Gardening in August
Keep the colour in your garden going this month with late summer early autumn bedding plants. It’s a good time to plant, dianthus, geraniums, impatiens (Bizzy Lizzy) , marigolds, petunias and verbena. Plant them about 15cms apart, and then cover the soil with bark mulch. These will do just as well in pots as in the ground.
Pot of the month
‘Less is more’ is the key to our pot plant this month. Festuca’s are a grass with beautiful blueish foliage that provide the height in this pot. Then add in a mass of nasturtiums that will fill up the pot and spill over the sides. You need a decent sized pot – put a few stones over the drainage hole so it doesn’t block up, then fill with compost, with a few handfuls of topsoil mixed in.
Heleniums are available in shades of red, yellow and orange, and instantly add a bit of summer to your garden. Asters are also a good addition to the garden at this time of year, providing reliable splashes of colour varying from purple to blue. Also have a look at rudbeckias, and kniphofias or red hot pokers as they are known.
The star plant for this month are crocosmias, of which Lucifer is a beautiful example. This is a very easy and reliable plant to grow – plant them in full sun, and watch them grow from strength to strength each year. They produce sprays of red flowers, that look beautiful in your garden, and also make a good cutflower.
A shrub can provide you with year round colour, add height to a bed, and act as backdrop to flowering plants. The month, Choisya Ternate Sundance is the featured shrub, also known as the Mexican orange blossom. This is an evergreen plant, noted for its glossy lime green leaves, and also comes out with a profusion of white flowers in early spring. It will grow to a width and height of about a meter.
Fruit and Vegetables
At this time of year, you will be planting crops that will be ready in spring. Plant out purple sprouting broccoli and cauliflower seedlings now, in beds or pots.