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Garden Life – The Garden in August – Gill Ford

Pink Lavatera and White Lychnis

There aren’t many jobs to do in August, except keeping the weeds under control, mowing the lawn and picking veggies, if you are lucky enough to have the space to grow them. You can also still pop in a few annuals for extra colour but I would not advise planting perennials, as plants find it hard to establish themselves when the soil is dry with the normal baking sunshine – the current weather pattern may have changed all that!!

When we first moved to this house, we inherited a tidy but uninteresting garden, in need of inspiration and love, which stimulated me to change it rapidly but carefully, so that it could inspire others. The main lawn was rectangular with narrow flower beds and very few bushes and trees. The lawn is now an oval shape, which allows the eye to roam around it in a gentle flow, taking in the repetition of colours provided by a wonderful variety of flowering plants and bushes. The palette changes with the seasons, but the colours are repeated as you can see. So, the beds are backed with trees and shrubs to provide depth and in the spring there are lots of bulbs to provide really bright colours but now the palette contains more muted shades of pink, blue, white and bold splashes of yellow and orange, for an extra zing!

It is hard to keep the colours in August and September but here are some that you can choose from. All of them should be planted in the autumn or spring:

BLUE – Geranium ‘Orion’, Nepeta Sibirica, Salvia ‘Blue Enigma’, Stokesia Laevis, Penstemon, ‘Stapleford Gem’

PINK/RED – French Lavender, Fuchsia ‘La Campanella, Stachys Officinalis, Osteospurnum

WHITE – JapaneseAnemone, Dahlia ‘Angora’, Hydrangea ‘Grandiflora’, Echinacea Purpurea, ‘White Swan’

YELLOW/ORANGE – Dahlia ‘Hamari Gold’, Crocosmia ‘Star of the East’, Canna ‘Striata’, Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’

My back garden showing shades of repeated colours

And of course the wonderful poppies and foxgloves keep popping into the beds adding wonderful splashes of colour. There are many other wonderful plants available and the small RHS book is an excellent guide. However, if you want to create a white garden then do visit either Loseley or Sissinghurst – at Loseley the Hydrangea ‘Grandiflora’ have blooms almost the size of a space hopper!

Often, I see plants and really can’t remember their names, until now. There is a wonderful plant identification app that even I managed to put onto my phone called Plantnet and its link is: identify.plantnet.org Just download it onto your device, point the phone at the plant and up comes all the information that you could think of! Great fun and very useful. Because of the lack of sunshine so far, I cannot show you my shuttlecock bean support full of beans but I hope to show you its success next month! Do you take time to enjoy your garden, before the next season starts.

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