By the time we reach August, the garden has hopefully come through intact the often challenging and sometimes disappointing unpredictable vagaries of summer weather. However the challenges of prolonged dry spells, occasional intense heat and few cold wet spells can create unexpected work in what is otherwise a quiet month in the gardening year. Traditionally this period represents a changing transitional phase in the garden year as we move from the peak flowering performance of the summer months of June and July before the plant season prepares itself to slip quietly away and make ready for the onset of autumn. But, if you are looking for more flower power and a longer flowering performance to fill any current gaps in the planted borders now is the time to do it. Try filling those gaps now with reliable flowering perennials and to create a strong flowering display well into the autumn this year but also each and every subsequent year too.
Splendid looking late summer flowering and easy to grow perennials includes Helenium, Liatris, Rudbeckia, Echinacea and Aster. Also worth looking for the more compact and evergreen Agapanthus White Storm (white flowers) and Blue Storm (blue flowers).
Other key tasks this month:
- Prune the summer (June and July) flowering shrubs ( Philadelphus, Deutzia, Weigela etc) now or as soon as flowering has finished
- Now is a good time to give all hedges a trim
- Water any plants especially potted plants and hanging baskets which might be showing signs of stress
- Plants in pots should be watered regularly and not allowed to dry out
- Ideal time to take semi-ripe cuttings to propagate new plants
- Regularly dead head faded blooms to extend the blooming period
- Continue to mow lawn regularly, trimming edges and feed (tip: only feed when rain is expected) to produce a lush display
- Hoe planted borders (‘hoe light and often’) to remove any weed/grass from areas
- A good time for planning any planting of Spring bulbs which will start to be on sale within the next month