Sunday, 18 September 2011

The last hoorah of summer

 The garden is beginning its slow and elegant descent into autumn but still has a few highlights for these last days of late summer.  Above is my latest buy - a Hibiscus 'Red Heart' - which is patiently waiting for me to decide where to plant it.
 There have been a few insect visitors recently, particularly Red Admiral butterflies, though not in any great numbers.  This one is enjoying the white Aster novae-angliae (not sure which variety).
 The ivy on the wall between us and our neighbours is literally buzzing with insect activity; wasps, hoverflies, bees and butterflies. Although ivy can be a menace, it does redeem itself by providing food for so many species.

 Two beautiful yellow roses from Rose 'Molineux' (David Austin).  A lovely buttery colour and a fragrant perfume.

 A bee happily enjoying the pollen and nectar to be found in Helianthus 'Lemon Queen', a perennial sunflower.  It is a reliable, tough plant which is always cheering.

 My huge Hydrangea Avant Garde, which is stunning and which has two more flower heads developing.  It has been a very good buy, although the coming winter will no doubt prove how hardy it is.
Hardy Geranium 'Crystal Lake' with beautiful veining on the petals.  Yet another plant waiting to find a permanent home.

And finally, a burst of lilac/pink from Brachycome which has been one of the most reliable plants in my rather disastrous hanging baskets this year, and still flowering away.

My garden has been giving me a few headaches just recently as I am fighting against a rampant fungi in the soil which is sucking out all the moisture in the raised beds and gradually turning the soil to grey, ashy stuff which no moisture can get through.  Unfortunately, it seems to go around plant roots too, which kills the plants.  When I come across it, I am digging it out and replacing it with top soil and adding water retaining granules.  I am valiantly fighting to keep my plants in good health and am contemplating sinking drainage tubes into the soil to aid moisture retention.  Despite this situation, my plants are doing their best to continue flowering just a little bit longer, for which I am really grateful.

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