HIHS On Line Magazine: August 2018

Links to This Month's Articles

Home Page Photo: Cosmos
Clay Soil Management
Summer: Wisdom Of Old
Monarda 'Fireball' (Bergamot)
Lammas Day
August Bank Holiday
Xerochrysum bracteatum
Last Chance To Sow Biennial Flowers
Perseids Meteor Shower
Plant Oriental Winter Salads

Home Page Photo: Cosmos

Brightly coloured, long-lasting and easy to grow,
cosmos is a popular garden flower.
It’s great for the gardener, and popular with bees.

The ferny foliage of Cosmos bipinnatus contrasts well
amongst other bedding plants with larger leaves.

They thrive in poor soils, enjoy full sun
and flower until the first hard frost.

Link to RHS: Cosmos horticultural advice.

Clay Soil Management

soil structure
Clay soils although hard to manage,
are also potentially very fertile
when treated in the right way.

Clays swell and shrink as they wet and dry,
effectively cultivating themselves and
drought is less damaging than with others soils.

Clay soils take longer to warm up in spring and
wet clay soils are damaged when dug or walked on.

Link to RHS: Gardening with a clay soil.

Link to RHS: What to grow on a clay soil.

Summer: Wisdom Of Old

One swallow does not make a summer.

The rich man gets his ice in summer,
and the poor man gets his in the winter.

Every cloud has a silver lining.

The mill cannot grind with the water that is past.

There is no new thing under the sun. (Ecclesiastes 1:9)

Monarda 'Fireball' (Bergamot)

Monarda 'Fireball' is a hardy perennial, with a compact habit,
topped throughout summer by scarlet flowers.

Easy to grow and a magnet for bees,
butterflies and other insects.

Use the dried leaves to make Bergamot tea
or the sweet, spicy flavoured petals to enhance
salads, jellies, rice or pasta dishes.

Link to RHS: Monarda horticultural advice.

Lammas Day

The first day of August is Lammas Day,
from the Anglo-Saxons hlas-mass or loaf-mass,
the medieval celebration of the wheat harvest.

The Lammas Loaf was the first loaf of bread
made with the grain from the new harvest
and used for communion in the medieval church.

Custom was the Lammas bread be broken into four bits,
which were placed at the four corners of the barn,
to protect the gathered grain.

Known as one of the 'Quarter Days',
rents and taxes were collected on Lammas Day.

August Bank Holiday

The first Monday in August,
was made a Bank Holiday under the Act of 1871
joining the previous three:
Easter Monday (on or soonest of the full moon after 21 March),
Whit Monday (first Monday in May),
and Boxing Day (26th December).

Good Friday and Christmas day were not included
as they had been recognised since time immemorial.

There is no automatic right to time off, or pay
it all depends on the individual's employment contract.

Xerochrysum bracteatum

Xerochrysum bracteatum
Commonly known as the golden everlasting or strawflower.

Grown from seed as a annual, reaching a metre tall
with green or grey leafy foliage.

Flower heads are produced through summer to autumn,
with papery bracts that resemble petals.

Popular as a dried flower.

Link to RHS: horticultural advice.

Sowing Biennial Flowers

August is the last chance to sow your biennial flowers
for wonderful displays in your garden next year.

Honesty, Wallflowers, Canterbury Bells, Sweet Williams,
Forget-me-nots, Foxgloves, all old cottage garden favourites.

Sow direct in the soil or in seed trays.
Keep watered and they will germinate in 14 days.
Those in seed trays pot on as necessary
and overwinter in cold frame.
Plant out in Spring next year.

RHS link: 10 of the best biennials.

Perseids Meteor Shower

Between 8th and 12th of August is the best
chance of observing a meteor shower.

Perspective make them appear from the
constellation of Perseus in the Northern sky.

Plants named "Star Gazer" include
a Lilium, a Hydrangea macrophlla and a Laurentia.

Plant Winter Salads

oriental greens
Quick growing, tasty, nutritious and fresh,
Oriental greens make an ideal crop for pots
and windowboxes.

Sow in August and they
can provide leaves for salads
and stir-fries right through autumn.

Link to RHS: Advice and Guidance.

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