This month has continued to be unusually mild and mainly dry with the average temperatures above average. This has meant that the autumn leaf colours have lasted nearly all month as some trees have hung onto their foliage and the grass has also continued to grow so the last cut of the season will be in December.
As plant growth slows with the onset of autumn and mowing, edging, hedge trimming, weeding and the other summer maintenance jobs finish it is time to address the planning of the winter’s tasks and then begin the implementation of these plans.
After four wet Thursdays in a row during August leaving the volunteers wet, muddy and wondering what happened to the predicted ‘barbeque summer’ September arrived bringing the glorious sunny days we had hoped for in August. It was as though someone had turned a tap off with the change of month and September turned out to be the warmest on record with day after day of clear skies and hot sun.
The weather has been very changeable during August leaving us wondering where summer went, the plus side has been that the plants have benefitted with the garden looking lush and green instead of the normal for August of scorched lawns and dry borders.
There has been the usual mid-summer lull in the garden when the flush of spring and early summer have passed many of the showy flowering plants have had their moment of glory in the sun. The garden settles down to the heat of summer and many of the flowers are more muted pastel shades and the garden seems quieter in the afternoon heat.
After two months of exceptionally warm, dry weather which saw us all preparing for drought conditions and water shortages June arrived and with it the rain. The garden has had frequent and at times prolonged spells of wet weather that has allowed the garden to ‘green’ up, the wild flower sowings are flowering and I have been able to put away the hose-pipes and sprinklers.
May has been another extremely dry month with only a couple of wet days during the second half of the month and the rain we have had has not penetrated the soil just wet the surface. Despite this we have had a good month in the garden with one open day and the Launch Day both enjoying good weather and good attendance rates.
This has been another busy month as we continue to work at completing as much of the winter work as possible to be ready for the first open day on Sunday, April 10th. It is really pleasing to see the difference we have made as the garden greens up and everything begins to grow. It is a bit of a voyage of discovery for me because it’s my first spring in the garden and I do not know what to expect there are plenty of little surprises as new plants appear.
The Harris Garden has been undergoing some redevelopment since August 2010 to modernise and reduce the level of maintenance required in the central area of the garden so allowing time and effort to be focused on the specialised areas.