August 2018

Diary index

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High in the Sky

I'm a unashamed advocate of tall plants - even for small gardens. They add drama, exercise your neck in a different direction and bring the sky into the garden making it seem bigger and wider. Eupatorium Atropurpureum is one of my favourites although this year he has needed  a bit of watering.

August 1: Higher and Higher

Talking of tall plants, isn't Rudbeckia Herbstsonne looking good this year?


At the other end of the height spectrum, our shorter crocosmia are now flowering. Tall Lucifer is just about over but there's lots just starting. This is the stunning Prometheus; watch out for him in our catalogue in future years..

August 3: Gaudy

Some people of taste might find our garden a bit gaudy. They're wrong. It's a lot gaudy!

.. but there's a limit

having said that we don't shy away from guadiness there are some combinations I feel don't really work. One is pure white alongside off-white. This is Succisella inflexa Alba and I've been waiting over a year for her to flower. She definitely isn't pure Alba - a hint of pink or lavender definitely. I'm pairing her with Salvia Trebar Lilac White.

Common Blue

This slightly battered, worn and faded Common Blue caught my eye today leading to momentary excitement that an unusual species of blue had strayed onto our patch. The worn underside wings show more blue and less orange. He (and it is a male) is really enjoying our Verbena bonairiensis.

Lady Blue

This is the female Common Blue. Similar to the male on the underwings but very different on the upper side - hardly blue at all

The bees knees

There's been some talk about which variety of helenium is most attractive to bees. My view: they couldn't give a damn - it's whichever is giving the most at that moment.

August 14: Big and bold

Some plants and flowers have been small this year due to the drought. Crocosmia Mephistopheles has enormous flowers this year - twice as big as previously.


Just love the way this Verbena bonairiensis floret has wafted into the trumpets of Crocosmia Firejumper. Nature creates some bold colour combinations.

Fine and feathery

It's not all hot and spicy in our garden, Sanguisorba hakusanensis provides some refined delicacy to our planting.

Painted Lady

I was wondering where all the Painted Lady butterflies were this year and lo! and behold! one appeared and was completely besotted with our Verbena bonairiensis.

Spilling out

The seed heads of Stemmacantha centauroides (syn. Rhaponticum centauroides) are opening and the seed-carrying parachutes are spilling out. We don't have a lot of luck with germination with this seed. We're going to try sowing now and leaving outdoors through the winter.

August 21: Mount Fuji

Just love the shiny black beetle on the pure white of Phlox Mount Fuji

Sun through sun

Sunshine shining through sunflower (Helianthus Triomphe du Gand

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