August in the Middlesized Garden – my garden failures and successes
August in the Middlesized Garden is a bit of a mixed bag.
August has been called ‘the Sunday of summer’, and there’s a lazy, idle feeling about the garden at the moment, which I will show you in video.
The highs and lows of the dahlias
The dahlias are out, but they are not the brilliant display of colour that I usually see in August in the Middlesized Garden. For the first time, there are significant gaps.
I don’t dig up my dahlias. I cut off the foliage and cover with a big pile of mulch. Last winter was very harsh (remember The Beast from the East?). And I was too busy to finish the job. I piled mulch on about half my dahlias. They survived.
The dahlias I failed to mulch have died. At least it proves that mulching helps your dahlias survive. Read this if you don’t want to dig your dahlias up for winter or watch this, if you prefer finding out how not to dig up your dahlias in video.
And I cut lavender ‘into the brown’
When I first grew lavender in this garden, it quickly got straggly. Why couldn’t I have neat tailored mounds like I saw in professional gardens?
Once I asked professionals about it, I discovered that ‘don’t cut your lavender down into the brown wood’ doesn’t mean ‘be very cautious when you prune your lavender.’ You can, in fact, cut back quite hard provided you leave lots of tiny buds lower down. Now our pruned lavender looks neat, sculptural, and really quite ‘brown’ in places.
Last year, we didn’t cut the lavender back until September, but we cut it back hard. This year, we’ve cut it back at the beginning of August, as soon as the flowers turned grey and the pollinators went elsewhere.
The ‘white bed’ is pink
I’ve put considerable effort into creating a ‘white bed.’ I did see some white in it this month – it was a bindweed flower that had crept up to strangle something. Otherwise the pink Japanese anemones that I’ve tried to dig up twice are dominating the scene.
But do have a longer stroll around the garden in the August in the Middlesized Garden video. We will be taking a short break and normal posts on the Middlesized Garden will be back on 2nd September. Have a wonderful August, and do join us on the Middlesized Garden YouTube channel, where we will still be uploading every Saturday.
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