August in London has been unusually cold and windy with some really heavy downpours, some spectacular thunder and lightning and all I can say is; we have had a lot of weather. After the amazing spring and summer, August came crashing down and the temperature never really got much above 20 degrees C or so and some nights were much colder than in January and February. Yep, August has been a disappointment so, upwards and onwards, September looks more promising!
Despite the cool weather, or perhaps because of it – my garden has grown like mad. Welcome to my jungle!!!
Many of the plants grow taller every year, but even so, everything is just that bit more vigorous and lush this year. With a warm start to the summer and without the hot, dry end to it we usually have, the plants have really had optimal conditions.
Here is a funny thing that has happened, this is a photo of my Dahlia 'Striped Vulcan' from mid July, I have always thought this one was wrongly labelled as it hasn’t got any stripes. The name is correct, I copied it off the invoice, but I can’t really remember how it should look like, only that it was supposed to fit in with the yellow dahlias next to it.
And look here! After 3 years in the ground, the dahlia has found its stripes! This flower comes from the same stem as the flower from July so how that is possible beats me, but this is probably how it was supposed to look and what I saw in the catalogue when ordering it. Funny! I just hope it will continue to produce flowers like this from now on, I never liked the orange flowers that much, I only kept the dahlia as it was such a prolific bloomer. Gardening can bring some nice surprises from time to time :-)
And here are two other dahlias, no surprises here, these are Dahlia 'Mary Eveline', my favourite dahlia. I have 3 of them and they are now almost as tall as I am (I am 175cm/5’9”).
In my last post I promised some photos of my giant begonias so here they come.
I like this ruffled one best, although my camera struggle to capture the colour properly.
And I have to show you some fuchsias too of course, by the time you read this, these 'Annabel' fuchsias are into their 15th month in a row flowering! I keep deadheading and there seems to be no end to the production of new buds despite only having had one lot of slow-release fertilisers in early April, last year!! Since then I haven’t been able to get to the base of these 4 plants to top up the fertiliser, but they don’t really seem to lack nutrition!
I have made a movie from my garden this time too, as always, if you have the speed for it, my films are best viewed in full screen (button in the bottom right corner) but remember to change to 720p or 1080p, depending on your download speed or else it will get too fuzzy. Here’s 5 minutes and 24 seconds of my August Garden, accompanied by some nice music.
For UK visitors, the music was probably familiar, made famous by the BBC series ‘The Apprentice’ but have you ever heard the whole piece? The music was ‘Dance Of The Knights’ by Sergei Prokofiev from the 1935 ballet ‘Romeo and Juliet’.
I have made many movies from my garden over the years, taken first with my Canon Powershot and then with my Canon EOS 600D – and more recently with my iPad mini. But none of these devices are made specifically for taking movies – and it shows, so I have wanted something better to film with for ages. And now I got it!
I have bought an early 50th birthday present for myself, my birthday isn’t until beginning of October but the Camcorder was on offer right now so I decided to go for it. Look how tiny it is! The movie you just saw was my first attempt to play with the camera, I filmed many small pieces over 2 days and then put them together using Windows Movie Maker (free to download). I am impressed with the camera so far, but I am afraid you won’t be able to see the amazing picture quality it actually is able to produce, it would not be possible to post files like that on the net, those movies are better burned to a Blue-ray disk. But I am able to do things I could never do with my cameras and iPad, and as I
fiddle with learn more about the camera I hope the movies will get better too!
That was the tour for end of August, thanks to Helen at The Patient Gardener’s Weblog for hosting this meme, if you head over to her blog you will find many more End of Month Views.
Sorry for being so absent here in the blogosphere in July and August, I have had more family visiting me during this summer than combined the past 15 years I have lived here in London so it has been very nice but busy. I have also finished my 7th book, you can see the whole book here, it is in memory of my father who died in February. I have already started planning book number 8 so I’ve got plenty to do in the autumn too, but I will try to come and visit you all soon to say hello and leave a message. Until next time, take care.