Grow-How Tips for September

We’ve been lucky enough to stay on in Normandy for longer than other summers (oh how I’m loving retirement!), but the climate isn’t very different from most of England. It’s been windy here too admittedly, but nothing like this week’s damaging gales in Scotland (sorry to hear about that, Caroline). Our big pond is very low, though, and the garden is crying out for a few day’s solid rain.  Still, let’s get on with a few tasks while we are waiting for that to happen……. STUDYING DIVISION AND MULTIPLICATION I could never make head nor tail of these topics in maths at school...

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Ageing gracefully the Growbag way

I am still smarting from a passing comment a stranger who thought Caroline and I looked similar, ‘were we sisters, or perhaps mother and daughter?’ The cheek of it! It must have been Caroline’s  pink leggings and silver trainers compared to my more tasteful attire that prompted this observation (think Joan Collins versus Judi Dench) but it set me thinking about how some humans and plants age more gracefully than others.  The wild clematis, Clematis vitalba, which thrives on the chalk soils of the South Downs (and is known locally as ‘travellers joy’ ) is one such. Small, creamy, nodding...

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Sanguisorba ‘Pink Brushes’

Like an eccentric but glamorous great aunt, my plant this week is a wonderful example of how to age gracefully! Going grey yes, but losing any other attributes, no! A bit like going to a big family party, I walk into the garden and there she is, you can’t miss her – tall, willowy and colourful; I am thrilled with this new(ish) addition to my autumn border. When I first started gardening I distinctly remember growing salad burnet (Sanguisorba minor) in my herb garden. Little did I realise what a large, varied and interesting genus it was, but back then...

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Grow-How Tips for Early September

What an interesting summer of gardening it’s been! I feel the effect of this year’s strange weather – one of the hottest on record – might be seen for several years to come on insect and bird populations as well as our garden-plants. Round here, the August rain has gone a long way to making the bog plants feel more comfortable again when all the heat-loving things have rushed to set seed. There are still plenty of things to be getting on with, and here are a few: HARDY ANNUALS FULL OF HOPE Early September is a very good...

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