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China Girl blog 15th August 2018


Mother says as the weather changes, so the wind of change blows through the garden, like feathery seeds on a windy day. Now August is upon us, it is hard to keep interest in the garden; we rely on seed heads, shapes and visitors, and of course the pots full of half-hardy perennials which have suffered during the heat wave, despite endless watering and a twice-weekly folia feed. Each day we dead-head in an attempt to keep colours in the borders. Ma asked Joy, our Friday volunteer what she had been doing in the garden; the reply was prinking and preening.

Wesley, a man of the soil who grows nothing but vegetables in his garden and who has been at Cothay since before I was born, was asked by a visitor why he hadn’t put signs up for the loo, to which he replied “Because I knows where they is!”

A French twinning association visited the house and gardens on Saturday, but sadly it rained. Ma says she always feels responsible for the weather, which of course is ridiculous.

A friend of Ma’s came round the garden with her dog, which she kept on a lead. Mother’s giant Maine Coon cat Moses, who is rather territorial, tried to attack the poor dog; he stalked it all round the garden, trying to get near enough to attack. The owner was understandably very nervous!

Looking good and in full flower, the stately Verbena bonariensis, native of South America, Brazil, Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay. A must for the late summer garden, it seeds about happily, a short-lived perennial, hardy to -10oC.

August days roll on, the peace and quiet of these days disturbed only by the bees buzzing in the lavender.