Mid August News

Saturday, August 18, 2018

There has already been a lot of news to report on this month;several short breaks, in Devon, Gloucestershire,  Bucks,  and  Somerset. Broadcasting of the Gardeners' World episode on 10 August featuring Cilgwyn Lodge, and new plants in the borders coming into their prime. In an attempt to avoid another monster news bulletin at the end of this month I have decided to do a mid month post, saving some of my usual News format until then.

Cottage Garden Picket Border


 Paddock Garden


Red Border





The major event was the broadcast of Gardeners' World. It isn't often that you get the opportunity to appear on nationwide TV, and share you garden with the watching public. We do hope that you managed to watch it and if you did so, we were watching it for the first time that you were. I had no idea how I was going to come across, having the role of presenter, which I really enjoyed, even though the Director decided on the format and content. Having delivered talks to gardening clubs and societies over a good number of years, and welcomed many visitors on National Gardens Scheme open days for 16 years, I was used to speaking to a live audience!

In a 7 minute slot,  shot over 7 hours and pasted together, it was amazing where all the footage went to! It was not surprising then that all the many highlights in the garden could not be included. What I thought I would do,  that you may enjoy and give you a greater insight into the whole of the summer garden, was to publish pictures taken by me during the course of the month, and latterly since the programme was broadcast.

In a great year for crocosmias, Emberglow lived up to it's reputation as one of the best, long flowering too.


 Thalictrums and phlox in the Paddock Garden



The approach of autumn as rudbeckia var sullivantii "Goldsturm" comes into bloom. Just like rays of late sunshine. One of the flowers I look forward to most for it's sheer joyousness. For that reason it was chosen as the banner image for our website



Hydrangea paniculata "Vanille Fraise" continues its flowering metarmorphosis from white to deep pink - just like that!



Late August is a good time to enjoy a range of more unusual plants coming into bloom for the next couple of months. One becomimg quite popular is the genus roscoea



More familiar is sedum 'Autumn Joy', now re-named Hytolephium Herbstfreude Group. The buds are not yet open but already create an attractive effect.


 A pleasing combination of an uknown highly scented lilac phlox, paired with hydrangea paniculata in the turning pink phase



Nicotiana knightiana, a rare form which continues on giving, not because it is perennial,but it is an annual that seeds around some years, in the most unexpected places. Up to 5feet tall.


Clematis x triternata  Rubromarginata:- dainty highly scented flowers over 6 weeks or so



 Another overpowering scent, especially in the evening, is very welcome from this brugmansia in a large pot outside the conservatory. Overwintered in the large tunnel with several others and cuttings as backup, it justifies the cost of heating it in a bad winter like this year



More scent,, in the Paddock Garden this time, comes from one of the very few flowers we have had on impatiens tinctoria this summer. It has been ravaged by capsid bugs which destroy most of the flowers. It has been a thorough nuisance on a whole range of host plants for many gardeners.



Salvia "Love and Wishes" in perfect harmony with artemesia ludoviciana "Valerie Finnis" It and  other artemesias and silver leaved plants tie in all the other sun lovers growing in the sunny rose garden. That shot of silver running through gives great  flow and harmony to that large border.



Going back to Gardeners' World, We were overwhelmed  by the number of e. mails we received, almost as soon as it ended, from a wide range of correspondents, particularly of course many of our friends and gardening acqaintances. There were also posts on social media which I don't belong to but friends who do passed on posts to us. I even had messages from former work colleagues, some of whom I have not heard from for many years!! All very exciting and enervating. Where I could, I believe that I have replied to everyone. If you didn't hear from me for any reason, please accept my sincere apologies and thanks for taking the trouble to do so.

Perhaps the most amazing thing was that the number of hits on our website was up 175% from the previous week It was the most activity we have ever had since we started it in 2011 which makes it all worth while. Please keep visiting us to find out what we are doing and how the gardens are faring.

One area of the garden in particular which was rather neglected in the programme was the vegetable area which has been one of the loves of my gardening life for as long as I can remember! It has been an exceptional summer for most crops, for all but runner beans and some brassicas. Cabbage white butterflies are still like a plague of locusts, capsid bugs, some clubroot, flea beetle and the pestilent blackbirds on sweetcorn and tomatoes.

 Caterpillars on winter savoy


 Capsid bug infestation.



Cutting down all the potato haulms has opened the cleared ground to weed seeds. More work to do!!


 Clearing the ground has also provided the space to plant out late leeks and a late sowing of autumn salad crops




Outdoor Ridge cucumbers "Market More" have cropped magnificently all summer. For my taste they are infinitely better than the greenhouse forms. That is a bit of a cop out because I have never had any success with them!!


 Some freshly gathered crops for supper. French beans in green, purple and yellow  - the latter form called "Polka", a deliciously buttery taste and very tender even when larger.