The Garden in August

What a dreadful weekend of rain!  I ventured into the garden on Monday morning to survey the damage to the plants.  The secateurs went into action and by Monday afternoon the garden was mostly just a sea of green.  But it’s only early August, and there’s still new growth on the roses, so hopefully (weather permitting) there will be some fresh colour in a few weeks time.

If you’re feeling a bit fed-up with your garden right now, scroll to the bottom and just listen to a lovely little bit of soothing inspiration!

I did say in the Garden in June post, that I’d let you know how the cut-and-come-again seedlings from Sarah Raven performed – so here they are.

Cut-and-Come-Again
Clockwise from top: Calendula officinalis ‘Indian Prince’, Salvia viridis ‘Blue’, Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens’, Euphorbia oblongata,

Overall I’m fairly pleased with them – and I’ve had quite a number of vases filled over the past few weeks.  If I had any gripe it would be that I feel there’s too few of Calendula Indian Prince.  I realise that it’s role is to add a splash of contrasting colour to the display, but they tend to go over much faster than the other plants, and I find that I’m having to remove some spent flowers from the vase and add in some freshly-cut blooms to keep the arrangement looking good.

Would I buy again?  Yes – but next time I’ll try growing from seed and cut the cost.  I’ve let some of the Calendula go to seed, and I’ll collect those. Cerinthe major self seed naturally, Euphorbia is a perennial, so only Salvia seeds need to be purchased. I’m hoping to have more pots full of these next year – almost for free.

Free Plants

Talking about free plants.  If you don’t have a garden, and the cost of a mixed tub or two for the front door puts you off, try buying a few Kindergarden plants early in the year – they’re very inexpensive and there’s a good selection of plants, including pelargoniums (geraniums).  They’re normally in Garden Centres from February. Pot them on, into a larger pot and grow them on a window ledge until the weather warms and they can go outdoors.

Pelargoniums (geraniums) are super easy to take cuttings from in August or September, they will grow on your window ledge over winter, and you will have fresh plants – for free – for the following Spring.

Pelargoniums-on-Doorstep
Pelargoniums (Geranium): If you can find space for a few pots, you can enjoy a cheerful display at your door for very little cost

A few more August beauties

August Flowers
Clockwise from top: Sunflower ‘Earth Walker’, Coneflower, Cosmos, Love-in-a-mist, Japanese Anemone

The Vegetable bed and the Greenhouse

There was great excitement this morning when I discovered three little ripe and ready-to-eat cherry tomatoes in the greenhouse!  August, and they are just starting to ripen!  My excuse is that I planted late 🙂 but this is my first attempt at tomatoes and yes…it’s exciting!

Ripe-Tomatoes
Cherry Tomatoes – delicious!

However, my excitement was dampened a little when I also discovered that two plants had collapsed onto the plant in the middle.  (Note to self: improve the method of supporting the plants next year!) I reckon this must have happened fairly recently, as I’m in the greenhouse (almost) every day – but a number of the unripe tomatoes have dropped off.  Not sure if this is because of the collapse, and perhaps they were not getting enough air, or if it’s lack of nutrient of some type.  Perhaps if someone has an answer for me you could get in touch… 🙂

In the vegetable raised bed the broccoli and cauliflower has been harvested. In their place we have planted some potatoes – in the hope that we can have some home-grown on the table at Christmas.  Perhaps wishful thinking, but we’re giving it a try.

In the greenhouse the tomatoes are mostly still green, and some peppers are ready for picking.

Peppers_Tomatoes-a

To do in August

In the Flower Garden

  • Remove dying flowers as soon as they begin to fade. It stops the plant from putting energy into forming seeds and encourages annuals to produce more flowers throughout the season.
  • Take clematis cuttings
  • Prune ornamental cherries during hot and dry weather to reduce the risk of silver leaf disease
  • Plant autumn crocus
  • Water pots and hanging baskets regularly
  • Collect seeds from flowers
  • If you have Lady’s Mantle in the garden, cut it back now before it forms seeds
  • Camellias need plenty of water during the summer in order to produce flowers next spring
  • Buy pansies and other winter bedding plug plants to grow on under cover
  • Take cuttings of Pelargoniums

Hardy annuals can withstand a touch of frost and can be sown or planted straight into the ground in the autumn. In very cold areas some Hardy Annual seedlings benefit from being covered, or kept in a cold frame, or unheated greenhouse. Always refer to instructions on the seed packet. Here are just a few examples of what you can sow now:

  • Calendula (Marigold)
  • Centaurea cyanus (Cornflower)
  • Californian Poppy
  • Nigella damascena (Love-in a mist) (Half-Hardy Annual – must be sown by end of August)
  • Orlaya grandiflora (White Lace Flower)
  • Papaver rhoeas (Corn Poppy)
  • Salvia viridis
  • Scabiosa atropurpurea (Pincushion Flower)

In the Vegetable Garden

  • Trim leaves from strawberries once they finish fruiting.  Plant rooted strawberry runners into a new bed.
  • Pinch out the tops of outdoor tomatoes, as further flowers are unlikely to produce ripe fruits
  • Sow parsley in pots for use in winter and spring
  • Lift onions once their tops die down
  • Harvest fruit and vegetables throughout the month
  • Ensure all crops are well watered during dry spells

Come to my Garden – from The Secret Garden – Mormon Tabernacle Choir

Music and nature are a powerful mixture – if you feel you need a little bit of inspiration right now, take a few moments to watch this wonderful piece by the Tabernacle Choir.

That’s all for August – Happy Gardening!

4 thoughts on “The Garden in August”

  1. the flowers in your doorway look lovely, must fill my pots for next year to put in my front garden, you have inspired me thanks. The whole of our back garden is overflowing with vegetables and fruit we usually have enough to see us through the winter, that’s all thanks to William with a very little input from me. But I need to get myself going for next year, with planting flowers in pots.

    1. Must pop down and see your veggies Frances! 🙂 Something is feasting on the leaves of the plants at the front door – can’t see what it is – but I think it might strip the leaves bare very soon! grrr…

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