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My garden in pictures August

Californian poppies. Aug 12
Californian poppies. Aug 12

Blog: What the hell happened to the weather? Madness!

We have a mixed bag of weather here in North-East England but this month took the biscuit, in terms of utter crapness and hideous variety.

August started out warm and relatively humid, although being about 10 miles from the coast, our top temperature hit 27ºC on one day, with a more pleasant 23ºC, unlike the sweatbox that was the South East.

Sadly, the North Sea won and while the rest of the country sizzled, we had sea mist and low cloud for about 10 days, without a thunderstorm. Cheated!

Things got much worse with spates of unseasonal gales, torrential rain and then, on Saturday, August 29, a ridiculously low night temperature of 3ºC – and we’re in a built-up area.

Enough of my weather moaning – here are the pictures…


While most of the ornamental plants have loved the wetter than normal conditions, there have been two major exceptions – the roses and the sunflowers. All the roses had a smashing first flush but all seemed to have run out of steam, despite feeding, apart from good old Claire Austin.

The mini-branching sunflower Sonja has been shockingly bad, putting on little growth and being generally sickly, so I’m in a major huff with it. Luckily, my new Phormiums Platt’s Black and Pink Panther have filled in unsightly gaps until I can get the planted properly.

Californian poppies

A more successful annual has been Californian poppy Jelly Beans – I’m going to let them self seed because I’m bone idle.


Possibly not the best year to try all of the potted bananas outside in the summer but it’s a risk you take. They’re all OK, just no huge growth.

The two gingers have been wonderful, although they fall over as much as I do, like a pair of sails! One of them has what looks like a flower spike, so I’m beyond excited (I have no life).


Tales of gluts and failures – 25kg of apricots, loads of courgettes and a promising white carrot and raspberry crop.

On the downside, the tomatoes have been low yielding, the garlic was virtually non-existent and the kale looks like Nottingham lace, as it’s been ravaged by cabbage white butterflies, never usually a problem here.

You win some, you lose some…

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