August seems to be bringing out the listlessness in me. It is something to do with the weather and the fact that loads of people seem to be on holiday. I know that I should be using this month to be organised and useful in preparation for the Autumn. But I am not.
I should be ordering bulbs and getting ahead with plant lists. Writing things and dealing with a number of other ‘portant things.
But instead I am pootling around , looking out of the window and eating biscuits interspersed with brief bursts of extreme activity. It is much easier when the sun doesn’t shine.
I made a very vague commitment to write about gardens last time we met so I will endeavour to stick roughly to the point. In this garden I am cross with most of my Dahlias. Usually they would be beefy, strapping fellows by now with ripe thighs and deltoids like pig iron. They are not: they are not dying or sick just a bit feeble. I have cast about for some sort of plant food in the shed and am now dosing them with some Phostrogen I found (i). They better perk up or there will be words.
On the wildlife front: the poppies are being eaten by Blue Tits which is very charming, the swallows are flicking through brochures and lining up on electricity wires chatting about migration, Chiff Chaffs are all over the place chuffing and chaffing and young jackdaws are sunbathing on the barn roof. This last is a very odd sight as they stretch out their wings and look as if they have been spatchcocked .
There are ladybirds everywhere: they can be a little bit creepy en masse. As if they are just watching and biding their time. Like the birds in The Birds, but with fewer feathers. Enough wildlife, I think.
I do have a couple of gardens that are looking (if I might be so bold) extremely alluring right now. This one I have written about before (I cannot exactly remember when) and it appeared in Gardens Illustrated when it was younger. The strutting hunk of beefiness that is M.Wilson wrote the piece. It has now grown into itself rather well and gets me quite flushed.
The second one is much younger as I only planted it this year but the idea is to form a giant sized meadow with, I think, about 1500 Calmagrostis and all sorts of other things flitting about amongst the grasses. It is still young but bits of it look very promising. It needs time and for the builders to go away.
What else? Oh, I had my first semi-official RHS duty to perform yesterday. I went and sat in a comfortable meeting room surrounded by portraits of bearded dignitaries (ii) and talked to a very nice chap about the RHS web presence. I think it may need a bit of attention.
So that’s it really. Some gardens, bit of lethargy, odd bursts of enthusiasm, sunshine, tennis. August in a nutshell.
I am listening to the Test Match.
In 2006 I had just got back from holiday.
This time in 2007 I was writing about other Garden Blogs (including my first encounter with his Highness The Garden Monkey).
In 2008 it was raining and I was watching the Olympics and going to Watford.
The photograph is of Sanguisorba CDC282 and some Verbena bonariensis.
(i) Interestingly I was once arrested for being in possession of a jar of Phostrogen. The police thought it was altogether something more exotic and were rather disappointed to discover that I was a gardener and not Pablo Escobar in disguise.
(ii) If you are on Twitter I mentioned this before but one notable sported the enviable handsome name of The Rev H.Honywood D’ombrain. He was the Founder and First Secretary of The Horticultural Club and a fine figure of a fellow. His father was in charge of the Irish Coastguard and young Henry was brought up in Dublin where, apparently, “a bed of Persian Ranunculus made a deep impression on him”. He went on to found the Rose Society, be awarded one of the first VMHs and grew a spectacular beard. So now you know.