The Reveal

by AnneWareham on August 15, 2013


No, this has not become bad reality tv. This is gardening in the raw. Least it feels like that. This is one time of year when hard work in the garden is unavoidable.

The Crescent Border finishes the great Campanula lactiflora and Epilobium ‘Stahl Rose’ fest.

Campanula and  Chamerion angustifolium at Veddw South Wales Garden Attraction, copyright Charles Hawes_MG_7522 s

Campanula and Chamerion angustifolium beginning to go ….

I have to admit that while visitors have been wowing over it I had been thinking ‘I have to cut all that lot down’. And the day came when I had to. Which meant getting into a border where the plants were higher than me, and which concealed nasty nettles and cunning cleavers, to cut and pull out piles of enormous flower stems. They won’t mow up like most of my debris, so I also have to either (preferred) drop them and stomp on them in the border, or chuck them over the edge and then pick them up.

Yes. Pick them up. Horror. Was it worth it? The flowering  was a bit stupendous.

Campanula lactiflora _MG_7514 Veddw, South Wales Garden Attraction,copyright Charles Hawes

Love them – until……

Next, the alchemilla and geraniums were going over. So a bit of mowing, a bit of strimming and a bit of raking. Followed by more mowing and we’d done that. Then Charles strimmed and sucked up (with a machine, she hastened to add) all the plants on the path. Suddenly you can walk the path and the steps again and all is bare. Sounds awful but actually this suddenly reveals the lawn. From the house it is at eye level and seen on the flat it really looks like a proper lawn (as opposed to cut grass) and the border is suddenly given more weight by having the uninterrupted foreground. I think the strip of green lawn is probably the best foreground even though I love the alchemilla and geraniums when they are doing their stuff. This is a very dramatic change:

Alchemilla mollis and geraniums copyright Anne Wareham, Veddw South Wales Garden Attraction,

Blue and yellow. A friend calls it banal..but….

Alchemilla gone Aug 2013 Veddw South Wales Garden Attraction, copyright Anne Wareham



But very soon after it’s all popping up again:

returning alchemilla and geranium s August 2012 Veddw South Wales Garden Attraction, copyright Anne Wareham

Coming back….

And then – the meadow. Always a challenge but this year easier than most because it’s been so dry. Done:

 Anne cutting meadow Veddw South Wales Garden Attraction, copyright Charles Hawes

Just before the cloud of smoke started …..

Meadow cut finished Veddw South Wales Garden Attraction, copyright Anne Wareham  August 2013

Done – transformed and suddenly there is a wonderful open space

The cut grass all stashed under the apple trees for nutritious mulch –

August 2013 Veddw South Wales Garden Attraction, copyright Anne Wareham 013 Hay mulching under apple trees s

Hay mulch: a great exchange – lowers fertility in meadow, increases it for the trees.

Then there is the Front Garden left – to cut out the white willow herb. But not today. Anyone still wondering why I don’t rave about gardening?

Well, all of that makes way for the rest. And although I would sometimes like to freeze the garden at a particular point of glory, truly the greatest pleasure is change. Every day in the growing season I go out to look at what has changed. It’s not always for the better but it refreshes the sight and the site, helps me see it more clearly.

Then what follows? Loads…

hydrangea flower August 2013 Veddw South Wales Garden Attraction, copyright Anne Wareham 026

Nooo – I don’t know what it’s called…

Dahlia Bishop of Llandaff August 2013 Veddw South Wales Garden Attraction, copyright Anne Wareham 089

It’s still great..

Persicaria Dragon's Eye.s August 2013 Veddw South Wales Garden Attraction, copyright Anne Wareham

Persicaria Dragon’s Eye – wonderful plant.

Hydrangea macrophyll a 'Lanarth White' August 2013 Veddw South Wales Garden Attraction,copyright Anne Wareham 027

O yes…

Wild Garden Veddw South Wales Garden Attraction, copyright Anne Wareham rosebay willow herb and crocosmia

Some people call rose bay willow herb a weed. It is over generous but still well worth having. But this pic is a little exaggerated – it’s all paler than that. (couldn’t resist though)

Long way to go yet before the garden knocks off…or I get to knock off. This is the cusp between summer and late summer……

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Elizabeth Cornwell August 15, 2013 at 12:35 pm

My campanula dont do very well clay soil?Except for the small creeping variety which would cover everything inc the cat if I let it!

AnneWareham August 15, 2013 at 12:51 pm

Have you tried lactiflora?

Elizabeth Cornwell August 15, 2013 at 6:26 pm

Are they the taal spiky ones?If so,they are the ones I am trying to grow & they are pathetic!As I say I have very heavy clay soil which I dont think they like!or perhaps its just my ineptitude!

AnneWareham August 15, 2013 at 9:21 pm

Nah. It won’t be you, it’ll be the soil. I did have a claggy bit and did find that a mulch of bark regularly replenished worked wonders. But there are plants that probably just like clay if you can get them in without starting pot making..

Adam August 15, 2013 at 12:59 pm

Just LOVE that great drift of Campanula-fantastic !

AnneWareham August 15, 2013 at 1:06 pm

Thank you, Adam, it is an amazing plant.

Maggie August 15, 2013 at 5:43 pm

Right Anne! How professional are you?! You can come and do the same to mine next week! I found bindweed climbing all the way up a gardening fork that’s been patiently waiting to go on duty for the past umpteen weeks. Sadly I pulled it and the bindweed out of the soil in horror before I remembered to photograph it.xxxx

AnneWareham August 15, 2013 at 9:17 pm

I’ve never understood what a garden fork is for. Now I know – a support for growing bindweed. Patent it.

Cindy at enclos*ure August 15, 2013 at 6:19 pm

Blue and yellow is not banal, it is “classic” — work it for all its worth.

AnneWareham August 15, 2013 at 9:18 pm

It’s great, you are quite right. Love yellow and red too. Yellow is very versatile and there’s a lot of ot about..

Maggie August 15, 2013 at 6:26 pm

I should have written HOW, emphasising the fact that you are. I see Derry has done the same. My invasive wild flowers (ie weeds) make me weep!

AnneWareham August 15, 2013 at 9:23 pm

You’ve got a ride on? An amazing tool..Thought you would really be on top of this stuff!

Maggie August 15, 2013 at 11:19 pm

Oh yes, got a ride on for the meadow…and a farmer who takes the hay off, even better, but its the borders, as you say with the wicked weeds…….nasty nettles and cunning cleavers. Don’t think I am going to manage a cut back like you have, you hard working, committed soul. And Charles too, of course xxx

AnneWareham August 15, 2013 at 11:26 pm

Ah – that makes more sense. Yes it is a pain. And it does give fresh life for the next part of the year….Anyway: remember, we charge people to visit the garden and we are not Lady Complacent Keen….

Paul Steer August 15, 2013 at 6:52 pm

The cut meadow looks lovely. I actually enjoy the process of cutting and redefining boundaries as much as the exuberant growth but I don’t have a garden the size of Veddw to cope with ! I agree that seeing changes through the seasons and the garden maturing is pleasurable but sometimes fraught with difficult choices. I must visit again .

AnneWareham August 15, 2013 at 9:24 pm

Yes Paul – you must. The garden can’t wait for you to come back.

amy August 16, 2013 at 11:00 am

I always struggle with the decision of when to cut back my very large border of alchemilla mollis, its pretty, then still pretty, then still pretty then its not pretty anymore. I guess it’s about time to cut it back. What do you use to cut yours back? A string trimmer?

AnneWareham August 16, 2013 at 11:33 am

The mower, where it will reach. Then strim with blade strimmer. Then rake bits into path of mower and mow them up. Unless on path – then the sucky thing for the bits..

It seems that whenever we have something special on, the alchemilla goes yellow..