Here we are, and August is upon us!

Things have been going full steam ahead here at Reveley Lodge. Indeed all the planting out seems but a distant memory and new projects are now calling for our attention! But as Monty Don says: there are times when you just must stop to enjoy a passing moment because it may never come your way again. I recently had just one of those moments. 

I was passing the large stone urn near the house conservatory when the sun hit the urn at an unusual angle and the plants were wonderfully backlit with what almost looked like haloes. It was indeed magical! And I don’t use those words often or lightly. Sadly, by the time I managed to quickly grab a camera and return to the scene, the moment had moved on and the lighting wasn’t quite the same. I did try to capture it but really that special moment had passed – the light had changed. And let’s face it, as you can see from my photo, I am not the greatest photographer in the world. My old Dad, who was a journalist / photographer wouldn’t have been impressed. Sorry Dad!

This spring my assistant, Lesley, had been asked by the Trust at Reveley to plant up the stone urn to try to recreate a scene from one of Mr Chewett’s paintings. You can compare it with the original painting, which is hanging in the Billiard Room. Please have a look and let us know what you think next time you are in for a cup of tea at Mabel’s. Anyway, I think Lesley has done a really good job, unlike my photograph.

At the opposite end of the house, you will find what is at the moment ‘the colourful back gate area’. Here, hidden among all the different colours of foliage, you will see this delightful colour combination of Brunnera ‘Alexander’s Great’ and Solenostemon ‘Campfire’. The silver and green of the Brunnera set off the warm colours of the ‘Campfire’. Solenostemon is more commonly called Coleus, and yes, you can see why folks prefer the name Coleus! There are many Solenostemon that are, to be quite frank a bit gaudy, but there are some really good ones which can really add a spot of colour in a shady place. Coleus don’t really like full sun, it causes them to fade and lose their strong leaf colours.

Coleus are a quite difficult to overwinter as they tend to rot easily. But thankfully they aren’t too hard to grow from seed, or you can buy a couple in the spring. Definitely worth a whirl in my book!

Enjoy the rest of the summer, And don’t forget to stop, enjoy and be thankful for those special moments as they come along. After all, it’s part of why we garden!