such a beautiful part of the country and such a lovely garden to come home to. I think you and Homeslip are right, the grass looks like a panicum possibly ‘Shenandoah’ or ‘Heiliger hain’ by its distinctive red/purple leaf colour, airy panicles and height. It looks very happy in your garden, mine would prefer a sunnier spot … maybe I should move them! I hope September is full of good things for you.

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  6. oh, you have the most gorgeous garden!! this is one of those times when i have pang of inadequacy! 😉 . really, though…i do believe i ought to live somewhere with more rain. 🙂

    your holiday sounds lovely – a perfect balance of rest and pottering.

    i also love September….i find it has the same sense of possibility as the spring months, for some strange reason. i think October is may absolute favourite autumn month though…it seems to be when [other than spring] i get the most accomplished in the garden. xo

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  7. It is always nice to have a month that feels like yours, I have always been fond of September too, I love the sound of the word, and that feeling that it trembles on the cusp of autumn. My first baby was born in September too, only just, he emerged on 30th by emergency section, having been due on 18 th. I am always glad he just made it into September! X

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  8. I really love your garden Sarah. I must get myself some Hesperantha (for once a renaming is easier than the original!). It’s such a good doer and so pretty. I think you are right about the grass being Panicum. I have Karl Foster and it’s got very fluffy plumes flowering now. It will be interesting to see what the Panicum flower looks like.

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