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The main focus in the garden in August tends to be the 3Ws: watering, weeding and whiling away long summer days. While we’re not getting much chance in East Lothian to do the third one this year, it does mean we don’t always have to do as much of the first! Do keep an eye on your containers though. They don’t always get as much rain on them as you think and can dry out very quickly.

If you’ve been away on holiday and come back to find some of the plants in your pots and baskets haven’t survived your absence, the first of the new season bedding is now in. Simply pop in a few replacements and you’ll prolong the life span of your containers by another few weeks.

Your taller plants may well need some extra support from you this month. Tall perennials like Helenium and Leuchanthemum appreciate support to prevent them from blowing over when they reach full size. And plants with full heavy blooms like roses need help to stay upright and prevent them flopping over. You can use bamboo canes or there’s a wide range of support frames available.

And finally, don’t forget your wildlife friends! We all love to see ladybirds because they’re such attractive wee things, but as a natural predator of greenfly, blackfly and whitefly they’re also a great help to gardeners. So for a simple way to help your plants thrive, when you see a ladybird in your garden, pick it up and pop it in your greenhouse or on your roses, fruit trees or anything you’re worried about. It’ll make itself at home in no time and happily devour some of your garden pests.

This month’s planting recipes

Recipe one: tiered succulent planterAug 2015 planting recipe 1
We’ve used two different sized terracotta pots to make a simple but striking tiered planter with some of the lovely succulents and alpines we have in at the moment.

You’ll need:

  • One Crassula sarcocaulis
  • One Sempervivum Sir William Lawrence
  • One Pachyphytum dark red
  • One Sedum coral reef

Fill both pots with multi-purpose compost mixed with a few handfuls of grit for drainage. Place the smaller pot to the back of the larger one. Plant the Crassula in the top pot, then the three other plants in the bottom one. Top with some decorative grit or small stones to finish them off. Easy!


Recipe two: shady area planterAug 2015 planting recipe 2
We’re often asked what to plant in darker parts of the garden that doesn’t need a lot of sun but still looks great. This shady area planter is just the ticket.

You’ll need:

  • One Braun’s Holly Fern
  • One Astilbe sprite (salmon pink)
  • One Heuchera marmalade – we love the gorgeous mix of orangey tones in the leaves
  • One Fuschia happy wedding day
  • One Hedera helix – a variegated ivy

We used a large glazed pot because we like its reflective finish but you can use whatever pot you have to hand. Fill with multi-purpose compost. Plant the fern to the right side at the back of the pot and the ivy to the back left so it trails down the side. Follow with the Astilbe and the Heuchera and finish with the trailing Fuschia to the front left. You can add some landscape bark as a topper if you like.

We’re always happy to help if you need any plant advice or ideas. Remember too that we offer a free personal shopper service where we can help you choose the right plants for your type of garden. Just pop in to Merryhatton or give us a ring on 01620 880278 to arrange a time.


Ann Rosie and Julie - merryhatton team

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