So, I’ve been absent for a bit. Did you miss me? No, of course you didn’t, but I missed you!

Festivals and garden visiting for me this summer, with a few more still to fit in – my holiday break comes in the winter.  Do drop me a line and let me know what you’ve been up to!

taking stock

My dog Obi Wan died three months ago which bought me to a very sad place and a thinking crossroads where I decided to cope with and do the important things in life.  Things like getting out working earlier in the morning and not reading the paper.  Things like catching up with mates not seen in a long while. Things like gazing at garden books and taking evening walks sadly sans doggy.

So lots of important ‘things’ got done and, unfortunately, my newsletter wasn’t one of them.  And once I got over the fact that I wasn’t writing every month I felt quite comfortable with it. So in future, I’ll be writing when the mood takes me – straight from the heart.

and this year’s winner goes to…

Meanwhile we’ve all had one of the best summers for ages, my gardens are looking spanking, and I bet yours are too!  Masses of colour this year, one of the best years for butterflies and a burgeoning vegetable plot harvest.  I’m reading every day in the press… best year for Apples, best year for Plums, best year for Dahlias, best year for Potatoes.  Worst year for lawns though… you know I’m not a lover of grass anyway!

And all of this means next year is going to be good too because it’s uplifting and encouraging when stuff is successful in the garden and you’ll all want to get out there and repeat this year’s success.  So when the veg is picked and the flowers are finished, cover your beds with a huge layer of manure… you won’t regret it next spring.

things to do this month

Flowers in the gardens this year are still blazing and will be right up until October because of the sunshine; I’m still planting late bloomers like Rudbeckia, Helenium and Agapanthus.

The thing is, when you get a taste of brightness and bees and butterflies you just want it to go on and on, and it can, with a bit of planning.

September (ish) and onwards is the best time to plant trees, shrubs and hedges with the soil still warm and the winter rains coming.  Last autumn I planted copious amounts of evergreen shrubs such as Euonymus, Sarcococca and Ilex in a bid to stay away from Box, which, nationally is suffering from blight (spotted at Waddesdon Manor, last week), and I have to say, nine months on they are looking superb.

There’s still masses to do in the garden, baskets and tubs will go on and on if you trim and feed them.  Herbs need cutting back.  All your hedges should be done by end September and prune Wisteria.  Collect annual seeds and sprinkle everywhere; Papaver, Nigella, Forget-me-Knot, Aquilegia, Digitalis just throw it about and see what grows!