Monthly Musings from Moors Meadow - August 2013

 “ A Hot Sale in August
Plant sale 10% off all plants plus 10% to St. Michaels Hospice throughout August.

Isn’t life full of those little dilemmas, I have just seen a family of six blackbirds in the fruit cage and there was a sparrow hawk sitting on top of the cage. Do I leave the blackbirds in the fruit cage to scoff our fruit or shoo them out, although the hawk moves it only goes to a nearby tree!

It is frog migration time, I am not sure where they are migrating to and watching them I don’t think they know themselves but there are thousands of little froglets everywhere, even coming into the house. There are also a lot of young newts and happily we are now seeing more butterflies, the Eupatorium always attract bees and butterflies and I have just seen 10 Peacock butterflies on it.

We have picked most of the soft fruit for freezing, also the peas and broad beans but doing anything in the kitchen garden has been hot work lately. For once I have had no objection to podding as it has been a good excuse to sit in the shade on the veranda for a while.

Don’t tell anyone but I have even slung the hammock in the dappled shade of two apple trees a few times for some R and R with a good book.
Several people ask me how we water the garden in the dry weather, the answer is that we do not, the majority of the garden can look after itself quite well. It is better to leave plants so their roots will go down to look for moisture and the plants would be stronger for it, whereas if we started watering them the roots would stay nearer the surface and they would continually need us to water.

We do water the pots but very few of the vegetables, just the squash plants if they are in need some water. I would never consider watering grass as this is a waste of a valuable resource, the water companies say there is plenty of water but that is only as long as it is not wasted.
Our excellent part time gardener has moved on to pastures new down south so it is back to myself and mum doing the work so I am rethinking some of it to try to lighten the load. I usually spend a lot of time strimming but this year I have cut down (no pun intended) on the amount of times I strim.

Plant of the Month: Clethra alnifolia Pink Spire - Sweet Pepperbush
077 - CopyThere are 30 species of Clethra including deciduous trees and shrubs from North America and eastern Asia as well as evergreens from warmer regions, mainly Southeast Asia and one from Madeira. Clethra alnifolia is from moist woods in temperate regions of the eastern seaboard of USA. It makes a dense shrubby thicket up to 8-10ft (2.4-3m) though ours may not reach that height.
It has candles of fragrant white flowers though you may have guessed that Pink Spire has pink flowers.
The books say peaty acid soil, however ours seems quite happy without those conditions. The book also says half shaded by taller trees but ours seems to thrive best, and the flowers appear a better colour in sun.
Propagate by seed, cuttings or layering.

Ros 01885 410318 / 07812 041179

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