High summer in the garden! And in August the garden season seems to pause in its headlong journey through the year. It is as though it has spotted the edge of an abyss and stopped to consider. This is a great time for us, to catch up with a flurry of dead heading and weeding, while the garden gets its second wind. This month I’ve made two new grass prairie style borders to lengthen the interest though the season. So join me for this month diary as high summer gives way to autumn.
Just as suddenly, with September, the mellow autumn days arrive, along with a fresh new momentum to the garden. A flamboyant final flourish and the grasses are in flower.
Impression of high summer
Planning for autumn interest
This August I started to plant two new borders in the lower spring garden, for autumn interest, with prairie style perennials and grasses. This is a departure from the Garden’s normal subtropical/formal/ Mediterranean style. The south westward facing terrace is going to be home to an herbaceous border of sorts. I hope the new twin borders will compliment the season and give pleasure to our guests, right through into the winter time.
Our new herbaceous/prairie plant combination
The plant with pride of place in the border is Russian sage (Perovskia atriplicifolia) We bought these as plug plants last year after an inspiring visit to The Bonython Estate Gardens. You may recall they were eaten by rabbits upon the first attempt at planting the border? Well they have been cosseted back to life, in pots and carefully fed and watered through the summer until ready (ish) to replant!
After a lot of agonising, I chose some grasses to accompany them. First of all the ethereal, wispy, Stipa Tenussima drift through the planting and then some tall willowy Pennisetum with a floating cloud of bunny-tail like seed heads for drama. Finally, I added a few Echinacea Purpurea (white swan) that are a quite delicious looking white daisy that should flower well into October.
The border’s insurance policy!
This time we looped rabbit proof fencing around the twin borders in the hope, and it is only a hope, of keeping the pesky bunnies at bay!
Impressions of August and September at Ednovean
A jungle walk
The pathway that forges through the shelter belt has a jungle like effect. It twists and turns, occasionally opening on to tiny grassy clearing or bench hidden in an arbour before being confined again by the shrubs. I wanted to disorientate our visitors about the distance they had walked and I knew it had worked when a friend helping me said “Oh I thought we had much further to go!” as we reached the lawn below.
The autumn light
The bright sharp sunshine of summer has given way to a golden tawny light of autumn now. And as the days shorten I have invested in a few solar lights to spotlight our palms in the courtyard and highlight the Olive tree.
Thank you for joining me as our garden’s at Ednovean Farm change from hig summer to gentle autumn. Watch out for my regular updates on our Facebook page or Instagram until next time!