Without wanting to join the masses gasping at the heat, the last few days are certainly giving us our last blast of summer. I am loathed to comment if the summer just past has been hotter than ever, though it was certainly dry in our corner. However, be assured I will not implore you to drink water and seek shade or air-conditioning from this page as I am quietly confident you will all know how to conduct yourselves in any circumstance.
As we are officially in Autumn, my very favourite season, I am excited about the garden and my bedside table is groaning with my old favourites which I seek out every year to re-inspire my inner-gardener. This is also a great “coping with drought” ploy of mine I am happy to share with you… a few pages of Edna Walling and you will be dreaming of rock walls and pergolas rather than boggy dams and stressed mulga. If you can only dip into one, try A Gardener’s Log, and if pictures tell a million words be inspired in full colour by Gardens in Time In the Footsteps of Edna Walling,(Trisha Dixon and Jennie Churchill). Whilst the gardens are mainly southern, her design translates anywhere and who doesn’t love looking at green!
So here in the Moble Garden in mid-March I am thinking of fertilising, the vegetable garden and some light post-traumatic pruning.
Ideally, I love to fling fertiliser around in the rain with water dripping off the brim of my hat however needs must, so I will settle for a cooler few days when I know I can put plenty of water on the garden afterwards. My go-to recipe is Dee Crotty’s famous Beechal Booster with a Moble twist to help with my high pH. Dee mixes this up in a cement mixer and so do I, it is so easy and great fun (anyone who knows me will also know how much I love the cement mixer).
Look out for lawn weeds now as well, I mow with a plastic bag in my pocket as the khaki burr is popping up here and there and I pull it out carefully and bag it as I go.
My vegetable beds have been mulched and manured, the upshot of feeding hay to four retired horses is excellent mulch, and are ready for planting when seedlings become available. Keeping the sprinkler up to them while it is still warmer will mean at least a morning and evening water. I will toss some salad greens (mesclun) seeds in with some rocket, beetroot, parsnips and carrots. I always think when the celery, carrots and parsnips are in I have planted the winter soup.
Summer passes with much looking worse for wear so I am lightly pruning any stressed looking plants to remove dead wood and burnt leaves. My roses will say thank you in flowers with a good flush later in Autumn. Sadly, the symptoms of summer are not so readily pruned from me!
The Crepe Myrtles, Lagerstroemia, are flowering and looking wonderful in the garden and the salvia spp are shooting and looking like they will flower soon. Many of the grasses have weathered the summer well and will be wonderful going in to autumn. Any mail now the bulb catalogues will arrive but that will be another story.