Monday, 25 August 2008

The end of summer

Traditionally, the August Bank Holiday marks the end of summer - or at least, of summer holidays. As August often seems a lethargic, almost stagnant kind of month, I'm not usually sorry to see it go. Like last year, though, the summer seems to be ending before it's even properly begun. We've had a few days recently when the temperature has approached the usual August values but overall, the last couple of months have been cold and extremely wet.

Watching a TV programme that showed that plants coped less well with waterlogging in summer than in winter - the opposite of what you might expect - makes me wonder if that's why the monardas (bergamot plants) in our garden haven't made an appearance this year. For the first couple of years they were great - two to three feet high with unusual, spiky red flowers. Apparently they like boggy ground and seemed very happy in our clay soil with so-so drainage. By last year they seemed to be taking over, having divided into about eight plants (from the original three) and, at six feet tall, towering over most of our other flowering plants. They had reached the point where we knew we'd have to dig them up and plant them further back, possibly against the fence, just to stop them overwhelming other things in the garden. This year - nothing. We were really surprised and disappointed that there was no sign of them. Maybe the wet weather did for them. If any keen gardeners have any ideas, please let us know where we went wrong.

I've included a photo of these plants as they used to look. Incidentally, does anyone know how to give Blogger photos a proper caption?