End of month view accompanied by random facts

August end of month (hosted by Helen) finds my garden looking a bit less tired than it usually does at this time of year.  I would like to take the credit for this as I have been trying harder not to let the garden grind to a halt in July but I suspect the thing that has had most impact is a rainy August which has prevented things from getting too dry and dusty.  I am having a bit of an attack of needing to do something different just now as well so I am intending to enliven (maybe!) my usual pictures with the odd random fact about me.  Don't expect them to be interesting, just random.

This is the usual side garden view taken so early that there was no sun on the back border which is the main place in the garden where I am trying to think about autumn.  My garden is definitely a spring and early summer garden, or at least it was.  I am gently extending its season I hope.

I thought you could see so little of it that I would allow myself an extra couple of photos from a bit closer.  Here the perennial rudbeckia is beginning to get going against the drifts of fennel.

Here is the whole of the border with the annual rudbeckia and cosmos sulphereus "Sunset" just beginning to get going.  They may not look much to you but I am very proud of them.  I grew them from seed as part of my determination this year to become more proficient at it.

There is fine line when you garden in a supposedly naturalistic and closely planted style, as I do, between generous abundance and chaos.  This border is just on the right side of the line.  The other border, which I am sneakily not showing you a picture of, has crossed the line into simple mess.

Random fact number one: all of my children and stepchildren are taller than I am.  This does not in anyway diminish my authority, perhaps because I don't have any now.  They are all way too old for telling.

In the orchard most of the crop has been taken off the plum tree but it is still weighted down with the remaining fruit.  The grass in the orchard will be cut soon.  Last year Ian scythed it.  I am not sure if it will be scythed or strimmed this year.

Random fact number two: I find the sight of a scything man very attractive, not just any scything man I suppose.

The cutting garden is the best it has been.  It still needs the box to become hedges and I must remember to plant even more closely than I did this year but the basic idea is better than the stripes I had before.  Next time I must see if I can find a shorter version of the black cornflower I grew this year.  I love it as a contrast, particularly against vibrant yellows and oranges from the other end of the cutting bed, but it did get comprehensively blown over.

Random fact number three: This house, built in about 1610, is the oldest one I have ever lived in.  If you live in an old house it is a good thing not to mind spiders who also want to share your space.  Luckily spiders don't bother me; slugs now, I hate slugs, and not simply because they eat my plants.

The new hedges are as beautiful as anything else in the garden.  This is rosa rugosa in the mixed native hedge.

The moles have been busy.  Another beauty of gardening in a natural, nay scruffy way, is that I don't care.

Random fact number four: Despite three years of trying, and the fact that I can understand quite a lot now, I still can't really speak Welsh.  Dw'i ddim yn medru siarad Cymraeg.

The kitchen garden will look crisper soon.  The hedges are about to be cut: hawthorn, holly along the left hand boundary and yew at the far end.  The orange netting you can see here is an attempt to confine the chickens to the far end of the garden.  This works fine with the Light Sussex and the Welsummer but the Frisian cockerel and his two hens take not the slightest bit of notice.  We are contemplating, with some slight trepidation on my part, wing clipping.

Random fact number five: I have long toes.


  1. Garden is looking lovely - can smell the fruit from here!

    I too am shorter than my offspring, resulting in many heightist jokes at my expense. The one that gets the most laughs is the fact that the ironing board is also taller than me!

    Perhaps your long toes are compensation for being petite?

    Well done for growing so much from seed. I have been extravagant this year with plants as I redo all the borders, and lay out the garden in its new design. I have taken lots of cuttings of Penstemons though in an attempt to save money there! Also have a nice little production line in Phlox on the go. I must make an effort to follow your example and grow a few more from seed.

  2. It all looks lovely Elizabeth, particularly your cutting garden. I forgot to sow my cosmos sulphurus, so am jealous of yours. Hope you have now been bitten by the grow from seed bug. There is something immensely masculine about a scything man.

  3. I have long toes too!! Growing up i always hated it...I don't really care now that im older.

  4. Sorry, I'm still laughing at your random facts! The garden is looking fab. Have to admit that the syything man does look rather attractive. Is he available for hire?

  5. I'm 2 cm taller than my daughter, a fact that she doesn't like at all. I have short toes, but I don't have such a beautiful garden as you do. Nor do I have a handsome scything man. XOX

  6. Just love your garden - it always looks great. Growing up on the Surrey/Sussex border we had a gardener who used to scythe the longer grass areas and I have always enjoyed watching someone who can use a scythe it is so relaxing to watch.

  7. No scything man over here, although I could certainly use one! The field is way too high.
    Such a lovely garden post, and very nice to learn a little bit more about a long-time blogger friend.

  8. A really lovely read (and pictures)

    Love your cutting garden :-)

    Our garden too has the occasional flowering of orange builders' netting!

    and I too have long toes!


  9. I really liked your cutting garden and as you say it was much better than the stripes last year. I also like the fennel and am going to try and grow some for next year.

    Like the random facts. I have long fingers and double joined toes apparently not that its ever helped me in any way.

    Thanks for joining in again this month

  10. That's incredible that your home was built in 1610! Just WOW!
    I wonder what it is that the spiders are drawn to in old houses?I prefer spiders outside, and to NEVER touch me... slugs too come to think of it! :)))

  11. Zoe - I had some success with penstemon cuttings this year although the salvias haven't thrived at all. Must have done something wrong! Would love to see your new garden design. It sounds fab.
    Janet - I love the cosmos sulphereus, definitely one for next year too! And yes to the scything man.

  12. Sgwf - thank you. I always liked my long toes and my narrow feet and fortunately they age better than some other bits!
    Dobby - scything man bait busy just now but may be lured away from redoing the kitchen by large numbers of banana muffins

  13. I am with you on the slugs and spiders. (Random fact in return - young Theo my grandchild is terrified of spider's webs for some reason - rather than spiders). Garden looks really beautiful.

  14. Your gardens, your yards, your flowers, your greenhouse, your house, and the country you live in are all breathtakingly beautiful. I can't tell you how much I enjoy reading about it and seeing it in photos!

    Congrats on your seed success... mine is pretty much limited to wisteria, which is no big feat since you can basically throw wisteria seeds on the bare ground and walk away, and they'll grow. 8-)

  15. P.S. I like to do my own scything/lawn work. What gets me hot is a man with a vacuum cleaner!

  16. Your garden looks so lovely! We always seem to lose the plot in August when the harvesting and preserving takes over from maintenance, and the bindweed runs riot. But we have managed to extend the season this year - it always used to be over by the end of June in terms of prettiness. I have long toes, too - definitely the sign of someone superior!!

    Pomona x


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