Whilst the languid month of August heralds lazy days basking in the sun (and a little of one’s own reflected gardening glory), there’s a widespread but little talked about phenomenon lurking on the horizon for those lucky enough to have productive gardens...
The first redcurrant jelly-making frenzy being over, the annual jam jar crisis is gathering momentum. Like odd-sock syndrome, the perennial question is where on earth do the matching lids go??
Such minor issues aside, August – and August gardens - are bliss. Sweet peas are running riot, dahlias are doing their diva thing and the roses are blooming lovely (sorry).
Meanwhile, the home-grown fruit and veg cropping in abundance bring with them the soothing, homely prospect of making jams, jellies and chutneys. Do have a look below for the Ashridge team’s favourite recipe for raspberry compote .
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Obliging and tolerant, these are the best garden guests. Plant and forget them and in spring, those little time bombs of colour will brighten dull borders, containers, woodland and anywhere else for that matter.

Plan where you want them and mark the spot with a labelled cane. The trick to random distribution is to throw handfuls of bulbs into the air and plant them where they land. Not a serried rank in sight.
There’s still time to plant dahlias to flower this year. Although July and August launch the glory days, these A-listers will flower fabulously until the first frosts. The best way to glam up late summer and autumn borders and just brilliant as cut flowers.
Short and to the point – don’t put weeds in the compost from August onwards.

They’ll set seed and, according to the old adage, ‘One year’s seeds are seven years’ weeds.’ Perish the thought.

On the same note - keep dead-heading for more flowers.
Gardening Jobs for August
  • Keep watering, feeding, weeding and mulching
  • Raise the blades on your mower by an inch from now ‘til September to ward against grass sunburn. Longer leaves shade the roots and absorb more sunlight to feed and strengthen them in preparation for winter
  • Pick fruit and veg whilst they’re young and tender. Bear in mind the runner bean glut – did no-one mention the virtue of restraint to these enthusiastic and prolific producers? Likewise, beware the overnight transformation of dainty little courgettes into monoliths…
  • Plant leeks, winter salads and perpetual spinach and chard. New potatoes are worth a go too for a bit of horti heroics at Christmas
  • Support the boughs of heavy-laden fruit trees and cut back raspberry canes once they’ve finished fruiting
  • Prune wisteria, rambling roses and the young growth on trained apples and pears. Do the same to fan-trained cherries, plums, apricots, peaches and nectarines once they have fruited.
  • Remember bay trees are OK with dry, hot and cold conditions but they don’t like to be too wet. One of the plants not to over-water.
Raspberry Compote...
Compote Ingredients
  • Fresh or frozen raspberries (2 cups - 200g)
  • Sugar (2 tbsp)
  • Lemon juice (1 tbsp)
  • Water (2 tbsp)
  1. Add the raspberries (fresh or frozen) to a heavy saucepan with sugar, water and lemon juice. Bring to a boil.
  2. Simmer the compote for 10 minutes until it starts to thicken.
  3. Allow to cool slightly, then transfer to a sterilised jar.
Sustainable Garden Design

As a city-based garden designer, when I head out to meet a potential client, I’m prepared to chat about a whole host of different questions. Common topics are how to make a small garden appear larger; how to create different areas of interest; incorporating low-maintenance...

Click here to read more.
We deliver more than 2,500 varieties of plants direct to your door – garden and fruit trees, bulbs, climbers, roses, lavender, soft fruit, flowers, herbs and accessories. Have a look online and leave the rest to us – we look forward to hearing from you, and in the meantime enjoy your garden and (hopefully!) some lovely weather.  
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Grove Cross Barn, Castle Cary, Somerset, BA7 7NJ
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Thank you, The Ashridge Nurseries Team.

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