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Glorious August

Posted on 3rd September, 2016

Here we are in the peak of our summer. August should bring us plenty of long and hot summer days where hopefully we can sit and enjoy our hard work.

  

 

However there are still jobs to be done to keep everything looking at its best.
 
Roses should be continuously dead headed back to a strong leaf bud to encourage more flowers to develop.
 
I will be still spraying them with a general fungicide as I am battling with black spot on some of my roses. This was possibly due to the wet June and most of July which encourages the fungus to spread.
 
 
The herbaceous borders are at their peak but as the month progresses flowers will fade and if left can make the borders look unsightly. One of my favourite flowers at this time of year is Rudbeckia. They put on a magnificent show of often bright yellow flowers with a dark centre which will flower non stop right into the Autumn, also great for cutting for vases.
 
Watering is an ongoing ritual. I always water early morning and last thing in the evening. Pots and hanging baskets dry out so quickly as do greenhouses. Remember to ask a neighbour or friend if you are taking a holiday to look after them. Keep a check on pond levels too as they will probably need topping up each week. 
 
 

 

Lawns can look tired and often turn slightly brown if you don't manage to water them. I tend to let them do their thing and not worry too much. They soon recover in September and green up. What I do though is to raise the blade on the lawnmower which helps.

 
One question I'm always being asked is 'when do I prune my wisteria' well, the answer is now, and again in January.  So, a young plant might need some new growths tying in to make a framework. But any long shoots that are out of control should all be cut back to 20cm which is about 5 or 6 buds from the main framework. 
 
This is what encourages the bud formation for next years flowers.
 
Another thing I will be doing which is a useful tip is to take plenty of photographs of your garden, especially where you might not be happy with a certain area or maybe a plant might need moving or a gap planted this winter as by then I will have probably forgotten how it looked.
  
 
 
 
 
 
And finally, last week we were excited to find a hedgehog nest which just looked like a pile of leaves but out came 3 babies or 'hoglets' as they are properly known. We released 5 from a rescue centre a couple of years ago. They are a great natural predator of slugs so it's good to know they are thriving at Smiths Hall.
 
So to round up this month, keep watering, dead heading, weeding and enjoy your garden!

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