Gardening – Alan North’s top tips for August

PUBLISHED: 15:26 05 August 2017

Echinacea Purpurea at Audley End House gardens. Picture: ALAN NORTH

Echinacea Purpurea at Audley End House gardens. Picture: ALAN NORTH

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Alan North, head gardener at Audley End House, gives his top tips for your garden this August.

Audley End House gardens. Picture: ALAN NORTHAudley End House gardens. Picture: ALAN NORTH

The combination of the wet and warm weather over the last couple of weeks has given the garden a real timely boost.

These recent conditions will encourage everything (including weeds) to continue growing and performing in your garden.

As we move into late summer some of my favourite plants start to shine such as Aster x Frikartii ‘Monch’, Rudbeckia fulgida ‘Goldsturm’ and Echinacea purpurea. These plants give glorious late summer interest and work beautifully together in large groups.

August also signals the start of our apple season with Malus ‘Beauty of Bath’ ready to harvest – this popular English garden apple, from the Victorian era, is one of the first to ripen and is delicious.

Here are some of the seasonal jobs that we will be doing this month at Audley End and some ideas for you:

• Cut back faded perennials to encourage plants to produce more flowers and fresh foliage. Water following cutting back and they will reward you with new healthy growth.

• Prune Wisteria after flowering by removing the whippy side-shoots from the main branch framework to about five leaves from the base.

• If you haven’t done so, order bulbs for autumn. Save disappointment and order early to ensure you get your first choice bulbs. Daffodils, Crocus and Snowdrops can all be planted in October so this is the time to start planning.

• If you are going on holiday shift any pot plants to a shady area of your garden and put them in shallow trays of water.

• Begin summer fruit pruning of restricted forms such as cordons, espaliers, fans and step overs. This pruning will allow sunlight to ripen the fruit and will encourage fruit bud development.

• Keep on top of harvesting fruit and vegetables. Regular picking will encourage the plant to continue producing and give you plenty to enjoy.

August in the garden at Audley is awash with colour so a really great time to come and be inspired! I hope to see you in the garden soon.

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