1st August 2018
AUGUST-In search of shade & colour
AUGUST – In search of Shade and colour….
If you are feeling a bit hot and bothered then I’ve got some fabulous tips for creating shady retreats where you can relax on a warm summers day. Plus great plants to grow for Summer colour, and plant advice to keep you busy plus don’t forget our ‘Summer Glow Workshop’ to keep your skin glowing and hydrated in September.
August can be a riot of colour, but it can also be a difficult month where plants have gone over, the pastels have faded with seed heads appearing, but it is also about the hot colours, the reds, yellows and splashes of a vibrant purple or magenta.
The tall spires of verbena mixed with the golden seed heads of various grasses , Calamagrostis ‘Carl Forester’ which stands 1 meter tall is stunning mixed with Provoskia (Russian Sage) a vibrant purple hard not to be wowed. Or the beautiful seed heads of Pennisetum Hameln mixed with wonderful majestic flower heads of echinacea ‘Mooodz awake’.
Sedums are also invaluable from greens to deep maroons work well with vibrant greens.
So check out our Planting packages to solve the problem area or if starting from scratch, we can help.
So in search of shade, head to the trees as they create cooling patches, but consider your choice of tree carefully. If you have a small garden and the house is not far off, then choose maybe a deciduous tree that comes into leaf late and meets autumn early or a fine leaf tree that filters light rather than blocking it.
The density of the shade is mainly determined by the size of the leaves and the way they fit together. In general trees with fine leaves will produce light shade while larger leafed species will throw deeper shade. An example of fine leaves would be like an Acer or ‘Sorbus Vilmorinii’, an elegant tree with pretty feathery foliage, white flowers followed by clusters of berries and great autumn colour growing to 5meters.
The density of the shade will affect the use of the ground beneath your chosen tree, and if you fancy a wonderful cooling Rhubarb Gin under a dappled light then ‘Robinia pseudoacicia ‘Frisia’ will produce a evening golden light. It is fast-growing and prefers full sun, and rarely exceeds 8-9meters. Or the Grape vine hung over a pergola is also a wonderful evening delight with large leaves yellowing through late summer.
For a dencer shadier area, the Liriodendron tulipifera (tulip tree) has a beautiful shaped leaf and tulip flower in summer, good autumn colour but is for a larger garden as is fast growing up to 10meters. Or more exotic look try the Cercis canadensis ‘Forest Pansy’, the foliage turns bright reddish purple in autumn with sumptuous dark heart shaped leaves growing to 4meters.
or sit under a pergola of wisteria interwoven with grape and Kiwi fruit! crazy I know but very cool!
Or go for Shade Sail, tensions through robust rigging screws and anchored to oak posts or something solid like a wall or pole can look and work great in creating a cool area.
There is also the Louvre roofing system, that at a flick of switch can open and close, come rain or shine. We can design the space and fit it to your requirements.
JOBS TO DO IN THE GARDEN
Think about next years spring flowering bulbs on rainy days only…
Many of the early flowering pants will be exhibiting ripening seed pots so rather than leave, now is the time to collect a few into brown paper bags and labelled.
Summer pruning of early flowering shrubs like philadephus, ligustrum can be tackled now along with the evergreen hedges on an overcast day.
THE VEG PATCH
Water water and water…..
Pick the final crop off the Rhubarb and check out this months divine ‘Rhubarb Gin’ recipe perfect for a hot summers evening.
Continue picking all varieties of beans , the star of the season with us is the amethyst dwarf been – stringless and delicate.
Cucamelons we have tried for the first time and amazing, they are climbing up twigs and spring onions which have gone to seed.
THE CUTTING GARDEN
Divide and conquer- bearded iris’s are one of the most beautiful spring perennials in a awesome range of colours and clumps need dividing every third year.
Take a spade and dig up established clumps, tease the clump apart discarding the the old shrunken rhizomes.
Leave each juicy rhizome with a good selection of leaves.
With secateurs , trim each fan of leaves back by two thirds and remove old leaves about 10cms in height .
Now choose a place in full sunshine, they need rich well drained soil. So plant with the rhizome 1/3 sticking out of the soil facing the sun.
Bearded iris prefer slightly alkaline soil and as most soil is slightly acidic a sprinkling of lime (Dolomitic lime – slightly higher percentage of magnesium) and water well, this will get the plant off to a good start.
THE HERB GARDEN
Prune back the Lavender once it has flowered, collect and dry the stems …. Our October Autumn Workshop is around the corner and this will give you lots of lovely ideas and uses for this great plant.