It’s that time of year again, the sun is warm and hazy, the days remain long yet night draws nearer. Summer is at its highest, although autumn begins to seep in at the edges. It’s August, a month of abundance and colour in the garden. It is the accumulation of all that gardeners have nurtured during the year’s former months; borders across the country burst at the seams. While it is imperative that gardeners take time to enjoy and appreciate what they have created, it is all too easy to forget about the seasons ahead and focus on the present. But gardening is about looking to the future, and by sowing flower seeds in August you can guarantee that the beauty and colour around you is just as, if not more, dazzling and opulent as it is now.
The Rose Press Garden August subscription box is one of the best ones yet. It encompasses an array of all kinds of plants, incorporating colour, structure, and benefitting wildlife in gardens of any shape or form. This carefully considered combination epitomises what it is to “Autumn Sow” and makes certain that interest will continue well into next summer. Autumn sowing is the process by which gardeners sow seeds (usually in August or September) – these seeds will not flower in the same year of sowing, but rather, if nurtured, will grow on through winter to give an ever earlier, better and fuller display the next summer. For example, autumn sown sweet peas, cornflowers and ammi majus can flower up to two months earlier than their spring sown siblings. Some annuals such as larkspur may even be hardy enough to stay outdoors in the ground after being direct sown in autumn, while other seedlings such as scabious would benefit from the shelter of a greenhouse or cold frame.
The seeds included in this month’s box are adventurous yet familiar, unusual yet guaranteed to succeed (and are sure to get you lots of compliments about your garden!) Household favourites cornflowers and larkspur are included with an exciting twist, the larkspur are a dreamy pastel pink and the cornflowers a sultry black. Both defy yet enhance the stereotypes of their more common royal blue cousins. The stunning lilac scabious is so versatile, being perfect for cut flowers, borders and for wildlife. Appealing inclusions like this are what sets apart the seeds provided by the subscription box – they are well known favourites but varieties you can’t just “pick up off the shelf.”
The next on the line up is something entirely contradictory, an introduction that may be a new discovery for many gardeners. Eryngium planum is a structural sea holly that looks beautiful paired with grasses, cosmos, salvias… and pretty much every other border combination! The silvery blue flowers and foliage not only contribute to the calming effect of a border, they harmonise perfectly with both cottage and exotic planting schemes. No garden should be without it!
Finally is perhaps the most beneficial and important flower of them all, the humble wildflower. In a time when meadows are becoming scarce and landscapes spoiled, it is paramount that gardeners do what we can to give back to the earth and the wildlife by replacing what has been lost. This month’s box facilitates that beautifully, with an extremely well presented packet of wildflower seeds, specifically beneficial to pollinating insects.
As always, the instruction cards are extremely informative and there is a wealth of information on The Rose Press Garden’s online platforms to provide advice, help and guidance about sowing and nurturing this month’s seeds. The box is stunning in its presentation and superior in its quality; making it a joy to open, a joy to sow and a joy to garden.
I am sure I speak for all subscribers when I say that I can’t wait for the subscription upgrade coming in October, although I really didn’t think it could get any better than this!