End of Month View – September 2015

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What a stroke of luck I booked this week off work!  The weather has been glorious, although with a marked nip in the air at night, during the day it’s been warm and sunny.  I love September.  Some people groan “oh it’s climate change”, but I remember going to school in September dressed in a summer dress, pullover and blazer, by lunchtime we would be sitting in the sun on the school fields having discarded our pullovers and jumpers.  50 years ago no one used the expression climate change – it was just the norm.

I am writing this on the 2nd October, a few days late for the EOMV, and it’s still warm and sunny.  The only bugbear I have at this time of year is fighting my way through the spiders and the many webs they have managed to weave around the garden, trapping me at every turn.
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I do think that the plants are a little confused, and have been lulled into believing it’s still time to be flowering.  My Compassion Rose is still in bloom, and today I noticed a lot of greenfly.

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I am still cutting sweet peas, but I suspect this may be the last lot which is sad as I have had an excellent supply for my mum, who loves sweet peas.

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I also noticed that Penstemon ‘Sour Grapes’ , whilst looking a little leggy is producing new flowers.

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In the middle of the garden, Penstemon ‘Garnet’ and Salvia ‘Hot Lips’ are not ready to close down for autumn yet.

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I tried to get away from the pink theme in my garden this year but by default and not design it would seem that pink is still the predominant  colour, after green.  However, I am really proud of the Cosmos ‘Pied Piper’ grown from seed, as long as I keep remembering to deadhead them on a regular basis they are providing lots of colour in the bottom border.

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The side patio was becoming a bit of a jungle and in need of a serious tidy up.  It is now looking a little better and the garden wheelie bin is almost full. Here, again, the spiders lay their traps for me, stringing their webs from one side to the other, which makes it a bit like running the gauntlet when I go to the bins.  I now carry refuse bags in front of me, face high but still get caught sometimes.

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As I was photographing the garden this morning, I noticed that the Fatsia Japonica is throwing up their peculiar spikes of what I suppose could be called flowers.

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At this time of the year the hydrangeas slowly move into their autumn shades.  The Madame Emile Mouilliere is turning from a pure white to a pale green tinged with pink.

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Still on the side patio. I am not sure what happened but a few months ago half of the choysia died.  I lopped off all the dead parts and am happy to say that it has recovered and is healthy again.  It did me a favour as it was really rather large and it now a lot neater.

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Regular followers of my blog will know that I have been reviewing an online 4 week container gardening course run by MyGardenSchool.  It has made me take stock of the odd assortment of containers and plants that I have dotted around  and  I am slowly having a sort out and rethink.  Looking after pots of plants requires a lot more thought than I usually give them which is probably why they always look so neglected by the end of the summer.

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Moving on to the back garden again.  The north facing side of the garden will not see anymore sun now until next year.  It gets very damp and boggy, fortunately the hydrangea and astilbe live very happily in these conditions.

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On this trip around the garden, a quick visit to the front garden, which doesn’t often get a look in. The Cotoneaster is glowing red in the sunshine and always amazes me, it grows in the wall and I can’t think where it gets its goodness from.

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That almost ends my EOMV tour of the garden for the end of September, well two days into October! Before I go, let me share the Sedum which is looking magnificent, as usual, and the nasturtiums that always appear about this time of the year and brighten up a dark corner.
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Thank you Helen from Patient Gardener at http://www.patientgardener.wordpress.com for hosting the End of Month View. Please hop over to her blog and take a look at all the other EOMV’s from a whole load of other garden bloggers from around the world as well as the UK.

End of Month View: September 2014

I have contributed to the End of Month View meme hosted by Helen at Patient Gardener since 2011, so it is with interest to go back three September EOMV’s to assess if the garden this year is behind or ahead of itself which is about average with no surprises.  Despite a cold August, we have had a very warm and dry September.  I heard on the radio this morning the weatherman saying that September 2014 may well be the driest September since 1910.   The empty water butts are testament to this.  Today I woke to rain which was pleasing to see, but it didn’t last long.  However, I did manage to loosen the hard impacted soil with a hoe and had a bit of a tidy up.  The trouble with soft soil it is an open invitation to every cat in the neighbourhood to use it as a public convenience!

In the last few EOMVs I have concentrated on plants and not really given an overall resume of the garden and what it looks like as a whole.   This month is a warts and all post.

First, are the roses which are still looking good and continue to produce buds which is always pleasing.  Most of the roses are in the flowerbed which is in the middle of the garden and in full sun all day.   As soon as the ground is soft enough to work, I want to round off that bed by about 2ft/3ft to plant more perennials.   I have ordered a lot of spring bulbs from J Parker & Sons and would like to make a show of the tulips and daffodils.   Parkers seem to be taking their time in delivering them though and I have already chased them once to be told I should receive them shortly.

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At the back of the house the raspberries have been incredible this  year.  Supposedly autumn raspberries, I have been picking fruit since early July and can’t give them away quickly enough.   Last week when the window cleaners came I gave them plastic bags and told them to help themselves – they were delighted.   I know it has been a good year for fruit but I also wonder how much a good helping of fish blood and bone in the spring has had a lot to do with how prolific they have been.

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If you follow my blog you will know what a nightmare time I have with ivy, most of which comes from neighbours either side.   I have started to cut down some of it on the left hand side of the garden, but the previous owners have now moved and the buyer has not yet moved in.  Once he has established himself I will try to pick a good moment to ask if he could cut his side down.    Meanwhile in desperation tried to spray some of the new shoots with weed killer but to my annoyance it made no difference!

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He will get a lot more sunshine in his garden as I have found when my other lovely neighbour has started to remove the ivy from his side.  Although it is only a small section at the moment, it has made a considerable difference to the amount of sun and light in the garden.

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The left border, which is south facing, is a bit bare having lost a lot of plants this year.  They suffered from a combination of drought, snails and an element of the ivy sapping goodness from the soil.   This is where, last year, I had Echinacia, Rudbekia, and Geums, all of which were lost.

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A the bottom of the garden, west facing, the Dahlias and Cosmos are still in flower, although I cut the only magenta dahlia flower for my previous post “In a Vase Monday”, so it is looking a bit bland.

The compost bin is next next job especially having read Helen’s recent post about compost.  Also I am going to make some leaf mould in bags this year, whereas I usually just throw the leaves into the compost bin.

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The right-hand border, north facing, is looking lush.   In the spring when it was so wet this part of the garden was really boggy and then, being clay soil, became rock solid.   The Alchemilla Mollis is spreading, but does fill in what would otherwise be gaps.   The Elderflower (Sambucus Nigra – Black Lace) needs a good prune at some time, it has grown into a bit of a beast.   It needs careful attention because it only flowered at the top of the tree this year and wasn’t so impressive.   In the spring when visiting The Harold Hillier Gardens in Romsey, it was interesting to see that they had cut their Sambucus down to about 3ft.  I wonder if that was just to get a good shape and leaves only, or if they flowered also.    Because of its size it blocked out a lot of sun this year so I will bring it down to below the height of the wall.

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I’ve got some brown patches on the lawn which look a bit ugly.  I think this is thanks to foxes but I am not certain, anyway  it needs a lot of attention, as this year lots of weeds have also appeared.   It is full of clover and “mind-your-own-business” Soleirolia soleirolii as well.   There are times I am minded just to leave it as it does make for a green lawn, but now these brown patches have appeared a trip to the garden centre will be on the cards.

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The patio is retaining its jungle quality and the passion flower  growing over the water butt is still flowering.  I was looking at the Japanese Anemones and have put off cutting them down today, however, I am having the side window replaced on Friday and the men are going to need to access it so they will have to be  pruned by then which  is a bit sad as they are still flowering.

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I will leave you with another pic of the garden this last day of September 2014, bathed in sunshine after a wet morning.

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As always, thank you Helen for hosting this great and exceptionally useful meme.   Click HERE to visit her Patient Gardener blog and read all about how other gardens are doing at this time of the year.

 

End of Month View: September 2011

A little late I am afraid.  I wanted to try to make the EOMV for September as interesting as possible, mainly because very little has changed in the garden since August.  Autumn is slowly creeping in but we are having a very warm spell at the moment which is throwing the plants completely.  I saw on the television that some that are not supposed to flower until Spring are a little confused to say the least.

I looked at doing another video as I did for May and decided against it, for a number of reasons, mainly because my neighbours may think I have lost it completely walking around the garden talking to my camera!

So, in an attempt to do something slightly different, I have made three collages:

The good things:

  • Although the snails are chomping at the Rudbeckia, it continues on regardless.
  • The sedum is looking a fantastic colour.
  • The salvias are still flowering.
  • The Passion Flower is blooming still with a passion.
  • As for the Michaelmas daisies – they are just wonderful sugary pink pom poms.

The not so good:

  • When I was away, something (a cat I suspect) knocked over a number of plants, and my Chocolate Mint smashed leaving the roots bare to the elements.  It is struggling but I am hoping it will survive.
  • The molluscs have eaten the Astrantia down to sticks.
  • I forgot to water the Freesias in this dry weather and they have given up the ghost for this year now.  I had wanted to get a few more flowers from them but it is not to be.

The Wonderful:

  • There are still some great things happening in the garden but this is one of the greatest.  The Gardeners Delight tomatoes I raised from seed are just that… a delight.

Lots of interesting and exciting things are happening in other people’s gardens.  Helen  The Patient Gardener  hosts this monthly Memo so please pay her a visit to take a look at both her garden and the links to others who have contributed to the September End of Month View.