My August entries in my Garden Journal 2016 see me beginning Volume Two. On the first page I look back to my original garden journal’s August entries.
“I made my first ever entries for our new garden in August 2003. We moved to “Avocet” our Plealey home on 8th August. I wrote, “The garden needs our love and attention after 6 years of neglect. It is a garden of straight lines and loneliness, lacking in wildlife and its inherent vitality. It lacks colour.” Things are very different now 13 years later. The garden is now full of wildlife, full of calming atmosphere and peace. It is a garden that attracts many visitors each year and people enjoy hearing our talks about it.”
Over the page I considered the way light in August changes the look of the garden.
“On bright days in August the garden looks very different depending on the time of day. When the sun is at its highest point in the sky the hot colours really burn and shadows deepen to jet black.
I then looked at Salvias and share photographs of some of those we are growing in our patch.
“Every few years I like to set myself a challenge in our Plealey garden. For the last few years I have been trying to master growing and keeping Aeoniums. This is coming along well now so for this summer my new challenge is to discover lots of beautiful varieties of Salvias and learn how to grow them well. We already have a large collection so the next part of this challenge will be over-wintering them. These three (in the photos below) show the vast range of colours available from the deepest blue, the brightest pink to the gentlest of yellows.”
On the opposite page I featured a selection of eight of the Salvias in flower in our patch in August. I have included a couple more here too for you to enjoy and to help us appreciate the variety we have.
I move on in my journal then to look at very special and very unusual perennial plant, a Diascia. On the page opposite I share a few of our new sculptural pieces in the garden.
“One plant that always attracts admiring glances is this pink gentle giant, an evergreen Diascia, which is called D. personata “Hopleys”. It is an exceptionally good garden performer, growing to a tall six feet and flowering from May to December in a good year.”
“We love sculpture in the garden and in our patch”Avocet” in Plealey we mostly choose metal or stoneware pieces as these enhance the planting rather that dominate. Recently we have added four new new iron work pieces, two based on seed heads – Clematis and Allium – plus a new bird bath.”
Here are three of them, the fourth appears later.
I then move on to one of the brightest of garden perennials to grace borders in the UK, the Crocosmias.
“Various Crocosmias feature throughout the patch and in August many come into their own, showing off their yellows, oranges and reds. We have dozens of different varieties. Here are a few ……….. “
Firstly the yellows ………….
…………………….. and then the oranges and reds.
Returning to the sculptural pieces we have recently added to our garden collection, I introduced another 5 pieces.
“Two new bird sculptures joined us too, one metal, a Wren, and one ceramic, a Blue Tit. The Blue Tit piece doubles up as a planter for some of our many Sempervivum, as does our chestnut shell sculpture.”
“A Begonia Rex adds colour, shape and texture to our stoneware Green Man planter, one of a pair.”
“The moon-gazing Hare.”
“We grow many different Echeveria in terra-cotta pots and pans in the Rill Garden and on our drive edge. These mostly have glaucous leaves and produce flowers of subtle blends of pink, salmon and orange. Recently we acquired a new variety with almost black succulent foliage, Echeveria “Black Prince”. Imagine our delight when it gave us these beautiful red flowers.”
“For this month I have decided to paint two delicately coloured flowers, a yellow Linaria dalmatica and the china blue climber and scrambler Clematis jouianiana.
On the opposite page I finish off my entries for August by looking at some of our newly acquired plants.
“We are always adding new plants to the garden at Avocet and indeed a few found their way in during August. Here is a selection ………. “
“New Honeysuckles to clamber up our new willow hurdles.”
“A white Physostegia to accompany our pink one.”
“Crocosmia “Okavango” and “Salvia leucantha “Eder”.
And there ends my journal entries for the month of August. Our next visit to look at it will be in September a month that the meteorological office places in autumn but us gardeners tag it onto summer – a much better and more accurate idea. We move into a much quieter period now as we have completed our NGS open days for this year and have received the last of our visiting groups.