August Gardener

August  round the world 

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Orchid at Singapore exhibition photographed by Editor Feb 2016

I am adding more specific pictures this month and ongoing  of worldwide interest, of trees and plants for this time of the year and also some tropical and sub tropical plants that permanently enjoy constant temperatures averaging 32 C with very varied rain conditions from regular cyclones (hurricanes and typhoons) every year to moderate regular tropical rain seasons that are usual in hotter  regions .

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New Zealand Xmas Tree Myrtaceae Family. Pohutakuwa tree photo by Editor in Rotorua Feb 2016

Following a lengthy tour of Singapore and around New Zealand and Australia earlier this year I have  added  some interesting pics and information on typical and unusual trees shrubs and flowers of these  very varying climatic areas of the world.  There is a one  example of the popular  ‘New Zealand Christmas tree’ .

August is a warm summer month in the UK with temperatures of approximately 20 – 23 C but on the other side of the world in Auckland (North Island) New Zealand, now in the midst of winter,  temperatures usually only reach a much cooler 12 – 15 C.  East coast Australia in August averages 12 -21 C so not much below the UK but with more sun. USA in August in the big northern Cities eg New York temperatures average 27 to 30 C and further south Phoenix can reach 38 C with the coolest San Francisco on the west coast 20-25 C.  What a world-wide variation!

Plants, of course, have adapted to the conditions which surround them and the differing temperatures ,soils and water levels available.  Plants, where they are grown, and the products they provide us with, not just edible, but industrial and medicinal is a fascinating subject I never tire of researching .

August growing of plants has been  mainly completed by planting throughout the Autumn, Winter and Spring seasons in Northern or Southern temperate hemispheres, with certain winter vegetables planted in summer such as rocket, lettuce and radishes and plenty more.   Have a look on specialist vegetable websites.  I will be covering the growing interest in imported exotic vegetables grown in warmer areas of the planet but also some that can be grown in colder temperate climates such as the UK, which we may not be aware of.  It’s interesting stuff that fascinates  me and will be a major part of the  SciencefortheGardener book hopefully due out next year that I’m currently working on.

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In the UK July and August are the hottest months with September often following on with good late summer weather making these three months glorious for summer and late summer flowering plants.  There are many wonderful places in the UK to see large scale summer flowering from the RHS gardens  and the National Trust range of stately homes to the growing number of private estates  open to the public.  In the south-west, Forde Abbey in Somerset, previously a medieval monastery, Stourhead House and Garden, simply magnificent landscaped gardens in Wiltshire and Abbotsbury (nr Weymouth )sub-tropical gardens on the south coast in Dorset, which has an amazing number of plants growing and surviving protected from UK winter frosts by the surrounding micro climate, are amongst my favourites.Burrow Farm in East Devon is an example of a home grown natural landscaped garden that is one of the most relaxing gardens I have ever visited.See Garden Visits.

A grass path beside a purple hydrangea, leading into a woodland area with views of the Devon countryside beyond.

Burrow Farm .A grass path beside a purple hydrangea, leading into a woodland area with views of the Devon UK countryside beyond.

Stourhead lake June

Stourhead Wiltshire UK

Summer really is the best time to explore your region for visiting gardens to discover new trees and plants, many of which are now being named clearly.    As a horticulturist I find this very useful information, particularly where trees are numbered and sheets provided for a small cost so that they can be identified.  Ive always  found learning  the names and being able to identify trees  a  very satisfying process.

Many of us all will be on holiday so enjoy the summer, be safe and keep an eye on the editor’s update and special articles of interest on Home Page .

Tony Arnold ACIHort