August in the Garden


Well, we’re already more than halfway through the year and what a rotten summer it’s been so far. It seems to me that the few sunny days we’ve had have lacked warmth due to the continuous wind, and I mean wind and not gentle breezes. Already the winter seed catalogues are being delivered – I’ve had a few, almost before I’d planted out my summer bedding and I don’t really want to be thinking about winter pansies and primulas in July.

Recently my attention has been drawn to a couple of gardening questions in the newspaper that are appropriate to this dismal summer season.

First of all advice was sought as to what trees, if any can be planted in very wet ground. The answer is that very few trees like to be permanently waterlogged although the Swamp Cypress is a deciduous tree that thrives in the wet. The Alder and Aspen grow well in boggy ground, as do Willows, particularly the Weeping Willow.

The second questioner wanted a rescue plan for lawns that have been soaked repeatedly by heavy rain. The advice is as follows – Assist drainage by pushing a heavy garden fork into the earth, therefore breaking up the subsoil to allow the water to drain away more freely. If the grass has grown a lot longer than usual, raise your mower’s blades before the next cut. A few days later, when the grass has recovered, mow a second time with your blades at their usual height. Don’t be tempted to feed grass damaged by too much heavy rain as the roots won’t be able to take the nitrogen