We’re weeding, pruning and planning
The month of August has continued to be quite hot in the southeast of the UK. This has unfortunately led to our water provider implementing a hosepipe ban. Still, hey-ho, we’ve all got to do our bit.
Last month I feared, due to the drought, that we had lost one of our beautiful new clematises. However, we have now spotted new fresh shoots appearing at the base of the clematis. I’m not saying we’re out of the woods yet, but there are certainly positive signs.
I mentioned in July’s roundup that we may have a new lodger in the garden; well, it turns out we are right. I’ve been filling up a couple of flowerpot dishes with water every evening. Most mornings, when I look out onto the patio, one of them is empty.
Yes, we have a hedgehog. The other evening in the midst of our second heatwave, we sat out on the patio until it was nearly dark. Suddenly, I spotted a dark image by the water trays. Watching it was incredible; our little spikey friend was enjoying its newfound watering hole.
Once it had finished its drink, it trundled off and wandered around the bottom of our cold frame, out the over end and then headed off behind our patio pots; I’m hoping he went looking for slugs.
What we’ve been up to this monthIn the garden and on the website
Similar to July, August has also been slightly slow due to the heat; however, I have managed to tidy up the front garden, which looks much better.
We needed a tree removed from the front of the house, which had become quite large, and a holly tree lopped back so we could manage it as a smaller bush. This has now been cleared, and the guys shred and dispose of the green waste ethically, so all good.
Our tomato plants are bursting with fruit; we’re struggling to keep up with the pace that they are producing tomatoes. We have created a delicious roasted tomato base which we will use this evening on ciabatta.
I must say our chillies are coming on leaps and bounds. We’ve had the first crop of our Jalapeño chillies and made a jalfrezi curry. They were fantastic but reasonably mild; I think our Zimbabwe Black chillies may be a little hotter, and they have also started to turn red.
Did you catch our update on our chilli plants?
In one of our previous posts, you may have seen that we installed an irrigation system; now, with the hosepipe ban in place, we were obviously concerned.
We did further research on the South East Water website. Thankfully they allow drip or trickle irrigation systems as long as they are fitted with a pressure-reducing valve and a timer. Luckily, we tick all those boxes, and we are exempt. Consequentially our patio Is colourful; however, our main garden isn’t.
Take a peek at how we are coping with the drought.
This month we’ve written an article on ‘The Gardening Pruning Groups’; yes, the RHS have made it easier for us to understand.
Achievements for AugustLet’s keep ticking those boxes
Due to the heat here in August, we haven’t quite devoted the usual couple of days a week to the garden, but hey, we’ve squeezed in a few hours here and there on cooler evenings.
So, let’s see what we’ve managed to tick off for August.
Lessons learnt & mistakes madeYou live and learn
Although we have had fantastic results from our tomato plants, the tomatoes have become too heavy. This is my fault, as I should have positioned them along the fence so that we can put sturdier supports in place. It has now become a bit of a juggling challenge.
I have a question for you: do you allow your tomato plants to grow high, or do you remove the stems once the plant has produced four or five? I’m not too sure what is best.
When we were planting our cottage garden border earlier in the year, I thought we had too many plants. Not only did we have around 30 new perennials, but we also had existing ones and lots of annuals. However, I didn’t expect most of our summer colours to disappear by early to mid-August.
More planning for colour is required for 2023.
Our plans for the coming monthWhat’s on your to-do list?
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