Mudpies & Butterflies
- By Louise Barby
- 01 August 2022
- West Norfolk
Your garden jobs for August
“A garden is a grand teacher. It teaches patience and careful watchfulness; it teaches industry and thrift, above all it teaches entire trust” - Gertrude Jekyll
It has been brutally hot and dry for our English gardens. They will be struggling a little for sure. Above all, do your best to water using water from the water butt, keep weeds down and spray with a liquid seaweed to keep them as strong as you can while conditions remain.
❀ Flowers - Cut back flowering stems of hardy geraniums, right to the base for a second flush of flowers later. A Viticella variety of Clematis will provide late colour to a wall or fence. Many will tolerate semi shade and any aspect too. Watering is essential for camellias and Rhododendrons to ensure next year's buds set well. Prune shrubs if they have finished flowering to maintain shape and form.
☂ Bugs - Remove slugs and snails. Spray should you find green/black fly. You can spray with a weak washing up liquid solution, or just treat with a feed to make the plant stronger to fight for itself. Liquid seaweed is an excellent choice.
✄ Lawn - Keep blades high during dry weather, water with your water butt or sprinkler if necessary. Rest assured, even if the lawn is looking a rather pale version of it’s former self, it will soon recover with a few good downpours.
✔︎ Vegetables and fruit - Many crops have been harvested by now, if not, feed and water regularly. You can re-utilise the space by planting onion sets or garlic. Sow spring cabbage or winter lettuce to further extend your growing season. Pin down strawberry runners in order for them to take root, they can be removed from the mother plant later.
✔︎ Ponds - Keep the water topped up and aerated. The intense heat will be affecting the general balance. Scoop floating weed and algae from ponds where necessary.
If you are lucky enough to be taking a break from work this August and are staying at home, maybe invest in agapanthus, echinacea, rudbeckia or grasses are all fabulous options. They will inject renewed vibrancy in to your borders and will last well in to October if conditions allow.
Inspire children to become more involved in nature, join the challenge below with your leisure group, family or school.
There are lots of suggestions for both children and adults from pond dipping to a mini beast safari. Have fun :)
Don’t forget to stop and enjoy what you have created already this year. Don't be too critical of the failures, gardening is about trial and error. How else can be learn. Just sit a while with your favourite tipple and bathe in the successes.