September, thankfully, promises fewer extremes, in temperature and rainfall. Undoubtedly, the change of season will deliver milder weather, though the heat of summer might sneak in for a few days. Hopefully, not longer.
Today there is a gentle rainfall while I write under the cover of the summerhouse. This is not the deluge of tropical storms and repeated thunderstorms so frequent in August, but an ideal complement to maintain soil moisture.
This morning a ‘Spider’s Web’ fatsia, struggling in damp ground, was dug out and set in a container, hopefully to revive before an ideal home is discovered. While another (above) thrives in part sun, I search for a similar location for the second. Both have survived the two recent very mild winters without protection, though I must not become complacent and remain prepared for the next drop near zero (Fahrenheit). While nearly cold hardy, the fatsias add a tropical feel to the garden. Also, I am regularly seduced by large leaves.
Today, I am slightly conflicted by mazus (Mazus reptans, above) that has seeded profusely into the gravel path from the driveway to the rear garden. This slightly weedy ground cover has invaded the shabby rear lawn, to my delight. Wide spreading patches are often unnoticed beneath taller perennials and shrubs, but its spread by drainage is clear. I have planted the edges of the gravel with creepers that will soften its margins, and certainly mazus will do this more quickly. It is simple to remove at this tender stage, but I think for now it will stay. The gravel was laid without a fabric barrier for this purpose, but still I second guess.
My wife and a visiting friend first noticed a single passionflower (Passiflora caerulea) along the roofline of the summerhouse yesterday. There were two more around the corner (and others earlier in the week), and the first white blooms of the silver lace vine (Fallopia baldschuanica ‘Lemon Lace’, below) on the far side. This yellow leafed silver lace was planted with the promise that it would not be quite as vigorous as its green leafed cousin, but still it demands regular snipping to tame its roaming. This is easily accomplished several times each week, and this summer the vine has reached the limits of wires strung along two rooflines of the summerhouse. Next year might require more radical pruning, but I have no regrets, so far.
Tall flowers of native Joe Pye weeds that seeded into the shallows of the koi pond arch into the water. The spent flowers, waterlogged by August’s storms, add a more untidy appearance than is usual to the wild edges of the pond, but growth is so dense that difficult access discourages doing anything about it. Certainly, there are no manicured parts of the garden, so this untidiness is not shocking.