We are back having a look at my Garden Journal 2022 to see what has been occurring in our garden in the month of August, a month of heatwaves and drought this year making gardening challenging.
I wrote,“August is the traditional month to take a holiday and schools have broken up for their summer breaks. The NGS Yellow Book of gardens open for charities also seems to be having a quiet month.
But for us there is plenty to enjoy in the garden and jobs to be done. Our work with the NGS runs down and this month sees the last group visit to our garden, a local WI Group.”
Below are a few photos of the visitors discovering what our garden has to offer.
Over onto the second page of the August entries I shared my sketches of our everlasting sweet pea after writing, “Annual sweet peas flower strongly in the summer giving all sorts of colours and sweet scent. The perennial relatives, Lathyrus latifolius, comes in far fewer colours, just pinks, and sadly no scent.”
I chose Japanese Brush Pens to sketch a spray of one of our plants.
I share more sketches over the following three pages, beginning with pencil and crayons for the dwarf chestnut. I noted that, “Now that tree flowers have finished they have started to form nuts or fruit. our dwarf horse chestnut tree has set its ‘conkers’. Its leaves look typical of chestnuts with large 5-fingered hands, just like the one we enjoy in the UK. Our UK horse chestnuts with either white or red/pink flowers are not English at all but arrived in the 1600s having been collected in the Balkan Peninsula. English or not they are one of my favourite trees.”
Our dwarf chestnut is called, Aesculus mutabilis induta.
Two further sketches of tree foliage and fruit follow on, the first being one of our birches. I noted that, “We have several forms of Betula albosinensis around the garden and these are showing signs of developing both male and female flowers. Male flowers will become catkins as the seasons move on.”
The sketch using pencil and Derwent Intense pencil crayons, illustrate the foliage and flowers of Betula albosinensis ‘Chinese Ruby’.
The next page featured a further small tree and its flowers and fruit where I wrote, “Our ‘borrowed landscape’ has tall densely grown hedges made up largely of Hawthorn, often called ‘May Blossom’ due to its frothy white blossom in May. Sadly, its flowers give off the aroma of cat urine!.
We grow a different hawthorn in our garden, Crataegus imperialis ‘Splendens’, which has the white flowers followed by red berries in common with our native but very different simple foliage. “
Turning the page once again I feature another of our trees but this time I look at its bark in particular. I wrote that, “Prunus serrula must be one of the best trees for gardens of all sizes. Our’s grows in the line of trees acting as a windbreak along one side of our back garden.
It is grown for its polished silky bark from which black-brown strands peel and eventually drop. It is then popular material for nesting birds.
The bark colour is a rich coppery-brown, rarely seen elsewhere.”
My next page for August features our wildlife about which I noted, “Wildlife continues to delight and entertain us as well as working for us as predators and pollinators.
When we work in the borders fledglings join us especially robins and blackbirds who see us as colleagues so have little fear.
Our garden is such a magnet for wildlife and it must seem so rich for them amidst such sterile farmland.
Overhead buzzards and red kites take advantage of thermals while nearer the ground swallows and hose martins gracefully hunt flying insects. Young birds join us as we garden confidently following us around. Too confident is the young robin who follows me so closely he nearly trips me over and he tries to land on my head or shoulders.
Our lovely daughter Jo bought me a wildlife camera and the robin managed to get in the picture. We now know that not just hedgehogs enjoy our feeding station – she is joined by wood mice with their big satellite dish ears.”
The final two pages for August are all about berries, one about sorbus and the other Hypericum inodorum, and I wrote of the sorbus, “Berries on trees, shrubs and some climbers are now fully formed and are turning from shades of green towards their richer autumn tints. Below is a gallery showing nine of our sorbus varieties. We shall visit them again later when that happens.”
I continued about the berries of hypericum where I wrote, “We grow lots of cultivars of Hypericum inodorum which give such a range of berry colours throughout the garden. Earlier in the year their golden yellow flowers with long yellow-orange stamens look so cheerful, each tipped in bright orange.”
That is it for my look into my Garden Journal for August, but we will look again in September.