August is a lovely month to be outdoors, although after the hot conditions we’ve had recently, many plants are looking a little tired. Give plants a weekly feed and deadhead flowers regularly. Roses that have been pruned and deadheaded will bloom again well into autumn.
If you need inspiration, pay a visit to the garden centre and you might be tempted by a few new additions that you can plant and then admire from now right into the autumn. Perennials are coming into their own now, with a huge variety of shades, sizes and versatility. Think about using the right combination of shrubs to set off the plants and the space around them to create the best effect.
There’s still a lot of summer to be enjoyed and plenty of bright colours are provided by late flowering perennials such as Agapanthus, Michaelmas daisy, montbretia, phlox, dahlia, and Echinacea. They often continue flowering until the first frost arrives.
Bulbs arrive mid-August to be planted in late August or September. There are many kinds available including daffodils, snowdrops and tulips for a burst of colour early next year. You could also snap up the autumn flowering crocus. Use a slow release bulb feed and bulb fibre to give them a healthy start. Mix horticultural grit with the compost to improve drainage, as bulbs don’t like to be sodden in wet weather.
Flowered herbs such as thyme and lavender need a trim to stop them becoming woody. For a steady supply of fresh herbs like parsley in winter, cut the younger leaves, rinse, dry and place in a plastic bag then pop it in the freezer. No need to chop it, simply crush them gently when frozen and use as required.
Leave out a fresh water source by keeping a bird bath topped up and having a bowl of water at ground level for parched wildlife.
Until next month, happy gardening!