Read my latest column in Garden News magazine September 2021 and see what I have been up to in the garden this month.
Sun and rain, followed by drizzle and more rain provided the perfect combination for a lush summer garden, even if it wasn’t what I was hoping for during August, although it meant one less task as the evenings drew in. No watering required except for pots.
Our tree fern ‘Dicky’ Dicksonia antarctica, sent up stunning plumes of green foliage and produced a fern umbrella around ‘fern corner. This little pocket of the garden gets a reasonable amount of shade so we have been gradually adding ferns, utilising our cool, damp shady zone. Harts-tongue Asplenium scolopendrium, bracken Pteridium aquilinum, Cristate Broad Buckler fern Dryopteris austriaca 'Crispa Whiteside' and soft shield fern Polystichum setiferum rub shoulders alongside Barred horsetail Equisetum japonicum and sedges.
Linaria purpurea, purple toadflax has bloomed in abundance this year. It self-seeded prolifically in the main border but what a welcomed positive addition to the garden, the bees have flocked to it; some evenings the flowers have literally been covered in pollinators. The plant requires little maintenance, I just leave it grow and occasionally go round with snips and prune off any deadheads, which are quickly replaced by more blooms.
The buddleja mint is still providing a haven for pollinators from flies to moths and I was very pleased to see a small tortoiseshell butterfly relaxing on a leaf the other day. And the Moroccan mint is providing me with a constant supply of tea! I’m addicted to the aromatic flavour and scent.
It was finally time to cut the front lawn …for the first time this year! The mixture of long grasses and wildflowers has been an absolute delight. All have had plenty of time to self-seed for next year’s display.
I love propagating plants and couldn’t resist seeing if some cast-off prunings from a fig tree managed to root. Overjoyed to find bright shiny green fig leaves gracing the stems.
My houseplant collection has been thriving. I have been keeping on top of watering and feeding. The great success story is my Begonia rex that I grew over six years ago from a leaf cutting, has returned from the dead and is flowering! I have also been growing cuttings in water and now have a healthy new Tradescantia zebrina and many mint and rosemary plants, which will make lovely presents.
And in other news…Fred embraced the staycation movement by spending his summer holiday in a tent in the garden!
Highlight: Getting our first crop of plums from our own fruit tree.
All photos © Debi Holland 2021