Garden News Magazine August 2021
If you missed the magazine in the shops, read on to see my Garden News magazine August 2021 gardening column and see what I have been up to 'Over the Fence.'
It’s funny how plants go from nought to sixty, flamboyantly throwing out bloom after bloom and then suddenly run out of steam, before you know it you are looking at a sea of seed heads! Well this month there has been a fair amount of cutting back and clearing out and a huge amount of seed collecting.
The July heat wave dried seedpods to crisps so it was prime time to harvest and store seed. I now have envelopes packed with aquilegia, nigella, poppy and ox-eye daisy seed, ready to decant for gifts and seed swaps.
As ‘No Mow May’ slid into ‘Let it Bloom June’ and ‘Knee High July’ our front garden needed some TLC so we mowed a path around the edge to prolong the wild border. I didn’t have the heart to mow the flowers down earlier. Grasses seeded and ragwort and mallow replaced ox-eye daisies and hawkbit, continuing to provide habitat for wildlife and our cat Fred – although Fred is equally smitten with the new path and is frequently seen doing slow laps!
My tomatoes were disappointing this year, not for the want of trying. Trays of seeds were filled with promise and then keeled over! So it’s been slim pickings. A few mature plants have battled through and given me a modest crop. Deflating but it won’t stop me trying again next year.
I was excited to win an Instagram giveaway by Bluebell Cottage Gardens and Nursery. What a great excuse to get some new plants (as if I need an excuse?). Stipa tenuissima 'Wind Whispers,' Nepeta 'Six Hills Giant,' Salvia nemorosa 'Ostfriesland,' Geum 'Totally Tangerine,' Aster macrophyllus 'Twilight' and Monarda 'Squaw' are settling into their new nursery bed to bulk up over autumn. Over the moon to receive these gorgeous plants, many have been on my wish list for a long time.
Mentha longifolia, buddleia mint is in full flower. This plant is an enormous hit with moths, bees, hoverflies and flies, and is basically enormous and rather invasive but I love it! The original one litre pot is now working its way along my raised border. I turn a blind eye to its creeping nature as it is so popular with pollinators.
I love the challenge of nursing ailing plants back to health so seized the chance to purchase four poorly zonal pelargoniums ‘Grandeur Classic Cardinal’ from my local greengrocers. After snipping off the yellow leaves, deadheading and submerging in a tub of organic seaweed water they bounced back to produce new flowers. Immense satisfaction and a good buy at 50p a pop!
Highlight: Picking sweet peas each evening for little posies to dot around the house. I will miss these highly scent blooms.
All photos © Debi Holland 2021