I've always described August as drowsling: a made up word where I attempt to sum up a feeling that everywhere is just about ready for an afternoon nap, lulled by the constant background hum of bees and hoverflies browsing through the plants. Summer's still there, but it's beginning to look a bit frayed around the edges and if you go out early enough in the morning, there's just a hint of autumn in the air.
The past two Augusts haven't been that drowsling owing to their rainy weather, but this year's is more than making up for it. It's been so dry here in Chippenham, that the trees are already taking on signs of autumn, particularly the silver birches. Even the welcome decent drop of rain a few days ago has done little to halt their downward spiral.
In the garden I've mostly left things to fend for themselves, only watering key plants when they're beginning to look stressed and keeping the pots topped up when needed. I've probably got away with this strategy because of our two previous wet summers plus I gave the whole garden a massive dose of mulch last autumn, so everything has had some reserves to draw upon. It does mean that my floral display has been affected a little: the Clematis have much smaller flowers this year for instance, but it's been an interesting exercise to see how my garden copes in drought conditions.
This year the Echinops have finally come into their own. I planted them last year and there was the odd small bloom. This year there's several massive blue globes on each stem with the bees and hoverflies queuing up to feed from them. My other main success this month is the pictured Clematis 'Kermesina', a viticella type whose delicate looking stems bear masses of wine coloured flowers. I've hardly got to see them in previous years because they've made a bid for freedom and clambered over the fence into the ash tree where I've almost needed binoculars to see them. This year I've managed to be a bit more disciplined and kept training the stems through the Rosa 'Rambling Rector' just as I'd always wanted them to do. It means that a gap has been closed and the long stretch of fence at the side of my garden has interest from when the rose first blooms in June to when its tiny red hips finally fall by the wayside in late winter.
You picture lovers are probably disappointed with my lack of display for Blooms Day. It's because I've decided to take a different tack with my posting and show you just one thing that really strikes me each month and to weave my words around that. It also means I can put off the day a little longer when I'll need to start paying Google for extra storage space for my blog. That day is coming ever nearer!
Garden Bloggers Blooms Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens.