Garden Notes for August

Mike and I have just returned from a holiday in Cornwall and we paid a visit to the Lost Gardens of Heligan. It was quite a nostalgic trip through their vegetable and flower gardens. In the walled area where flowers are grown for cutting we saw zinnias, asters, sweet william, dahlias, Gypsophila, Godetia and Clarkia. Many of these are still grown today but I remember a time when they were the common bedding plants in everyone’s garden before petunias took over. They made a wonderful display along with the late flowering perennials - Heleniums, japanese anemones, Rudbeckia and Echinacea – and , of course, the sweet peas. We sat in a shady part of the garden and noticed that, in spite of the heat of summer, there were a number of plants that were thriving. The ferns always give good value and there was a fuchsia at least 12ft tall growing against a wall. It was probably a variety called Lady Boothby, a climbing fuchsia. Their hostas looked good too but I couldn’t find anyone to tell me their recipe for slug slaughter. I have a number of hostas at home. They have been sadly neglected this year and it is clear that those most resistant to slug damage are Halcyon (almost a blue leaf) and June (the prettiest leaf of all). They have come through so far with very little leaf damage. We were lucky enough to pass the peach glasshouse at the right moment and were offered a white-fleshed peach each. It was ripe, warm and aromatic. There are peaches growing in Eckington so maybe it is worth a try! It is difficult to say which jobs have priority this month. The berry-picking season is over now but the garden is full of vegetables and plums to pick and early apples will be ready shortly. Continue dead-heading spent flowers to make them keep producing. Cut down any that have finished and are very untidy, but be aware that any perennials cut down now will not produce a second crop of flowers. It is too late in the summer for them to recover before next season. It is a good month for taking cuttings of shrubs, heathers, hydrangeas, geraniums and fuchsias. Gritty soil encourages rooting. Shrubs may take a year or two to root. It is also a good month to re-do tired borders. Plan. Prepare the soil. Then wait for the autumn sales at the nurseries. If you would like help with the planning stage we are happy to help. Just ask Cathy or myself.


Vegetable plants available from Spring/Summer 2014

CropAvailable from:Approx cost
Broad Beanslate March£1 for 4
Lettucelate March£1.50 for 6
Salad Leaveslate March£1.50 for 6
Peasearly April£1.50 for 50cm
Mangetout & Snap Peasmid April£1.50
Tomatoesmid May£1.00
Chardmid May25p
Dwarf French Beanslate May£1 for 4
Climbing French Beanslate May£1 for 4
Runner Beanslate May£1 for 4
Leekslate May£1 a pot
Courgettelate May£1.00
Cucumberlate May£1.00/ £1.50
Peppers (Sweet & Chilli)late May£1.00
Aubergineslate May£1.00
Squashlate May£1.00
Rhubarbearly June£1
Sweet Cornearly June£1 for 4
Florence Fennelmid June25p