My Garden Journal 2020 – August

Back for another delve into my garden journal, this time to see what I had entered during the month of August. Enjoy sharing it with me!

I began by looking at a few of our colourful borders, “August, the traditional summer holiday month, but to us it is more a time to sit back and enjoy our garden”

Below are the four photos featured on this page.

On the opposite page white blooms are featured, “Until a few years ago I did not enjoy white plants in the garden but recently I have developed a liking for them.” The photos show “White blooms with coloured centres.”

 

Turning over the page are a selection of photos of some of our Hypericum inodorum shrubs, “This month several of our trees and shrubs have finished flowering and their berries are colouring up.”

Two plants feature on the opposite page to the hypericum, a lily and a fritillery, where I shared a photo and an i-Pad sketch.

The next collection of plants to be featured are daylilies or hemerocallis, of which we have over thirty different cultivars. I wrote, “Our collection of Hemerocallis adds so much to our garden, where we have planted them in virtually every border. Each individual flower lasts but one day but more keep coming to replace them. You can eat them too!”

 

On the page opposite I shared a watercolour painting of the beautiful Lysimachia ‘Firecracker’.

Over the page to the next double  page spread we discover photos of agapanthus on the left hand page and a little rodent visitor to our garden on the right. About agapanthus I wrote, My flowering plant of the month of August is agapanthus. We grow a collection in our gravel garden called the ‘Beth Chatto Border.”

About the rodent I wrote, “Common Shrew live throughout our patch, surviving for just one year they live heir life at speed. We see them as they rush from one border to another, not wishing to be spotted by one of our many birds of prey who frequent our garden, Kestrel, Sparrow Hawk, Owls and Merlin. We welcome shrews as they enjoy slugs and snails as snacks.”

I really enjoyed the challenge of sketching a Common Shrew using watercolour paints and fibre pens.

My journal for August finishes with more pictures of colourful plant combinations and communities we have created in our garden. “Our patch is a very colourful place in mid-summer with each border home to a variety of flowering herbaceous perennials.”

We will see my garden journal again in September.

 

 

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Walking the Shrewsbury Loop

Our county town, Shrewsbury, sits neatly and comfortably within a loop of the beautiful River Severn. Our hamlet, Plealey is just six miles south of the town, a very convenient distance for us as we are out in the South Shropshire countryside but a short distance by car to our county town.

As we came out of lock down, we decided to have a day off from gardening and go for a walk along the banks of the Severn, starting at the Welsh Bridge following the loop around to the English Bridge and back into the town centre.

We entered the riverside Victoria Quay passing a plethora of ugly signs and followed the quay with its rather gaudy hanging baskets and planters on the riverside fence. It is from the quay that The Sabrina, a pleasure boat, gives trips down the river for tourists and locals alike. On the left are fashionably popular eateries, including one of our favourites, The Armoury. A very popular riverside public house, The Boathouse sits on the opposite bank just before the first bridge that we pass.

We were surprised to see that the children’s playpark had been updated along a Charles Darwin theme, as Shrewsbury is the town of his birth. Along side the park was a new outdoor cafe with seats overlooking the Severn, so obviously we were tempted by takeaway coffees and cookies. Shrewsbury is famous as the home not just of Darwin but also Sentinel steam lorries and here we found one serving snacks and drinks to walkers passing by. We walked further along the bank-side path enjoying views through the bankside trees and hedges. Some of the willows have been sculpted by pollarding by previous generations who trained them in this way to get long straight whips of willow for basketry, a very important craft at the time.

The final picture in this set shows a lady pulling a canoe on a trailer, who we first spotted on the Welsh Bridge on the same route as us. We couldn’t work out why she was pulling it so far with a beautiful river alongside her. It was obviously hard work as she stopped frequently. It kept us amused!

 

Signs of an early autumn, golden dried leaves at the bases of the lime trees in the lime avenue, were prevalent As we walked further from the park we found these beautiful apartments in a converted brewery – what a view!

Shrewsbury boasts so many bridges of varied style and age.

    The oh so ugly railway bridge!

Our riverside walk was full of surprises, such as a clay tile piece of craftwork created by a local school, a beautiful modern building sat above the ancient town walls, the oh so steep St Mary’s Water Lane and a determined rose bush!

 

We enjoyed finding this piece of philosophy on a brick wall, before we reached the weir which was our point of walk’s end. Here we turned back and made our way back into the town for a well-earned coffee.

Although we have followed this route many times we still find it of interest!

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Are you sitting comfortably? No 14 of a very occasional series.

Here we are back with another of my lost episodes of this series, no 14

Here we are back with another selection of garden seats we have found while visiting gardens. I hope you enjoy them.

I will begin with seating we spotted at this year’s RHS Tatton Park Flower Show, in displays and in show gardens. Few  show gardens at RHS shows are without at least one bench for two, so there is a wide variety of styles to suit the variety of garden styles. In the show gardens the seats are designed to be looked at by judges and visitors so do not need to be either comfortable or practical.

      

Let’s move on now to seats we discovered in open gardens either through the National Garden Scheme or open all year. These should be comfortable to use and perhaps worn out from too much use or too much exposure to the elements.

This first batch of photos were taken at a local garden, Wollerton Old Hall, a truly remarkable garden because of its strong design but also because of the plants there.

 

This final group are all seats we found at a garden surrounding Harvington Hall where we visited for traditional English afternoon tea.

We hope you enjoyed this selection and we will soon be back with more examples for you to look at.

 

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Are you sitting comfortably? – Part 7 in this very occasional series

When checking through my past posts in this series I actually found 4 that I had prepared but never posted, so here is the first rather late as it is No 7! Enjoy anyway!

We will began my seventh selection of seats found in gardens I visit with Jude the Undergardener aka Mrs Greenbench, with a selection we discovered while exploring the wonderful Lake District. We will begin in the garden at Hill Top, where the seating was all very rustic.

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The selection at Ruskin’s Garden, Brantwood was even more rustic and fitted well in their environment.

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The seat we loved most of all at Brantwood was a big throne of slate slabs which was Ruskin’s Seat where he sat and thought and did much of his writing.

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In complete contrast the seats at Holker Hall were very varied both in design and materials they were constructed from.

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So that is it for my 7th post in this very occasional series of posts on garden seating. i hope you found them comfortable and enjoyed the views from them. I will be compiling number 8 as soon as this is published so we have lots more seats to sit upon.

 

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Are You Sitting Comfortably? – No 18 in an occasional series

Here we are with the 18th post in this series all about garden seats which we discover and like on our many garden visits. I will cover gardens we visited in the spring, beginning with Whitlenge Gardens and Nursery, a garden designed to spotlight the owners garden planning business. I hope you enjoy looking at the selection.

We visited our friend Julie’s garden with our Hardy Plant Society mini-group and found a few chairs there too, including a set of four pieces made by her son, beautiful simple pieces sitting in a shaded woodland area.

 

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Succulents in Flower

We grow dozens of succulents especially aeoniums and echeverias. We love them because they give us wonderful variations in foliage, texture, colour, pattern and shape, but they all will throw up a flower spike on occasion. This week we suddenly had a few flowering all at once, so enjoy my photos!

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Gardening in Lockdown – Lilies

Mid-June in lock down is a good time to admire lilies flowering throughout our borders and even the first flower of Hemerocalis, the Day Lily. Enjoy my photos of some of our lilies.

 

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Gardening in Lockdown – Aeoniums

Aeonium have been one of my plantaholic obsessions now for several years and I am still slowly adding to my collection. Recently I have managed to acquire a few cuttings of varieties previously unknown to me such as Aeonium ‘Kiwi’ and Aeonium lancerottense.

Kiwi is a variegated cultivar with pale greens highlighted with creams and oranges. I now have it well rooted but it is still very small. It will be a really special feature of my collection before too long! The A. lancerottense is similar but just a little more subtle in colour.

 

Aeonium ‘Kiwi’                                                   Aeonium lancerottense.

Most aeonium tend towards varied combinations of purple and green.

     

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Gardening in lockdown – new Sempervivum

Each spring I try to buy some new House Leeks, Sempervivum. This year though we couldn’t go out and choose some from nurseries due to “lockdown” so it was a case of ordering online. But it was exciting opening the packaging!

Here are some of my new acquisitions – enjoy! The beauty is in the detail.

The first two photos show selections planted out into two trugs, one wooden and one  a traditional Sussex Trug.

One set I bought had tasty names all named after fruity items which also related to their colours.

Sempervivum ‘Berry Cherry’                            Sempervivum ‘Cranberry Cocktail’

Sempervivum ‘Appletini’                                   Sempervivum ‘Cinnamon Starburst’

The others below are equally beautiful and interesting but came simply called mixed collection.

I will finish off with one more named variety which has lots of babies beginning to grow around its perimeter which will become useful cuttings later this summer.

Sempervivum ‘Big Cherry’

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Gardening in lockdown – Solestemon

Coleus were so popular as house plants for years, grown for their amazingly, coloured, patterned and shaped leaves. They used to flower but the blooms were a waste of time and often weakened the plants enough to finish them off.

We are now growing a collection of named varieties in the greenhouse for summer interest. We grew them all from plug plants. The botanists have now changed their name from coleus to solestemon, a much uglier name!

Here is a gallery of our collection for you to enjoy. As usual just click on the first photo and navigate using the arrows.

Posted in colours, garden fun, garden photography, gardening, photography, Shropshire, South Shropshire | Tagged , , , , | 5 Comments