Bloomin’ August

Terraces 067 Wm

The terraces, mid August


There’s been a bit of movin’ n’ shakin’, despite the less than ideal time of year. I have corralled several large clumps of Verbena bonariensis into one and stuck them into a perfect niche at the far end. They are seedlings of V.b. ‘Lollipop’. The dwarf variety. Which as you can see forgets all about recent provenance when it self seeds.

It has been a bloomin’ August too. And it’s only half way through.

If you came by this way over the last couple of days and found a whole load of gobbledygook on the site, my apologies. I did another software update. I really should stop doing those. If only it was that easy. But after a long and at times tortuous conversation with a lady in the Philippines it seems to be resolved. For now.


Rose 'Boscobel' 009 Wm


Rose ‘Boscobel’ underplanted with Verbena rigida

The roses have started their second flush.


Rose 'Hot Chocolate' 002 Wm


Rose ‘Hot Chocolate’

Still not very chocolatey…


Rose 'Susan Williams-Ellis' 006 Wm


Rose ‘Susan Williams-Ellis’


And software updates have not been my only bugbear.

Excavation of the bramble patch has started in earnest. Along with the remains of a set of fairy lights and assorted rusty scaffolding bolts I came across an irrigation pipe completely chewed through. Goodness knows how long it has been pouring water because with brambles, I kid you not, over 12 feet long it’s clearly an area that hasn’t been travelled in a while. Anyway, feeling especially virtuous for tracking down and fixing the pipe I carried on working until the water turned itself on automatically at precisely 5.00 p.m. And what happened next? I will tell you. I found myself gardening under a veritable Geneva fountain, that’s what. Where is the nearest wet T shirt competition when you need one? Wretched, wretched mice. Pipe nibbled in two more places. They had better not have been laughing..


Echinacea purpurea 001 Wm


Echinacea purpurea

Research suggests that the only Echinacea returning reliably in the UK is the species. We shall see. So far so good. I love the fiery colours in the cone.


Digitalis ferruginea 'Gigantea' 003 Wm


Digitalis ferruginea ‘Gigantea’

The rusty foxglove


Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Orange Field' 002 Wm


Persicaria amplexicaulis ‘Orange Field’


Geranium wallichianum 'Sylvia's Surprise' 002 Wm


Geranium wallichianum ‘Sylvia’s Surprise’ is wheedling its way ever further through the native greenery on the face of the Precipitous Bank


Hydrangea arborescens 'Invincibelle Spirit' 002 Wm


Hydrangea arborescens ‘Invincibelle Spirit’

It’s hydrangea time. I much prefer the smaller, more delicate flowerheads. They don’t come much more delicate than this.


Hydrangea paniculata 'Limelight' 002 Wm


Hydrangea paniculata ‘Limelight’

Another favourite. It shows up well in moonlight too.


Which brings me to the Perseids. There was I, standing alone on the lawn, eyes raised skyward in search of shooting stars. A baby tawny owl, calling from the woods nearby. A full moon, partially obscured by trees, casting an eerie glow. Light mist, rippling across the borders. The owl falls silent. Slowly and deliberately something is heaving itself out of the river, just 20 feet from where I stand.

Watching for Perseids is highly overrated.


Sanguisorba 'Tanna' 004 Wm


Sanguisorba ‘Tanna’


Chelone obliqua 002 Wm


Chelone obliqua

Said to resemble turtle heads. Or maybe baby birds, peeking from the nest mouths a gaping?


Penstemon 'Plum Jerkin' 002 Wm


Penstemon ‘Plum Jerkin’


Agapanthus 'Indigo Dreams' 004 Wm


Agapanthus ‘Indigo Dreams’


I can feel the chill of autumn in the air already and yet it seems summer has barely begun. The number of properly warm days can be counted on the fingers of one hand.  The first half of this week is looking good though. Enjoy the remainder of the season, or be eagerly anticipating Spring if that is where you’re at.


The bank 065 Wm


Linking to Carol and Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day at May Dreams Gardens, where you will find a feast of August bloomers from around the world.

Bloomin' August

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2017-10-26T10:44:53+00:00August 15th, 2016|Tags: |


  1. Cathy August 15, 2016 at 8:44 am - Reply

    You must be thrilled with all this colour Jessica – and you clearly must be doing something right! Illustrated by your usual gorgeous photos too. Your Perseid watching experience was a moment not to be missed, by the sound of it – unlike that of the irrigation pipe!

    • Jessica August 15, 2016 at 8:46 pm - Reply

      I found another chewed through pipe since then too. The mice have much to answer for. Thanks Cathy.

  2. Sarah August 15, 2016 at 10:17 am - Reply

    It seems sometime since the mice have beaten you, oh dear I hope you needed cooling down after an afternoon in the garden! The flowers in your garden and your photography are magnificent. I love the deep indigo colour of that agapanthus. Sarahx

    • Jessica August 15, 2016 at 9:50 pm - Reply

      I had been thinking there were fewer mice this year, buzzards nesting in the wood may have had an impact. But now it seems they’ve just been hiding in the bramble patch instead! Thanks Sarah.

  3. M. L. Kappa August 15, 2016 at 11:45 am - Reply

    So nice to see the results of all your hard work!

    • Jessica August 15, 2016 at 9:53 pm - Reply

      Still a long way to go but it’s getting there. Thanks Marina.

  4. Marian St.Clair August 15, 2016 at 12:00 pm - Reply

    Only the retailers love the new-fangled Echinaceas; any gardener “in the game” knows they don’t last. Maybe Mother Nature taking care of her own? Your photos are always superb, but the bookends here are glorious.

    • Jessica August 15, 2016 at 9:57 pm - Reply

      I love Echinacea and have tried so many. None of them last beyond a year and that’s an expensive annual. I also want to try E. pallida having seen it used so effectively at Hauser & Wirth. Perhaps raise some from seed to reduce the cost.

  5. Lea August 15, 2016 at 1:14 pm - Reply

    Happy Garden Bloggers’ Bloom Day!

    • Jessica August 15, 2016 at 10:07 pm - Reply

      Thanks Lea!

  6. Rosie August 15, 2016 at 1:34 pm - Reply

    So many wonderful blooms in your garden, I love the colours at this time of year. Lovely penstemon and agapanthus. Beware of those pesky mice:)

    • Jessica August 15, 2016 at 10:10 pm - Reply

      I will get them in the end. I refuse to be beaten by a brain that small.

  7. Linda Brazill August 15, 2016 at 2:01 pm - Reply

    Your garden is looking wonderful both the terraces and the bank. You are right about that dainty Hydrangea. I may have to go looking for her.

    • Jessica August 15, 2016 at 10:15 pm - Reply

      She is worth it. The blooms fade to a lovely dusky pink, almost silver.

  8. Sue Garrett August 15, 2016 at 2:53 pm - Reply

    Rusty foxglove – very appropriate for a rusty duck 🙂

    • Jessica August 15, 2016 at 10:17 pm - Reply

      A lot of the colours I like best have a rusty element!

  9. stephanie young August 15, 2016 at 3:26 pm - Reply

    now wait….what was coming out of the water?!!!!!!!?? Did I miss something? ……and more importantly, did you see any shooting stars? Hope you saw more than I did…my count was ‘0’. (We have so much ambient light, I really didn’t expect to see anything, but….hope springs eternal!)

    • Jessica August 15, 2016 at 10:20 pm - Reply

      Shooting stars. Nothing. Nada. Not a one. Too much cloud.
      As to what was in the water, I don’t know. A strategic withdrawal seemed the most appropriate action 🙂

  10. A Guide to Northeastern Gardening August 15, 2016 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    I enjoyed my virtual stroll around your garden Jessica and especially loved the abundance of color in your terrace garden….so lovely! Happy Bloom Day!

    • Jessica August 15, 2016 at 10:30 pm - Reply

      Thanks Lee. I seem to have created a late summer garden, it’s in its peak right now.

  11. annamadeit August 15, 2016 at 4:02 pm - Reply

    Oh my – you really had to pay for your August blooms – leaky pipes, mice, brambles, owls and shapeless river creatures. Despite your adventures, it all looks fantastic, and the photos are stunning. I have decided I really need some of those Persicarias. As for the Perseids – we were at the coast, and every afternoon, thick fog rolled in and squashed any attempt at seeing any. The locals said “it’s that foggy time of year”, so I guess we’ll have to try again next year, in a more inland setting.

    • Jessica August 15, 2016 at 10:34 pm - Reply

      There was too much cloud here too to see any shooting stars. By the time the cloud cleared the peak time was long gone. Persicarias seem almost trouble free. And nothing eats them either which for me is a real bonus!

  12. Peter/Outlaw August 15, 2016 at 5:09 pm - Reply

    Like Stephanie, I was on the edge of my seat at your description of something heaving itself out of the water. Hippopotamus? Yeti? Lost Loch Ness Monster? Creature from the Black Lagoon? Sorry for joining the mice in laughing at your pipe ordeal but your description was hilarious! You’ve got some gorgeous blooms as usual!

    • Jessica August 15, 2016 at 10:40 pm - Reply

      It did sound very big and heavy and could easily have been any one of those. I didn’t hang around to find out.. I blame the mice, personally.

  13. justjilluk August 15, 2016 at 5:42 pm - Reply

    Come on Jessica what was it?????? Garden booming lovely.

    • Jessica August 15, 2016 at 10:42 pm - Reply

      I don’t know.. legged it!

  14. New Moons For Old August 15, 2016 at 6:09 pm - Reply

    Glorious. The hydrangea paniculata “Limelight” has been high on my “wants” list for some time, but I’m going to have to look closely at hydrangea arborescens too, now. The penstemon is a stunner, as well.

    My hour in the garden on 11 August rendered 33, possibly 34 Perseids (number 25 was a corker). But there are so many strange rustlings and patterings in the dark, which for some reason seem so nerve-wracking when you’re standing there in your slippers, particularly as quite small creatures tend to sound much larger than they are. Of course, recent stories about the escaped (now recaptured) Dartmoor lynx and a lion or puma on the loose in Cornwall are enough to put the wind up anyone …

    • Jessica August 15, 2016 at 10:47 pm - Reply

      I’m seriously impressed by your Perseid count. Maybe next year there will be less cloud for us. It must have been quite a sight.
      The Beast of Bodmin is still at large by all accounts. Quite a way from here, but it’s had plenty of time to complete the walk..

  15. Kris P August 15, 2016 at 7:09 pm - Reply

    There’s certainly no summer slump in your garden! One lovely specimen followed another. I love that ‘Boscobel’ rose. And your adventures in the garden continue without stop! I’m impressed by your effort in replacing the mice-nibbled pipe, the subsequent dousing notwithstanding. Happy GBBD!

    • Jessica August 15, 2016 at 10:58 pm - Reply

      If this carries on we’re going to have to use armoured cable, as we have to for the electrics. Or maybe electrified cable? Hmmm…

  16. Dorothy Borders August 15, 2016 at 7:16 pm - Reply

    Your August garden blooms are just amazing. I think the ‘Hot Chocolate’ rose is probably my favorite, but they are all beautiful. Happy Bloom Day!

    • Jessica August 15, 2016 at 11:00 pm - Reply

      The Hot Chocolate rose is lovely, but I had expected it to be browner somehow. It fits very well in the border where I planted it though, so it’s a keeper! Thanks Dorothy.

  17. angie the freckled rose August 15, 2016 at 8:20 pm - Reply

    May I just say your garden is gorgeous! I always look forward to taking a look, all those blooms make me smile 🙂

    • Jessica August 15, 2016 at 11:10 pm - Reply

      Thanks Angie. Making the most of it whilst we still have some summer. Doesn’t it go by so fast?

  18. Alana Mautone (@RamblinGarden) August 15, 2016 at 11:05 pm - Reply

    Perseids? What are those? Seriously, it’s usually cloudy here in upstate New York. One year my spouse and I went camping. It was clear, but we just couldn’t stay up long enough. Sigh. Love your pictures, as always.

    • Jessica August 15, 2016 at 11:40 pm - Reply

      Cloudy here too, such a disappointment.

  19. Sol August 15, 2016 at 11:10 pm - Reply

    Am loving the Limelight hydrangea. that may just be on my list for next year!

    • Jessica August 16, 2016 at 12:02 am - Reply

      Go for it. The paniculatas are all lovely and fade to a delicate pink.

  20. Linnae August 16, 2016 at 6:28 am - Reply

    Simply lovely! I am taking notes, because my back flowerbed has nothing going on right now! I need to get some late summer color in there! The agapanthus is so pretty.
    I am also a big fan of the white/green hydrangeas, particularly as their blooms began to change colors.
    Happy bloom day!

    • Jessica August 16, 2016 at 9:50 pm - Reply

      The ‘Limelight’ is just starting to turn pink. I have it next to a coppery coloured tree and it works so well.

  21. Christina August 16, 2016 at 8:45 am - Reply

    Despite all the mice etc. your garden is looking fabulous Jessica. Tat last image is perfect, I wish I had a quarter the amount of colour that you. A friend saw 3 shooting stars in about ten minutes but the moon was very bright here with no clouds so it wasn’t easy.

    • Jessica August 16, 2016 at 9:52 pm - Reply

      I think I need to live somewhere with a bigger sky. Peering through cloud/trees/moonlight was never going to work! Thanks Christina.

  22. germac4 August 16, 2016 at 10:51 am - Reply

    Wow! Your photos are an explosion for the senses as we are just coming out of winter. Lovely to see, and inspires me to start planting again.

    • Jessica August 16, 2016 at 9:59 pm - Reply

      I shall be doing plenty more moving of plants around come autumn. That way I’ll have a head start when it’s our turn for Spring again. The thought of a better garden next year is what keeps me going through winter. Thanks Gerrie.

  23. Pauline August 16, 2016 at 3:44 pm - Reply

    Your terraces are looking wonderful, so colourful and full of texture! Your night time excursions need nerves of steel obviously, I wonder what it could have been in your river? I stayed in the garden for some time looking for shooting stars, lovely clear night, masses of stars, but none of them shooting unfortunately!

    • Jessica August 16, 2016 at 10:02 pm - Reply

      Perhaps we live in the wrong bit of the country for shooting stars! We came home late tonight and I was sure I could hear sploshing down in the river again. Turned out it was the irrigation system. I’m spooked now.

  24. Denise August 16, 2016 at 5:56 pm - Reply

    If only the rusty foxglove looked as happy in my garden as in yours! And sanguisorbas too…wonderful, happy plants for August.

    • Jessica August 16, 2016 at 10:06 pm - Reply

      Perhaps it needs all of our rain to get them rusty? Sanguisorbas are amongst my favourite plants, I’m happily building up a collection. Something else nothing eats, gotta be good!

  25. Freda August 16, 2016 at 8:28 pm - Reply

    Looking fabulous Jessica and that last shot is a real prairie look.

    • Jessica August 16, 2016 at 10:11 pm - Reply

      I want to bulk up some of the plants to create Oudolf style drifts. Whatever lasts the distance over winter will be a prime candidate. Thanks Freda.

  26. Jayne Hill August 18, 2016 at 5:31 pm - Reply

    A lovely selection of blooms, I do like the look of that persicaria . . . Lucky you to have a chance of perseid watching – wall-to-wall thick cloud up here 🙁

    • Jessica August 19, 2016 at 9:46 pm - Reply

      It was not much better here. By the time the cloud cleared the peak had passed. Persicaria seems indestructible and nothing seems to eat it either. Go for it.

  27. Brian Skeys August 18, 2016 at 11:35 pm - Reply

    Plenty of beauties there Jessica, indigo dreams is a beautiful dark blue.

    • Jessica August 19, 2016 at 10:42 pm - Reply

      It’s a stunning colour. When I bought it, it was supposed to be the darkest one. I don’t know whether it still is.

  28. Pam August 20, 2016 at 3:28 pm - Reply

    Such beautiful, colourful pictures! I especially love the rose with verbena. Puts mine to shame. As for those pesky mice? At least it was in the summer?

    • Jessica August 20, 2016 at 9:45 pm - Reply

      You’re right Pam, it could have been worse. I should look on the bright side!

  29. CherryPie August 22, 2016 at 12:09 am - Reply

    The blooms are beautiful 🙂

    I quite understand about the blog updates. Mine is not working as it should, it needs a tweak on the server which I don’t seem to have access to. Tech support kindly told me the server is working correctly and to resolve the issue provided me with a Google link that I had already found Grrr!!

    • Jessica August 22, 2016 at 9:20 pm - Reply

      It drives me mad. Mostly because half the time I don’t understand it. When I started the blog I read all the advice that suggested self hosting was the best way to go. They just forget to tell you how complicated it all is!

  30. dunelight August 23, 2016 at 11:52 pm - Reply

    Wow…so many lovely plants. I garden but I do not blog about my beds. I just picked up 9 new hardy mums and 4 new asters. The New England Asters are the crown of my fall garden but the deer and ..I’ve forgotten the word..powdery mildew that I have to put sulphur on..make growing all my asters challenging. I absolutely love the form of your rose that looks like a Ranuncula. I have got to get a nice nile blue agapanthus…and I thought I spied a ‘pink eye’ tall phlox in one of your shots. I have a lot of phlox for I love the smell. Alas, dear love them too.

    Your gardens are lovely as are your shots.

    • Jessica August 24, 2016 at 9:40 pm - Reply

      Oh, don’t mention deer. They are here too and getting increasingly confident about venturing close to the house. Between them and the rabbits it’s a wonder I can grow anything at all!

  31. Caro August 27, 2016 at 3:33 pm - Reply

    Lots of plant inspiration here, Jessica. I have one border looking great, the other past it’s prime. Need to work on my succession planting. Rusty foxglove and sanguisorba appeal greatly. Mice eat through pipes? Oh, assume it was plastic and not metal …. or maybe not.

    • Jessica August 28, 2016 at 10:22 pm - Reply

      Yes, plastic pipe. There’s loads of it now, six circuits in all, and it seems there’s a new hole every day at the moment. The teeth marks are the give away. But still a good excuse if I find I have inadvertently put a fork through a pipe, which is the other major problem!

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