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  • Debi Holland

Garden News Mag August


Delighted to share my August garden musings from Garden News magazine.

It has been a month of contradictions in the garden; too much of this and too little of that.

Many beautiful blooms have shone such as salvias, hollyhocks, penstemon, and sunflowers, some plants have taken on their annual invasion, Buddleja mint is guilty of swamping raised beds although it is an utterly stunning moth magnet but I have also noted the gaps in the borders.

I was rather late planting out my dahlias this year so have a little delay on those flowering but late season blooms will be welcomed. I have been growing lots of herbaceous perennials from seed such as antirrhinum, rudbeckia and Tellima grandiflora and rooting cuttings; once established these should really bring summer colour where I currently have an abundance of faded honesty seed heads.

I have been collecting poppy and calendula seed from spent flowers, redistributing to different areas of the garden and popping spare seed in envelops for friends.

The greatest joy in the garden this month has been watching Miscanthus sinensis, maiden silvergrass, return from the dead.

I rescued a large clump of Miscanthus from a bonfire pile, where it had sat, bare root, in the sun for a few days but grasses are very resilient so I relished the challenge of resurrecting it. Armed with an axe I divided the clump into four and rehomed in glazed pots with a view to eventually finding them a permanent place in a border.

It is fantastic to see the lush green foliage erupting from the base. Amazing what some fresh soil, rainwater and seaweed feed can do!

An area of the garden that really makes me smile is Terracotta Terrace. This little decked area used to be my son’s wooden fort but all that remains are a few boards, which make excellent tiered levels to display pots.

The space is full of terracotta-potted herbs: sage, chives, thyme, feverfew, pelargonium cuttings of ‘Mrs Pollock’ and various succulents. This wall is a suntrap so an ideal home for Mediterranean plants.

The VW wheel planters have been phenomenal and we have been harvesting kale ‘Scarlet’ and beetroot ‘Boltardy’ for weeks. The beetroot has been delicious roasted. Tomatoes are swelling by the day. I am particularly pleased with my grown from GNM seed, ‘Tigerella.’ The green stripes look so inviting. Can’t wait to eat them!

Many self-seeded wildflowers have been happily rampantly spreading around the garden; the strongest contenders have been ragwort and red valerian. Both have been strutting their stuff in the front and back garden and have proved a big hit with local wildlife as well injecting a vivid shot of colour around the borders.

My highlight: David Austin rose ‘Spirit of Freedom’ has been exquisite. You can lose yourself in the complicated petal arrangement and the sublime scent.

All photos © Debi Holland Gardening 2020