Autumn's coming

Autumn's coming

Autumn's coming

Bonnie Davies is an award winning garden designer who works at Burnham's family-run, Davies Brothers Nursery. Welcome to her blog where she shares her thoughts on all things green.

I don’t know about you, but to me it feels as though summer has been and gone before I even had a chance to get a sun tan. 

But us Brits don’t let the weather get us down, and I’ve been out in the garden giving it a re-vamp. Sadly we will never have a ‘Chelsea Flower Show’ garden, because we are just too busy working in the nursery throughout May and June to enjoy the delights of spring flowers: We go for more of a Hampton Court Flower Show plant pallet with shrubs and perennials that brighten up the garden when the sunshine fails us.

This year I have experimented with various planting combinations and the winning combo for me has been Knautia ‘Mars Midget’ with dainty cerise flowers that dance above compact foliage set off by the silvery foliage and soft blue flower spikes of  Perovskia, in the same border there is Gaura ‘Pink Passion’ and Agapanthus ‘Streamline’ which complement each other beautifully.

Another stunning amalgamation is Periscaria ‘Golden Arrow’ with Cotinus coggygria ‘Royal Purple’, where the leaf contrast is bold and bright and adds drama to a shady border.

I know that the keen vegetable gardeners, (my granddad among them) have a personal grudge against the weather this season, with unfavourable conditions meaning crops have been delayed, and fighting diseases has not been a battle for the faint hearted. I don’t have much to offer in the way of advice but just wanted to re-assure you that everyone seems to be in the same boat.

The summer baskets have done fantastically this year. We have had to dose them with the occasional emergency feed to revive them, like when I came back from a week in Wales amd as always the weather at home got warmer the moment we left for a break. Liquid feeding is especially beneficial to Surfinias when they get very large and can no longer obtain enough nutrients from the compost. The best bloomer award has to go the tuberous begonias, and although it’s a tricky decision I’d have to vote Begonia illumination ‘Apricot’ as the outright champ, they are athletes of the plant world, refusing to stop flowering until the frosts.

When the frosts come they will inevitably take the annuals with them, even though it seems as if they are just getting into their stride. Sorry for the abundance of sporting puns, the Olympics is still fresh in my mind…wow what a summer that was. So it is time to start thinking about the Autumn bedding. We have been nurturing pansy plugs since August, and now it is lovely to see their happy faces again.

Happy gardening! Bonnie x

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