End of Month View – August 2015

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Finally I can stop moaning about the lack of rain as the last week has been decidedly wet leaving the garden looking very lush.  I surprised myself at how much things had grown in the last year when I looked back at last year’s August EOMV post.  It just shows you how easy it is to forget what progress has been made and how things have developed and I think it reinforces the benefits of taking regular photographs of the garden, and maybe participating in this meme.


So to start with the usual path up to the workshop.  I have been on a bit of a grass-fest this last month while I have been on annual leave and you might just spot a Stipa tenuissima  near the foreground.  I want to soften the edges of the steps and given how sunny this part of the garden is with good drainage grasses seem a good partner to the numerous bulbs I have planted here. If you look closely at the far end of the steps you can just spot the cyclamen that have been flowering for the last couple of weeks.

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Turning left from the bottom of the steps we have the lower path which runs almost along the top of the retaining wall.  The border to the left is really a rose border, although the flowers haven’t been that great this year, and I have been adding other plants such as sedum and penstemons to bring some late summer colour. To the right is the bottom of the Big Border which slopes down from the grass path.  This border’s season of interest is primarily late summer due to the various asters that are planted here.  I am still trying to get their arrangement right since they were originally acquired for the back slope before the workshop gobbled it up.  I struggle with balancing the tall and shorter varieties in a border where they are seen from both sides and which slopes.  I am slowly moving most of the tall asters to the middle of the border and it does seem to be working.  I now need to work on planting around the bottom of the border to disguise the legs of the asters.


From the far end of the bottom path you can look back to the workshop through the Calamgrostis ‘Overdam’.  The Calamgrostis has been victim to my tweaking, being moved by all of a foot backwards into the border.  It was right against the top edge of the border and hemmed in by a tall aster to the point where it didn’t seem to be able to waft in the breeze and what is the point of having grasses if they aren’t allowed to waft.  The aster has been relocated, it’s not looking very happy but hopefully the rain will help, but the grass looks so much better now and there is movement and that’s what I want in the garden – a realisation that has crept up on me during my various garden visits this year.

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At the end of the bottom path you come to the lower part of the woodland border.  Looking back it hasn’t changed much since last year except the plants are larger.  For now I think it is working although there is a bare path where the Solomon’s Seal was before I cut it down to counter the invasion of the Solomon Seal Sawfly.

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The other end of the woodland border has seen major upheaval a year ago when the acer died.  I am beginning to get an idea of how I would like it to look and you might spot a miscanthus in the background along with a carex and hosta still in their pots waiting for planting.  This area isn’t as shady as it was due to the removal of the willow canopy and it is interesting to see how the shade lovers have thrived due to the increase in moisture despite the border being sunnier.

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From the top of the woodland border you find yourself looking across, again, to the workshop, across what was the Bog Garden.  This is now a much drier area due to the holes I over zealously punched in the liner – opps.  If you look back at last year’s post you will see how this area has grown up over the last year and last week I moved the Paulwonia tomentosa from the back slope to this border.  I felt that the Paulwonia was struggling on the slope which is very free draining and  think its height will add interest to its new home.

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Finally the grass path which runs along the top of the Big Border and is looking very neat thanks to a quick haircut ready for its photocall. In the foreground you can see the Anemanthele lessoniana that has been added in the last week.  There is another to the right of the path and a third at the far end of the border.  I hope that the third one will draw the eye and add some cohesion to my eclectic planting.  I need to work on the border to the right of the path next year as whilst I am happy with it in spring it falls apart the rest of the year.  There are some phloxes here which I have persevered with for a couple of years but I am really tired of now as they aren’t performing and the large white one looks terrible when the flowers fade or get damaged by rain.  I seem to be adopting a warm orange, rust and yellow theme here so I think I might try to see where that goes.

If you would like to join in the End of Month meme you are very welcome – the more the merrier.  All we ask if that you add a link to this post in your post and that you leave a link to your post in the comment box below so we can all find you.


Author: Helen Johnstone

I live in Malvern, Worcestershire and am a very keen gardener. I started the Patient Gardener Blog in January 2008 as a way of recording what was happening in my garden and connecting with other like-minded people. I started a second blog PatientGardener 365 January 2013 in order to try and post a photo a day to capture what is growing in my garden or places I have visited

40 thoughts on “End of Month View – August 2015”

  1. Might “warm orange, rust and yellow” lead to Heleniums? For me they are such reliable performers and the most popular thing I grow for butterflies and bees. I looked at Sampford Shrubs’ website, they have a national collection, and wanted loads of them.

    1. Hi yes and normally at this time of year I am feeling down about the garden. I think I have preferred the milder weather

    1. Hi Linda
      I nearly got rid of the lawn path and I am so pleased I didn’t. Thanks for joining in again

  2. Your new colour scheme ideas seem to be somewhat similar of the scheme I have chose for my front garden Helen. I look forward to seeing what you choose.
    I always shy away from grasses for fear of them overtaking. You’ve made some nice choices, I look forward to seeing how they do for you.
    As usual, loving the steps leading up to the workshop. Your garden has clearly benefited from the rains, it’s incredibly lush and healthy looking.

    1. Hi Angie
      I think grasses are Ok if you manage them but ask me again in a few years.

    1. Hi Ronnie
      Many thanks you are kind, I have spent a lot of time on the garden this year which I think is paying off.

  3. Your garden just gets better and better Helen and this is such a good meme for making us photograph our gardens and therefore be able to compare change and progress from month to month (me) and even year by year (you). I’m down in Cornwall right now but I’m still hoping to join in when I get home. Thank you so much for hosting.

  4. Oh, I am so with you on the struggles with a sloping border seen from both sides. I haven’t got it right here yet, it’s very much trial and error. I like the grasses that you’ve added, especially the Calamgrostis. I succumbed to three more grasses this weekend.
    I’ll add my contribution tomorrow if I may. Lousy internet & lousy weather for photographs have conspired against me today.

    1. Hi Jessica
      I would be so fed up with the Internet if I was you, it’s something I have no patience with. Looking forward to seeing what grasses you had added

  5. Looking lovely with the grasses – I have taken a new interest in grasses lately after moving to a much sunnier garden so will have to find out what could work here. I could not get them to thrive in my previous garden, too shady.
    But the green grass is going, I am not keeping it. It looks lovely on the path in your photos, and if someone would come twice a week to maintain it for me here I would be happy to keep the grass – but as there isn’t exactly a queue of volunteers – it’s going soon. But a Calamagrostis would be nice!

    Here is my EOMV for August: http://graphicality-uk.blogspot.co.uk/2015/08/eomv-august-in-london.html

  6. I probably say it every month but your garden has undergone such a transformation and is really taking on a new identity – and looking much larger than it probably is. I know what you mean about trying to balance different heights and this is something I need to address in some beds too, having filled them in a fairly ad hoc manner. Are you taking out your Solomon’s Seal altogether? I think mine is going to go as it hasn’t had a year without sawfly for ages. The grasses are really pulling everything together – look forward to seeing how they settle in. My EOMV is at https://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/2015/09/01/end-of-month-view-change-of-direction/

  7. Very late in linking up but it is how the calendar goes with the first Monday of the month this late….I have enjoyed seeing your garden progress and become such a showcase…each area stunning and lush as it changes through the seasons. And I love the paths especially the grass path right now! I agree we do forget the progress we have made if we don’t look back….


  8. One of the big benefits of your meme, Helen, is looking back and seeing how the garden has changed. And, oh my, how yours has evolved into a lush space, full of depth, with interesting plant choices. I posted my EOMV and linked to yours in a timely fashion, but only just telling you — sorry! Now I’m off to catch up on reading some more of your excellent postings that I missed. P. x


  9. Am I too late? It’s taken me a few months to regain enough time for blogging, and boy have I missed EOMV! August really is a wonderful time for a garden full of large, lush plants, and yours is no different. Agree, grasses are for wafting. Is that a Cotinus in the foreground of your fourth photo? I have a beautiful one in a pot but yours looks much healthier and larger.
    My EOMV is here: https://edinburghgardendiary.wordpress.com/2015/09/07/grand-unifying-end-of-summer-view/

  10. Viewing last years photographs you can really see how much the plants have grown and filled up their spaces nicely. I love how natural the lower path looks and it feels like you are taking a journey.

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