GBBD: Drowsling August

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.


  1. Hi VP I love your Clematis for a minute there I wondered if it was Julia Correvon a very similar flower.

    You are brave being conservative with your watering I am afraid most of my garden efforts seem to have been watering until Tuesday that is and then thank goodness that much needed rain.

    Many of my clematis are planted near a wall and so unless we get heavy rain they tend to be in the shadow of the wall and remain dry so they do need lots of nurturing. I do help them along with tomato feed in a watering can during their growing season.

    I am having some success with clematis cuttings this year. Seem to have got a good system going Ray Evison eat your heart out. No not really but it's fun.

    I have been tardy garden blogging as I have been rather busy with my Looking at Lyme Disease blog which is clearly helping raise awareness of this dreadful illness much overlooked by our doctors.

  2. I've been worried, too, how much longer before I have to start buying more photo storage space--good idea to cut down on photo displays, VP. Your clematis is lovely, and congratulations on your success with your echinops. I've seen some echinops in other gardens this summer and was fascinated by them. Another plant to add to my ever-growing wish list!

    Thanks for adding a new word to my vocabulary--"drowsling" fits August so well. It's been so hot here all summer, that afternoons find me napping on the couch instead of working in the garden:)

  3. Will you post a pic of your echinops soon so I can see them in all their magnificance

  4. The reason, why i love Clematis it because they have a special colour and they are similar to a special natural plant.

  5. I save storage space by resizing my images to 640 pixels before uploading them. It makes such a difference, but does require an extra step. I'd like to see 'Kermesina' and 'Mde. Julia Correvon' growing side-by-side. I wonder how different they are.

  6. I wish the garden and August felt "drowsling' to me ... (great word by the way) - so far it has rained all August
    The clematis is looking beautiful.

  7. Joanne - good tips re Clematis nurturing :)

    Rose - it's a made up word,but I like it!

    PG - your wish is my command ;) Done!

    SPF - welcome! We have a native Clematis here which is growing over my front garden fence at the moment

    MMD - I do find that a bit of a faff though. Also I haven't put the image s/w on my laptop yet and it's a real pain having to use the old PC if I want to do something fancy with my pictures as it's so slow. Come the winter I'll get round to all these techie things!

    Karen - thank you :)


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