Gardening diary

(Newest entry at the top)

14/03 :
See this post.

MARCH 2018

25/01 :
– After a sewer disaster last week preceded and followed by rain and more rain, I have finally ventured out in the garden, and this is my first flower of the year.

Photo 25-01-2018 15 36 53


13/12 :
– Saw two thrushes in the garden for the first time. Other usual birds : robin, blackbirds, tits, collared doves, dunnock, house sparrows, magpies, jackdaws, wood pigeons.


12/11 :
– In a bitter cold wind, planted Tulips Spring Green and Groenland (both viridiflora) and Alliums Christophii in the new green container.
– Mulched with manure.

11/11 :
– Went to Homebase and brought back a water butt, a large green glazed terracota pot, multipurpose and ericaceous compost, alpine white stones (could not find horticultural grit), a small crassula in memory of an old one I saw every summer and winter at my uncle’s house for years and a Venus flytrap for my son – it’s like a new pet.

03/11 : Long day in the garden !
– Moved the rosemary (again, final place I hope), lifted and potted the thyme and gave it a trim. Held the cut stems in my hand in a moment of fullness.
– Moved the tiny Verbena bonariensis (a seedling retrieved from a crack in the concrete slab in front of the shed).
– Finally got rid of the big pink begonia even though it is in flowers. Can’t say it hasn’t been performing, but I don’t like it : floppy fleshy stems, bright pink flowers which don’t suit the surrounding plants (what a unpalatable clash with Acer Osakazuki when it turns red !). Among begonias, I can only stand the small long flowered types, like the Million Kisses series. Actually, they could almost convert me to hanging baskets.
– Decided to give Yoshiki’s dwarf rhododendron (an azalea according to mother-in-law) one last chance. Put it in the ground with ericaceous compost obviously. Moved the sorry looking bit supposed to be Epidemium rubrum in a pot.
– Repotted Camellia sasanqua Rainbow and placed it where the begonia was. In order to use the nice pot, had to rehouse Miscanthus sinensis.
– Repotted Dracaena marginata bought on the High Street the other day. Can barely lift the damn thing now.
– Hung the little RSPB nest Granma gave to my son. Hope the robin will like it.
– Divided the variegated grass (Carex oshimensis Evergold ?) and used the bits to underplant the boxwood and ponctuate another bed. Moved the campanula again (that thing is tough if it recovers !). Total darkness meant I had to retreat.

02/11 :
– Planted some of the things bought in the garden centre yesterday.
– Baptised the loppers by taking down a beautiful holly growing against the fence in the middle of other plants. Felt bad, leaves were gorgeous.

01/11 :
– Went to the Garden Centre for manure and grit. They didn’t have any grit. Left with 150 litres of manure… but also, well, a few extras : Tradescantia andersoniana Sweet Kate and a Camellia sasanqua Rainbow, which was the plant of our end-of-October wedding (eleven years ago). From the clearance shelf : Daphne mezereum Rubra, Penstemon Phoenix Violet and a barely-alive-looking Clematis Jackmanii Superba. Plus seeds : borage, Lychnis Coronaria, Cosmos Purity, yellow aquilegia. Bought Alliums christophii.
– Was offered a pair of loppers (hurrah !) and tulip bulbs by Mother-In-Law (Spring Green and…)
– By the way, a lot of bulbs are popping up in the garden, and I don’t remember what they are.


29/10 :
– Went for an extremely windy walk in Reculver with the kids and the in-laws. Collected a small plant of what looks like matricaria maritima and another one which I don’t know yet. Big wild carrot-like flowers grew on the beach. Potted them.

Don’t remember when :
– Bought and planted Narcissi Sir Winton Churchill in a pot. My first double daffodils ever.

16/10 :
– Planted the Cordyline near the iris in the sunny bed.
– Lifted and divided Campanula muralis (portenschlagiana apparently). Replanted here and there in places challenging for other plants.
– Potted Miscanthus sinensis Kleine Fontäne. Not sure where it belongs yet.
– Tried to rescue tiny bits of Heuchera Beauty Colour which, though planted in the ground, had its roots eaten (at least they are not here anymore). Will probably plant the yellow corydalis in its place if the cutting takes.

10/10 :
– Layered bulbs in two large RHS pots with the kids. Bulbs : tulips Carnaval de Nice and Black Parrot, Narcissi Tazetta Martinette, Dwarf Crocus Sieberi Tricolor, Dwarf Iris Katharine Hodgkins / Injad Sherwood. Fingers crossed, we should get a beautiful display from February to May.
– Finally decided to put Acer palmatum Katsura in the ground

09/10 :
– Lifted and divided Geum Totally Tangerine in a lot of plants (nine ?), potted some to give away, planted the others, trying not to waste. In the process, moved some purple toadflax.
– Cleared more ivy. Maybe the honeysuckle will get a better chance next year.

08/10 :
– Cleared the climbing rose, the honeysuckle and the ivy in the corner where the leylandii was.

07/10 :
– The tree surgeon came to fell the sycamore and the leylandii.

05/10 :
– Received the plants ordered with Auntie S’s birthday present : Salvia guaranitica Black and Blue (oh so gorgeous), Centaurea montana Purple Heart, Sanguisorba obtusa and Miscanthus sinensis Kleine Fontäne. Planted the first two plants.
– Lifted and divided the old poppy (a good occasion to move it – but why do I multiply a plant I didn’t want in the first place ?).
– Moved the only surviving delphinium into the main sunny bed.
– Used slug pellets again, alas, to help some plants get a leaf out, at least. The phlox has been trying for days, only to be shaved clean by the slugs. Cat repellent again, as the damn thing has been at it.
– Collected Verbena bonariensis seedhead from the Miller’s park, and a hop seedhead.

02/10 :
– Cleared the sunny bed (the patch near the ivy trunk). Planted the rosemary. Lifted and divided some iris, replanted some behind the fuchsias. Am considering using slug pellets again as picking the b… up every night is not enough.
– The first ranunculus makes an appearance !


30/09 :
– Bought a ground feeder (mesh bird table) for the blackbird. Bought a rosemary. Birthday.

25/09 :
– Cut nearly every bit of ivy trunk I could access on the path side.

24/09 :
– With Neighbour Adam, trimmed down the copper beech and the cornus alba. Husband trimmed the ivy on the passage. Now to think about keeping or getting rid of the ivy… It is growing through the firethorn. Seen Little Red as everyday.

21/09 :
– Bought bird feeder and food for robins and blackbirds.

20/09 :
– Planted bits of Armeria maritima here and there.
– Carried on with the niwaki pruning of the boxwood. Four hours at it.

18/09 :
– Planted 15 Ranunculus corms (2 pots and in the ground). Planted an offspring of Japanese anemone September Charm near Honorine Jobert.
– Put figs in pot.
– Covered the garden in cat repellent. Sigh.

17/09 :
– Planted bulbs : 15 fritillaries, 20 alliums neapolitanum.
– Embarked on an attempt to prune the big barrel-shaped boxwood Niwaki style. Not sure it will work at all. Might have to cut the boxwood in the end.
– Sowed the Greyfriars Garden’s wild carrots.
– Sowed the Smyrnum olusatrum seeds.

15/09 :
– Moved some plants around (geranium, alchemilla, the arching fuchsia).

14/09 :
– On the way to Harbledown, collected Smyrnium olusatrum seeds. Brought by the Romans. Edible. Old veg. Beautiful.

12/09 :
– Battled the ivy on the path side.
– Planted a tiny pulmonaria in the shady bed.

11/09 :
– Hana’s mum’s gerbera is still alive ! Potted it.
– Moved Silene Druett’s variegated in its place.
– Planted what’s left of a Euphorbia myrsinites.

10/09 :
– Planted Eremurus x isabellinus Pinokkio (foxtail lily)
– Planted Calamagrostis brachytricha (Korean feather reed grass)
– Uprooted Auntie Shelagh’s rose. Replanted a small bit in the sunny bed. It couldn’t sustain its flowers’ weight.
– In its place, planted Helleborus x hybridus Double Ellen White Spotted
– Planted Epimedium rubrum (bishop’s hat)
– Potted two seedlings of Susan’s wisteria to grow as standards.

09/09 :
– Planted Verbena bonariensis, Astrantia Hadspen Blood, Crocosmia Lucifer and Alchemilla mollis (yes, garden staples) in the bed near the Aucuba. Added a bit of the divided Brunnera.
– Planted Eryngium x Zabelii Neptune’s Gold (again !) and Phlox paniculata Mount Fuji in the sunny bed.
– Potted a sorry-looking begonia. Will see how it fares. Don’t like begonias but don’t like not to give plants a second chance.
– Hatched this crazy project to grow a seedling of Susan’s wisteria in a pot as a standard.

08/09 :
– Received my birthday present to myself :

Photo 08-09-2017 13 35 08

The Korean feathergrass is so beautiful I wish I had ordered more.

06/09 :
– Planted Trollius chinensis Goldkönigin (Poundland) in shady bed.
– Planted Polemonium (Poundland) near the Geum. You’ve got to love a blue-flowered plant named Jacob’s Ladder. I love English plants’ common names anyway.
– Lifted and potted Iris Sibirica Butter and Sugar, which never thrived (barely alive).
– Divided Primula Bellarina Pink Ice in three plants. Replanted in the shady beds.
– Moved Acer palmatum Katsura which has sent roots through its pot’s draining hole. Needs repotting this autumn.

04/09 :
– Trimmed Lavender.
– Found pulmonaria seedlings and potted them.
– Planted Rumex sanguineus near the chive.
– Planted Chiastophyllum oppositifolium in shady bed (near heuchera, won’t have enough space).

September 2017

26/08 :
– Divided Brunnera macrophylla Jack Frost. Replanted where I could in shady beds.

25/08 :
– Potted Coreopsis Early Sunrise.
– Planted Geranium pratense Black’n White Army on Adam’s side.

Earlier in August :
– Planted Tricyrtis formosana Pink Freckles, Heuchera Berry Smoothie.

August 2017

Summer 2017 : return to Canterbury. Amongst other plants, we lost Acer Shirawasanum Aureum.