August in the flower garden can be a bit of a challenge. Summer is well under way and many herbaceous plants have reached their optimum flowering peak. You could be forgive for thinking that this month is a month of tidying up. However, with a bit of forward planning and some gentle encouragement you can design a planting scheme that will ensure that you have plants that flower well into the fall as well as encouraging those earlier flowering ones to produce second flushes. So in-between relaxing and enjoying summer in your garden, take a moment to check this short reminder of things you should be doing in the flower garden during August.
Water in the garden – whether a formal pool, a small stream, a short cascade or a wildlife pond – will allow you to grow many plants that do not thrive in any other conditions. Even in the smallest plot you can have a trough with dwarf water lilies floating in it. In a larger garden a formal or informal pond can create a strong focus and set the garden’s style. It may incorporate a fountain or waterfall to create movement, sound and liveliness and water lilies will complete the scene.
Floating plants, marginal, deep water and bog plants all add to the interest of a water garden but need to be catered for carefully. Ponds should be made with shelves at different heights so that pond baskets can be put at the heights best suited to the various plants.
Many fine gardens evolve gradually through the loving attention of their owners with little or no outside help. But when it comes to creating a new garden design, or taking over an existing one that has fallen on hard times or that does not suit your taste or needs, it is well worth seeking advice from a professional garden designer.
The issues involved can be surprisingly complex, from drainage and construction through to siting trees and planting a border. How to deal with slopes and levels? How to forge a harmonious relationship between house, garden and surrounding landscape? What materials to use? How large to make a patio or pergola, how to site a water feature, pond or lake? How and where to incorporate outdoor lighting? Might planning permission be needed for any of this, and what order of costs might be involved?