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Tom Nicholas, Me My Spade and I, writes of his latest garden endeavours and tells us what we should be doing in our gardens in August

August is upon us

Tom Nicholas, Me My Spade and I, writes of his latest garden endeavours and tells us what we should be doing in our gardens in August


"Cut back your flowers – just don’t go cutting everything back. Just concentrate on the plants that have gone over and/or need deadheading."

This time of year I am left wondering where the year has gone. Luckily, I have the best office in the world to ponder such thoughts. I find myself sat in my garden surrounded by flowers and fragrances, reaping the rewards for my hard work on the garden so far – it also has me wondering how you are all doing, and if you have taken any of my advice! I hope you have found some of it helpful.

I would love to see your gardens and would encourage you to send in photographs of your pride and joy, so I can see the hard work that you have put in to achieve your sanctuary. You can post photos on the Me My Spade & I Facebook page, or tweet us with them – the best garden or gardener that may have taken on our advice will be in for a lovely prize.

So what has been going on at MMS&I Towers?

We’re currently in our most fruitful year as a business. We have taken on two new large estates, both of which are 9.5 acres in size. One of them is a woodland garden set in 9.5 acres of Grade 2 listed Chiltern woodlands, and has been featured in the Grand Designs TV show. This garden is stunning and poses new issues for us, as we haven’t looked after woodland before. It’s a great challenge and one we welcome.

The second garden has my design juices flowing and I am extremely excited about this prospect. Having been given carte blanche I am running away with myself – to date we have now striped two acres of existing paddock grass, and brought in a commercial tractor and a stone burier to level the ground, thus fulfilling a childhood dream of being a farmer! We have used industrial power rakes to find our final levels and we will be rolling out 4,000 rolls of turf over a six day period. Now, my favourite part: flowerbed designing and quoting on the 40ft x 40ft pond that we also want to include in the garden.

As for August in our other gardens, we are currently in full cutback mode: Geraniums, Nepeta and Alchemilla Mollis have been cut back very hard, and they sadly have passed their best for this year. Cutting back these plants when they have gone over is a must, not just to tidy but also to encourage the plants to regrow. If you’re lucky you will have a second flush of flowers which will then brighten up your garden as we head on to a darker time of the year.

Jobs for August

Cut back your flowers – just don’t go cutting everything back. Just concentrate on the plants that have gone over and/or need deadheading.

Lawns right about now will look tired and worn, as the sun will have taken its toll. Be sure to run a strong rake over the lawn to remove thatch. Water in the evening to ensure water soaks into the soil, and a light feed should bring the lush green look back to your grass.

Whilst we are talking water, make sure you keep your Camellias and Rhododendrons well-watered, the reason for this is that next year’s flower buds are forming, and to ensure you get a good display, they need lots of H2O.

Lastly, if you have any areas of long meadow grass, you will want to mow them all down. There are two reasons for this. One, mowing will disturb seed heads and spread the flowers throughout the meadow, and two, it will tidy up the flattened areas of lawn. Be sure to rake up the grass when cut – the grass will come back and the meadow will look neat for the remainder of the year.

- Tom Nicholas

 

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