This Month

This Month September 2014 - Sunday, 31 Aug 2014

I have been spending some, quite pleasant hours, in the shrubberies weeding and clearing out and cutting back the under-planting. It is quite satisfying especially as I see each area finished with the only other job in these areas being the winter pruning. I was surprised to see that one of the Cardiocrinum had flowered, I had only planted them recently and didn’t think they were old enough to flower, sadly I didn’t actually see it but hopefully others I planted will burst into bloom next year. In the same area the Kirengeshoma is looking very good, well suited to the cool moist shade and looks so fresh when so much else is getting that Autumn feel.

I am pleased to be getting the shrubberies tidy however I turned my back for a nano-second and then find the fruit cage is knee high with weeds yet it isn’t long since that was looking all in order.

I am expecting the imminent arrival of a box of bulbs, I can’t remember what we ordered or where we thought we would plant them but that should be a pleasant interlude from the other jobs.

I did finish tidying the large herbaceous bed in the Lower Garden, there were several gaps as we lost quite a few perennials in the wet of last winter. These spaces have now been filled with plants that had seeded themselves into the vegetable garden such as Foxgloves, Verbascum and Verbena rosea Hastata, the later should look good planted en-masse by the Cercis Forest Pansy which is at one edge of the bed.

We have been enjoying our aubergines which have cropped well though the greenhouse is a bit of a muddle as I haven’t had the time to keep it in good order like mum usually does. The damsons are ripe early and I am trying to decide what to do with them, or at least some of them, as the freezers are full and we haven’t used much of the pickle or wine from last year.

Some of the young trees have grown a lot this year including the lovely Oxydendrum arboeum (Sorrel Tree or Sourwood). There is something about that tree which I find very special, I don’t know if it is the lily-of-the-valley-like flowers or the scarlet foliage which are both in evidence at this time of year but it definitely speaks to me. There again I often speak to it too! I think I should have it for my Plant of the Month even though I may have done so in a previous year. It’s slender trunk and pyramid-shaped crown may reach between 20 - 40ft (6-12m). There is only one species of Oxydendrum and it is native to eastern USA. The name is taken from Greek meaning sour tree and refers to the sour tasting foliage. It grows in sun or part-shade in moist soil. Propagate from cuttings in summer or from seed.

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