Date Published 28 August 2015
As the August thunderstorms persist, I look longingly at the fire pit recently delivered. If you're of a cynical nature you are now thinking, ‘A fire pit, in August, in the UK, mad woman!' But I am a positive person, which is why I am now seeing the fire pit doubling as a bird bath – full to the brim with rainwater! Maybe not, with two bird hungry dogs in residence!
It did start me thinking though that very soon my garden will no longer be extended living space. No more kids' cricket matches, apologies to the neighbours for the stray balls! No more late evening star gazing over wine and certainly no more dining alfresco. Okay, I know the cricket matches more often than not ended up in disputes over rules and the stars were often hidden by clouds. As for eating outdoors, the aggressive wasps nesting near the shed robbed me of the Mediterranean feel I had hoped for as they sent the kids screaming for shelter leaving their food as sacrificial offerings!
I am sad, however, that my garden is shortly destined to become a wilderness, unloved and unused apart from the dogs venturing out between rain showers. As the lawn growth slows down and the opportunity for enjoying our gardens decreases rapidly with the Autumnal breezes it's essential that we remember the garden as we prepare our homes for sale.
We forget our gardens all too readily as we depersonalise, declutter and spruce up the interior décor of our homes. But our gardens deliver the first impression to buyers and emotions often encourage them to buy, so this is a costly mistake to make. Although you can't lay the outside table with floral linen, open the parasol or scatter rugs and cushions across a lush green lawn, tackling a few garden jobs now will present a well-kept look.
In late August you can:
• Dead head bedding plants and perennials to encourage further flowering.
• Trim your lavender plants to keep them compact.
• Cut back herbs to encourage a new flush of tasty leaves.
• Prune roses once they have finished blooming.
• Raise the cutting height of your lawn mower to help the grass cope with slower growth.
• Recut any lawn edges.
• Give hedges a final trim.
Oh, and keep the broom and rake handy for the leaves!