Lawn needs some TLC
A retired NHS consultant from East Lothian, learning that time, patience, wildlife and dirty hands make gardening an absolute joy.
Having been away from home for a month, I was worried what the garden would look like on my return. The tiny patch of lawn was mown while I was away, but that was all. There has been decent rain, so the grass is green enough, but the bare patches I tried to repair in spring persist, so it’s time for another go.
The borders aren’t as messy as I’d expected, but some leggy plants have grown beyond their supports. Achilleas and heleniums, for example, have fallen over the asters, which are now mildewed-looking, as is the monarda which has been trapped under some fennel.
The agapanthus were excellent in pots this year and I’ve cut back the spent flower stems. I hope they’ll survive the winter simply placed in a sheltered spot.
In the borders, radiant white Japanese anemones are at their peak and glow like lampposts at dusk. After cutting back the delphiniums early after their first flowering, two second spires of dark blue flowers have appeared. The echinops globes are beginning to fade, but are still attracting bees.
Berries are abundant on elders, hawthorns, pyracanthas and cotoneasters, and there are clusters of hips on some roses. A clump of autumn crocuses has appeared from nowhere, like a gift, at the edge of the lawn.
I haven’t seen greenfly on the roses this year and like to think it’s a result of planting a few garlic cloves nearby. I may get a couple of floribunda roses for the raised bed near the back gate, which is dry and in full sun, but needs something bright and scented.
A robust philadelphus by the fence needs a major cut. I should have removed old flowering stems in July, but will now learn from experience. I’ve cut back lower branches of two buddleja which were obstructing a path, but will leave the rest until spring.
I’ve just discovered The Gardener’s Year by Karel Capek and recommend it for hilarious descriptions of the ups and downs of gardening!
Some unexpected colchicums and, right, rusty-red heucheras
Despite a bit of overcrowding, blooms have come thick and fast, such as brilliant white Japanese anemones
Smokey blooms cover the purple foliage of cotinus
Berries abound on hawthorn and cotoneaster in vivid scarlet
Fading fast, but still bringing in bees, are the echinops
This is our overgrown bed, which will be tidied up and made smaller