The kids are back at school, and I can now turn my attention back to the garden. I did manage to do some gardening, here and there in August, but it was mainly watering and deadheading. Last week, I finally took down and plaited the garlic cloves that have been drying in my garage for the past two months. I lifted and divided a big patch of bearded irises that had got congested, a job I’ve been meaning to do since July. And I’ve just potted on some perennials that I grew from seed this spring that I’m hoping to plant out in Autumn. I’ve got rudbeckia, echinacea and delphiniums. It’s been far more satisfying than growing annuals from seed, because these plants will still be flowering in my garden for many seasons. Growing them from seed instead of buying them from a garden centre has saved me loads of money.
Perhaps that seems like quite a lot, but I’ve certainly spent less time gardening during the summer than I usually like to, and I’m keen to get my hands back in touch with my plants and my soil. I enjoy having the kids at home in the holidays, yet I miss having the time to look after myself that is much easier to come by during term time.
I’m planning to do a fair bit of pottering this month. I’m gradually pruning all of the climbing roses, wisteria, and perennials like the monarda and shasta daisies that are looking tatty. I’m still regularly deadheading sweet peas, roses and buddleja. I’m clearing out plants that are in the wrong place or just not worth keeping, leaving the gaps for now, to fill when the soil is more workable next month. I’ll also be pulling up the weeds that are appearing in the borders, and baby geraniums and grasses that have self-seeded in the wrong places.
September is a good month to buy spring bulbs while the shops still have lots of choice. I have bought some tulip bulbs, and will be ordering alliums and a few others soon. However, the soil in my garden is too dry and hard for bulb planting at the moment. Instead, I’m going to be planting tulips in containers for a lovely spring display. And I’ve just planted up some white hyacinth bulbs, to grow indoors, that will hopefully flower and smell delightful in time for Christmas. If you want to do the same, follow my guide and make sure you plant the bulbs by mid-September.
Finally, I’ll also be enjoying all of the late summer flowers in my garden. Remember the prairie border that I planned and planted in March? Well, it’s looking great and is filling my garden with colour, especially the rudbeckia, sanguisorba, heleniums, echinacea and zebra grass. It’s proving to be a fantastic border for pollinators such as bees and hoverflies. This is the view from my living room french doors at the moment, and it’s giving me so much joy.