Saturday, September 8, 2007

September - the garden wakes up again

Flowers are few - but the perovskia (spires of small blue flowers 60 cm tall on silver foliage), lagerstroemia (tall shrubs with sprays of small, bright pink flowers) and caryopteris (blue tufts on 70 cm tall grey foliage) save the day. The sedum (drought resistant succulents) have flowers beginning to take colour. Other plants are waking up and, after a trim like in springtime, they are having a second flush. These include centranthus ruber (pink or white spreading plants growing in the gaps in walls) and erigeron (white daisies that will grow in gravel) as well as all the herbs. Hibiscus syriacus (the frost tolerant type) have a second flush of flowers but the roses are struggling: we have had no rain at all since early August and flowers shrivel. The wine festival inthe neighbouring village was washed out by a thunderstorm yet not a drop fell on my garden. I plant out veg seedlings but have to mulch them and water every day just like high summer. I also plant small shrubs in a hope that they will get roots down before winter and be more resistant to the heat next spring. But the berberis, normally drought resistant plants, show signs of great distress and I have to water them daily as temperatures hang around the high 20s. I would like to start planting bulbs and the order has already arrived but I fear they would be baked dry and leave them in the shed. The grapes are harvested on 22nd September but they are dry, almost likle raisins and the yield is only half that of last year.

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