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GARDEN LOVE FOR AUGUST
By James The Gardener
It's August and it's an excellent time to invite friends around for a BBQ and enjoy your garden long into the balmy summer nights.
There are only a few jobs that need doing in the garden this month one of which is daily watering. Plant growth won't slow down much until September so remember to keep watering and pay particular attention to hanging baskets and containers. Trees and shrubs planted last autumn can be susceptible to drought as it can take up to two years for their roots to become established, so ensure they too have a good supply of water.
If you're like me and appreciate a garden full of wildlife as well as a vibrant array of plants, then Buddleia and Fuchsia are late summer flowering plants that will draw an abundance of butterflies to your garden. Later flowering varieties of Ceanothus such as Autumnal Blue or Burkwoodii also bring colour to the garden as well as providing an excellent food source for insects.
August is the month for Hydrangeas, both Mophead and the more delicate Lacecap varieties, which are available in white and shades of pink and blue. However, don't forget acid soil is required for blue varieties otherwise they will revert to pink, so make sure you test your soil with a simple soil testing kit. Another late summer favourite is the Hibiscus and there are many stunning varieties with red, pink, mauve and purple amongst some of the colours available.
Grasses contribute colour and texture to the garden particularly some of the more exotic varieties like the tall elegant Zebrinu and the beautiful rich dark leaves of Nigrescens. For a more traditional feel Carex, available in various colours, should not be overlooked to add rich texture to any area of your garden. Bamboo, such as the hardy Fargesia Murieliae, has its place in the garden creating a relaxing rustle in the breeze.
In short, take time this month to relax and enjoy the sight, smell and sound of the garden you've created there will be plenty of work to do next month!
Clematis also prefer to have their roots in the shade, so it is a good idea to plant a small shrub in front to keep it cool in warm weather. Make sure you keep it well watered during the first growing season.
You should also start thinking about other plants to put in your flowerbeds, such as stately Delphiniums, Foxgloves and Lupins - they look great when planted between shrubs. But beware, avoid the temptation to plant out tender bedding plants as a late frost could catch out the over zealous gardener!