We have a confession to make – the last couple of months it’s all gone downhill. Right in the middle of the crazy gardening season we’ve let things slide and feel pretty bad about it all.
To say our garden has been neglected is an understatement. At the beginning of May Andy and I jacked in our jobs and opened a village shop in the wonderful village where we live just outside the Snowdonia national park.
Turning an empty room into a shop and café has been the most insanely rewarding thing we’ve done but we’ve discovered in the middle of the hard work that sometimes you can’t do everything. Getting home from long days of hard graft the last thing we wanted to do was head out into the garden – unless it was to sit down and have a beer.
But now August is here and this weekend we’ve dedicated as much time as possible to sorting everything out. So without further ado here’s what we’ll be up to:
If you’ve been good this year you should have constantly been dead heading your summer flowering plants. Deadheading stops the plant from releasing their seeds. Since this is their only goal – the plant will continue to create flowers to try and reproduce.
First thing on Sunday we’ll be deadheading everything in sight. Some of our plants look a bit beyond help so we’ll be eager to see if they re-bloom after some tough love.
We say ‘watering’ quite tentatively, as our garden is mainly full of alpine plants. We’ve had some crazy weather here recently including torrential rain for days followed but blistering days of sunshine. Rather than drown everything in sight, we’re going to spend some time this weekend checking how each plant is doing in the current conditions and watering only where necessary.
Containers and hanging baskets however will be getting a good drenching! (Using water from the water butts!!)
Sowing in the gaps.
Our garden is very much a work in progress (translation: a mess). So we’re really looking forward to getting out and seeing how things have developed over the last few months. Seeing what’s thriving and what’s not doing so well.
Every part of any garden is subject to different conditions including level of sunlight, wind exposure and water retention so we’ll be intrigued to see what’s flourishing and what’s struggling.
If we find any gaps in the borders we’ll make a list of seeds to pick up next time we’re in a garden centre. We’ll plant the seeds directly into the gaps towards the end of he month. These seeds should overwinter and begin flowering next spring.
It never seems to end and is one of my least favourite jobs but weeding is vital. Because of our lack of attention this summer we’re primed and ready for a big weeding session – but if you’ve been good, you should just be taking out occasional weeds as they pop up just to keep your already gorgeous garden at it’s best.
A good gardener thinks ahead, they don’t just react to the situation around them. (I hope you’re better than we’ve been!) In preparation for next year we’re putting together a whole plan of things we want to see in the garden. We’ll then work backwards as to when they need to be put in. For example I’m a big lover of Alliums and didn’t get around to sorting any last Autumn. This coming Autumn however bulbs are top of my list to buy and plant out.
Save some seeds.
Got some favourite flowers? Or some that have done particularly well in your garden. If so save the seeds – remove the seed heads before they open and then choose where to scatter them. Or save them and bring them on indoors ready to plant out more strategically.
So as August comes to a close we’ll be looking back at this year’s highs and lows whilst making big plans for the coming Autumn. For us this month is all about getting back on track. It would be all to easy to give up now and say “we’ll try harder next year” but I think by working hard to counteract our neglect we’ll be setting ourselves up for an even stronger year ahead.
If you’ve been good this season pat yourselves on the back – we genuinely hope you’re enjoying the fruits of your labour. If, like us you’ve let things slide don’t beat yourself up – learn from the experience and be a better gardener going forward. And never forget to enjoy relaxing in the garden – otherwise what’s the point!
If you’ve had a successful Summer in the garden we’d love to see the results.
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