The last day of summer

Well, that was what the BBC weatherman said this morning. It doesn’t feel like it at the moment, but with the end of August and the darker evenings comes the inescapable feeling that we should be starting to prepare for colder weather and the hibernation of herbaceous perennials. With impeccable timing, my Gardening Club vouchers arrived the other day so this morning we set off, armed with vouchers and booklet of special offers, and high hopes. We need some new secateurs, and we also wanted to get some autumn/winter bedding as the troughs under the front window have not lasted as well as some of the other containers.

First order of the day was the cooked breakfast as we had a two-for-one voucher. Fortified, we went in search of secateurs but the specific brand on half-price was nowhere to be seen. We did see some very super duper ones in Seasonal Clearance but J wasn’t tempted – even half price they were still almost three times the special offer we were looking for. Though they did come with a natty leather holster.

So we settled for a small quantity of bedding – six cyclamen, on 3 for 2, and four trays of pansies and violas for £10. I’d like to go back in a few weeks and get some more bedding as by then the rest of the summer bedding will have gone over and we’ll want some other colour to carry us through the winter. But for now we still have the asters flowering their hearts out and until they start to fade we don’t need to change anything.

The first thing to do once we got home, however, was to sort out our new ceanothus. This is one which my mum has had in a pot for several years and decided it needed to be in the ground. She didn’t have anywhere to put it so asked us if we did, and I can always find room for plants, so I said yes. I shuffled a few things around in the south-facing bed and popped it in there, near the aucuba. A few lychnis were displaced and replanted in the former sand pit bed.

Then I planted up the troughs while J weeded and tidied at the back. Then he joined me at the front and we weeded and dead-headed there. After a short break he did some moving of furniture around indoors while I replanted geraniums that we’d taken out of the troughs and hanging baskets, into pots freed up by the demise of this year’s marigolds, sweet peas and lobelia. I had six pansies left over so popped them in pots too. Then I finished off the dead-heading and general cutting back.

So, a satisfying day if not a very photogenic one! We haven’t done all that much for a few weeks and one or two things felt as though they we getting out of hand but it’s always recoverable.

I hope you’re enjoying the sunny weather, while it lasts.

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