Watering, flower arranging & meadow sowing
Updated: Mar 1
Now we’re into August, a warm walk around the garden in beautiful sunshine reveals just how much everything is drying out after such a long hot summer. The earth is parched, the grass has browned and seed heads are beginning to come to the fore. Tall perennial plants, such as the yellow verbascum and the pink, red and white hollyhocks, which only a month ago were fresh and blooming, are now clumsily collapsed across pathways and setting seed.
As we continue to harvest crops and deadhead flowers to encourage more of each, it’s really important to keep plants sufficiently watered. This is especially the case with those in containers, and any newly sown seedlings such as late season beetroots and spring flowering biennials such as sweet Williams and wallflowers that can dry out very quickly. Ever mindful of conserving water where we can, this year we installed guttering along the sides of our large polytunnel to collect the rainfall. But we could really use a good downpour to refill the water butts and rejuvenate the rest of the garden.
To make the most of all the lovely flowers currently in bloom, local florist Joe Porritt paid a visit to share her expertise and lead a socially distanced flower arranging workshop for everyone at the garden. A great time was had by all and the resulting displays were stunning as blue agapanthus, pink and white asters, deep red dahlias, orange gladioli, and striped red and yellow zinnias all jostled for attention beside carefully positioned foliage. It really is a wonderful and joyous art form and it’s great to think of a condensed essence of the garden accompanying everyone home at the end of such a fun day.
Looking ahead as always, we are intending to do an autumn sowing of a native wildflower meadow seed mix over the circular areas of grass that we left unmown since late spring. We’ve already strimmed the long grass stalks and raked them away. All that’s left to be done is scattering the seed and the planting of some spring bulbs such as crocus and muscari that can be left to quietly naturalise until they surprise us early next year.