End of Month View – August 2018

18_08_30_9237Finally we have had some rain and the grass is coming back with the exception of the areas where there had been paths in the original walled garden. These totally dried out and will require some reseeding. This is the view I always post on my EoMV but for the end of August it is looking very green and brown as many of the flowers that normally would be at their best eg Dahlias are not out.17_08_25_6898This is the same view this time last year!18_08_30_9243You can see here how the dahlia, which should be about 100cm high and covered in red blooms has become dried up with the lack of water. Hopefully the tubers will be OK for next year!18_08_30_9245This Dahlia Bishop of Llandaff  together with Ricinus communis ‘Impala’ look good because they happen to be on automatic watering as the area is very dry being under the steps. 18_08_30_9238This would have been a good colour combination with Rudbeckia ‘Dwarfs’ and Rudbeckia ‘Cherokee Sunset’ set against  the dark foliage of Dahlia ‘Twyning’s After Eight’ but once again the dahlias have done nothing yet.  Maybe the rain will bring them into life.18_08_30_9240The roses have not repeated but there is still time.18_08_30_9235Some areas have come through relatively well. Here Rudbeckia fulgida sullivantii ‘Goldsturm’ seems to like the heat and Hydrangea arborescens ‘Annabelle’ towards the back is full of blooms although we did water this.18_08_30_9239This area is more like prairie planting but again the Dahlia ‘Fairfield Frost’ should be covered in white flowers and be at least 30cm taller.18_08_30_9241Salvia ‘Cerro Potosi’ obviously likes the heat.18_08_30_9244And similarly Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’ looks very happy.18_08_30_9246This is Cosmos ‘Cupcakes White’, a very nice Cosmos that I will certainly grow again.18_08_30_9248Other areas look very dry and brown although Rosa ‘Alister Stella Grey’ is beginning to repeat.

The good news is the grapes are looking good!18_08_30_9251and oddly the Wisteria is having a second flush.18_08_30_9233Meanwhile by the compost heap I found this young grass snake. Maybe an off spring from the large one I photographed earlier.

2018 Gardening Hours
Week beginning
August 25th
Total 2018 to-date Average per week
30 647 19

The hours are beginning to add up. In August I have done a lot of hedge cutting. Particularly with Box the current view is to cut in August to help prevent blight.

This has been a difficult year with a cold grey spring followed by a very hot dry summer. I realise this is to be expected in the future as a result of global warming and we will need to adapt to this.

Do have a look at Helen The Patient Gardener’s blog where you fill find links to other gardens at the end of August. Thank you to Helen for hosting this meme.

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More hedges and wild life

08_07_16_2797There are a number of yew hedges in the garden. This is looking along the area behind the garden wall and when we originally moved in this area was effectively a small paddock. As it ran south west to north west when we had any degree of wind it certainly blow up this side of the wall. We put the yew hedges in to provide some shelter for any planting we did. Over the years they have grown into substantial hedges but of course they need cutting although only once a year.

Another job done. Looking towards the cottages, on the left is a utility area including the compost heaps. (see Compost: Hidden dangers) On the right is one of those areas we are always meaning to do something with but never quite get there.21_06_16_2706Quite a difficult area as it gets little sun and on the right, in our neighbour’s garden, is a large sycamore tree creating even more shade. The wall is also about 14 feet high! Let me know if you have any good ideas.16_09_01_3356Another hedge that needs cutting each year is a beech hedge with some hornbeam  Carpinus betulus ‘Frans Fontaine columns. What is always amazing is the amount of growth that can occur in one year as shown above with the hedge cutting half complete.16_09_18_3468The completed cut.

As you can see above that the pond is still not repaired.( Pond develops a leak ) Every morning I check the pond for animals which have fallen in as the sides are vertical making it impossible for them to get out. Normally I find a couple of frogs, maybe a toad and possibly a Common Newt. However, one morning it was a Common Shrew16_09_05_3371and another to my surprise a Great Crested Newt.

Great Crested Newts have full legal protection under UK law making it an offence to kill, injure, capture, disturb or sell them, or to damage or destroy their habitats. I was not ware we had Great Crested Newts in our garden and was delighted to see this one which has now been moved to one of our other ponds along with the other frogs, toads and Common Newts.

Autumn is coming fast but some plants are still looking great.

16_09_18_3469

Ricinus communis impala

Gardening Hours
This week Total since June 19th Average per week
26 251 18