August …

Things have been fairly quiet, garden-wise, chez moi lately. Partly this is because I am now back working full-time whilst also undertaking a distance-learning degree course, but also partly because I’m not happy with how the borders have developed this year. Don’t get me wrong – there are some areas that I am extremely happy with – but there are plenty of other areas that didn’t do quite as well as I’d hoped.

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Part of that not-doing-so-well is due to the pure physical aspects of my garden – or to be more accurate, the physical aspects of other people’s gardens that affect mine. Such as my neighbour’s intention to allow his laurel hedging to grow rampant, as well as not managing his willow hedging (you know what willow hedges become if you don’t lay them? A row of willow trees) and in a long, narrow ‘urban’ garden, this is not good. I was also not quite as diligent in dealing with my clay soil before planting in some places meaning that, yep, I’ve had to deal with a lack of water retention and cracking ground (and guess where my husband decided we should plant the moisture-loving astilbe? You got it …). Too much shade. Too much dry. There are plants out there that can deal with all these things in wonderful and beautiful ways. Some of them I have, but planted in the wrong place. 

Of course, the way to correct these issues is simple – bulldoze all the houses around me and create one, large, awesome garden improve the soil and replant, removing unsuitable plants and replacing with better choices. Of course, this is somewhat of a big job and digging up plants is quite traumatic for the poor little buggers so I shall be tackling different areas on different weekends during the autumn after the flowers have finished their flowering and seed-setting (if I allow them too) to avoid overstressing them too much, and giving them a winter of dormancy to settle in and become re-established. (Of course, it’d be nice if my neighbour decided to not be such a d-bag and actually trimmed his hedges – but that’s a different moan for a different day!)

There is one area in particular that I have plans for. You remember my lovely white bleeding heart that’s fronted by some columbines …

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I love how this area looks during the spring – but the bleeding heart has succumbed to something like mealy bug for the last two years so gets cut back to ground level, and the columbines finish in June, their leaves becoming straggly and somewhat nothing-y. This border is backed by laurel hedging and to the left is the lilac tree – all of which makes the ground here rather poor in quality. (Admittedly, so far this hasn’t perturbed the columbines and they flower prolifically.) By August it all looks rather sad …

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But a plan has been hatched …! I am going to purchase some border edging, fill up with some decent compost/top soil mix, replant and include some (currently unknown) extras and then top with a bark mulch. This will extend around the front of the lilac tree (under which I have planted some woodland bulbs, cowslips and some Alchemila mollis) to give the whole area a bit of cohesion and some oomph

I’ll also be going a bit bonkers with the bulb buying this year too. Really ramp up the Anemone blandaIris reticulata and some more funky tulips (currently liking Doll’s Minuet and Hotpants), and also more Allium – both the ‘normal’ and also the bright yellow Allium moly. I’d also like some summer-flowering bulbs.

So, yes, big plans … 

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2 thoughts on “August …”

  1. Sounds like you are going to be really busy. We have a lot of leylandii hedge baking on to our garden that actually belongs to neighbours. Not only do we have to cut it our side but it also takes all the moisture and goodness from the soil. Hedges should be banned!

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    1. Well, I hope that I still have the courage of my convictions later in the month …! Wow – yes, the curse of leylandii! I am not envious! Sensible hedging can be a boon to both gardens – however, I find that most of them are planted by people who lack knowledge (at best) or are just plain selfish (at worst)!

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