August garden plant maintenance

August garden plant maintenance in Wokingham and Maidenhead

Berkshire and surrounding areas

Penstemon x gloxiniodes 'Maurice Gibbs' (Beard Tongue, Border Penstemon) flowering in garden above ornamental grass companion plant

Penstemon x gloxiniodes ‘Maurice Gibbs’ (Beard Tongue, Border Penstemon) flowering in garden above ornamental grass companion plant

In theory, now August is here, there is less to do in the way of garden plant maintenance than in previous months. Weeding and deadheading regularly remain with us, of course, and should we actually get a decent spell of sunshine, make sure your plants are well watered. If you have planted any new trees and shrubs this year it is particularly important that they get sufficient water because if their roots fail to take hold they will die. Breaking up some of the earth around the base of the tree allows water to filter through the soil where it may have become hard.

So here we are in the last full month of summer and finding plants in their prime, as far as colour is concerned, can be difficult in August. Here are a few suggestions to help you get that late summer colour into your garden.

A group of herbaceous perennials which have really come to the fore in the last few years are Heucheras. The sheer choice of foliage colour now available is amazing, they are very tolerant and will thrive in partial shade or full sun.   The following Heuchera varieties are recommended for any garden: “Caramel”, a perfectly descriptive name; “Frosted Violet”, a really rich violet with a silvery edge; “Peach Melba”, a rich peachy colour as its name suggests!

Callicarpa bodinieri “Profusion” is not a widely known shrub but is well worth considering as an addition to your shrub border. It grows up to two metres, produces balls of mauve/pink flowers around its stems in August and these are followed by the most incredible violet berries! It also happens to produce a stunning autumn leaf colour as well – what more could you want from a shrub!

Penstemons are a valuable herbaceous perennial for late summer flowers – here are a few varieties to look out for: “Hidcote Pink” produces salmon pink flowers with crimson streaks; “Garnet” is one of the most popular cultivars with bold red flowers which have a crimson throat; “Alice Hindley”, pale mauve flowers which keep on coming well into autumn!

Penstemons are best pruned back to 15cms in early May each year and given a good granular feed such as Vitax Q4. This guarantees they give you good service year after year. Statuesque Agapanthus also flower late – Agapanthus “Headbourne Hybrids” are the hardiest and need to be grown in full sun in free draining soil. They are also ideal for containers – make sure you deadhead them once they have finished flowering otherwise they put all their energy into producing seed.

Do enjoy the last full month of summer before the onset of autumn!

Jobs for August

  • Deadhead herbaceous plants and rosesTrim and tidy hedges
  • Continue to feed tomatoes and remove lower leaves to aid ripening of fruit
  • Prune rambling roses – remove a third of major stems concentrating on the oldest
  • Trim lavenders lightly
  • Start to take cuttings of any tender plants in case of a hard winter as they act as insurance
  • August is the month to harvest Onions, Shallots and Garlic – lift them as soon as their stems have gone dry and brown

We hope you have enjoyed the August gardening tips from Gardeneer