That’s not to suggest we shouldn’t expect to see signs of the approaching season; the night-time temperature is beginning to drop away from the uncomfortably clammy, while several mornings this past week have seen me pulling up the blinds to discover a fresh, chill mist knocking at the glass. Above all this, the thoughts of the gardener are beginning to turn from what can still be achieved in the beds and borders this year, to how best to prepare for the next.
One thing in particular will help with my own garden in a year from now – I need to face up to the truth about molluscs. I’ve been in denial, having evidently been at pains to create the perfect environment for snails in particular, although slugs too are well represented. Over the past few years I’ve adopted a fairly hands-off gardening style here; fine as long as I was happy to stand back and watch the dynamics within the borders, leaving the plants to their own devices, though it does naturally favour a survival-of-the-fittest scenario. Consequently, I have a late summer bed of flowering thugs – solidagos, Japanese anemones and crocosmias – while most of the charming asters, echinaceas and heleniums have been grazed to the ground by the battalions of snails emerging nightly from the heaps of lush foliage encouraged by my neglect. One tiny pocket of resistance against the endless onslaught is being offered up by Aster divaricatus. Rain battered and, by now, going over, it must taste disgusting to snails, for which I am immensely grateful. Its presence is a minor reprieve I surely don’t deserve.
|Aster divaricatus, bravely soldiering on, albeit a tad dishevelled|
I’m starting to get concerned that things might begin to look a little organised; will I in a few months – horror of horrors – find myself in the position of having “put the garden to bed for winter”? I think I should perhaps just take this one step at a time.
|Anemone x hybrida 'Königen Charlotte'. A right bruiser.|