(Newest entry at the top)
– Decided to remove the bright pink penstemon from its spot. Emptied the big green pot from its cosmos, replanted them in the borders, and installed the penstemon in it. It is sulking now, of course.
– Planted some erigeron seedlings in front of the sunny bed. I am so glad I didn’t give up on my seeds and didn’t buy ready-potted plants. There is such a sense of achievement when one can raise plants from seeds.
– Potted the two dark plum dianthus which were suffering.
– Deadheading and weeding
– Guests gone. Planted the grass I received from Crocus yesterday : deschampsia cespitosa Goldtau in the middle of the sunny bed, with 6 stipa tenuissima here and there. The sunny bed is more and more in the prairie style.
– This week, discovered that the unidentified orange rose received in the very cheap deal is very likely to be Rosa Warm Welcome, which is a miniature climber. I have no idea where I could make it climb… Another of the roses bought in the deal, which is a wild one, has opened : pale pink, semi-double, yellow stamen. Lovely and dainty.
– Finally the phlox paniculata Fujiyama cuttings have rooted. Potted them.
– Repotted lysimachia punctata in one of the purple tomato planter with the water compartment at the bottom.
– Googled the penstemons I am growing from cuttings. The pink one might be penstemon schoenholzeri and the amazing blue one (not rooted yet) might be penstemon Stapleford gem.
– Game of musical chairs again. After taking inspiration from suggestions on the Facebook gardening group, I planted physocarpus Red Baron next to the aucuba, moved the black elder on the other side of the ceanothus and replanted the tricyrtis shoot near the dogwood where the physocarpus was. So there are two dark burgundy plants behind the crocosmia now. In front of the crocosmia, I planted three stipa tenuissima which were near the pomegranate.
– Removed the non flowering delphinium and the tradescantia which were there and potted them.
– Gardening all day. All this started as I was trying to think of what could go with crocosmia Lucifer’s shocking red. I was already planning to buy new plants from Crocus. Turns out I can use what I have already got.
– Removed the pink hydrangea from under the ceanothus. It will go to Hayley’s home and I am very glad. Little by little, plants which I planted randomly in my first years of gardening are getting out, as I try to introduce more sense in my borders. In its place I planted an offshoot of Tricyrtis formosiana and two foxgloves.
– Decided to plant sambucus nigra Black Lace near the Japanese aucuba, behind crocosmia Lucifer.
– Removed tradescantia Sweet Kate from the sunny bed. Divided the big Pheasant tail’s grass in three and lined the sunny bed with it. Pulled a lot of nigella seedheads. I find difficult to cope with mess and decay this early in the year.
– Tidied up the sunny bed.
– Planted the new dianthus, moved a fuchsia seedling near Eyngium Neptune’s Gold (which is not going to flower as it has been moved)
– Pulled up some foxgloves and replaced them with baby ones.
– Cut the old flowers on the white centranthus. This looks like it will flower forever. Best plant ever, and for free.
– Moved a penstemon which was hidden under a fern in the sunny bed.
– Bought a dianthus Colores Oro (or Sol ?) of an unusual pale yellow colour from the old man in town.
– Pulled up the white dianthus and potted it after a severe cut. Why oh why do I always do that when the plant is about to flower ? Had to sacrifice some very nice linaria to do that as well.
– Moved the perovskia in its place.
– Pulled more foxgloves.
– Bought a clematis Ville de Lyon and two wine coloured dianthus in wilko. Planted the clematis on the treillis where it should bloom after clematis montana.
– Moved plants around : extracted heuchera Berry Smoothie from under other plants, moved veronica gentianoides to free the space, binned the supposed rosa moyesii because it looked very weak and unhealthy. I didn’t have the space for it anyway. Shame though as Monty Don showed off his last Friday and it looked glorious.
– Planted the mimulus with the lobelia and petunia, moved the nasturtium that was there in one of the Cypress pots. I don’t think I’ll be doing nasturtiums around the circular lawn next year. Their colour is so intense and bright it clashes with the rest.
– dug the last logs into the lawn. Phew !
– Moved plants around in the crocosmia corner. I hope the crocosmia is still going to flower… this was very risky. One of the flowering stalks is now hanging down very depressed. Also moved the euphorbia wulfenii which now sulks.
– Of the 6 roses bought in the cheap Gardening Express deal, one is dead, three are wild roses including rosa moyesii, 2 are of the cultivated type. Can’t wait to discover what the flowers are like.
– the logs are almost all in now, two left to dig in.
– Pulled out spent foxgloves. There was a big storm last night which didn’t help. Lily regale album opened just before, unsurprisingly.
– Dahlia Orfeo has made an appearance in the last few days. Better late than never.
– Pricked out some erigeron seedlings and planted here and there.
– Moved some calendula to sunny spots.
– First flower on geranium Rozanne and the eremurus !
– With the kids, under occasional light rain, treated the logs with Eco wood treatment.
– Bought achillea filipendula Gold Cloth and crinodendron hookerianum (Chilean lantern tree) at Wilko. Planted the achillea in the dahlia border. Don’t know what I will do with the lantern tree. Bought it because Grandad has a beautiful one.
– Pulled out the tallest beautiful white foxglove because rain and wind had pushed it over. Deadheaded the purple lupin.
– pulled out the tall alexanders plant. It freed a space for the pot of speckled dahlia and also let the light in for a salvia and a delphinium.
– Out of my 5 salvia Amistad only two are really growing. The one in the strawberry pot is trying but slugs are harming it. 2 seem well and truly dead.
– Put the lily pot in the place of a dead salvia.
– Pulled back some forget me not, moved the potted purple azalea there.
– cut back some of the ivy ball near the house
– divided and moved hepatica transylvanica – one in a pot (where the black spot rose was which is now in the bin) and one under the Redwine maple between the monster hellebores. In its place I planted Hakonechloa Sunflare.
– Put the hot coloured dahlias in the ground : Procyon, Seattle, bishop of Llandaff, Akita. Also the pale Bishop of Leicester as I wanted the bishops to be able to converse.
– moved the rudbeckia which was threatening the foxtail lily. It is now with the hot dahlias. Had to move a giant sunflower seedling to do that.
– First sighting of rosemary beetle on the rosemary. Some ended in the green bin.
– Am hesitating to throw away the sickly black currant from Poundland
– potted up 15 foxgloves seedlings, 2 lunaria, planted out orleya grandiflora.
– Potted up Black Hamburg
– Pruned the round box and the niwaki.
– moved the cistus back into a bigger pot. Moved the pink gaura in its place. Makes much more sense.
– Thinned the pots of californian poppies and replanted the extra inside pots of other things.
– Binned one of the forget me nots and planted a baby brunnera in its place. Cut back the muscari.
– Moved one of the echinops ritro into the sunny bed. Again more sense.
– moved the Jacob’s Ladder which is going to flower. In its place, planted the chive which had rooted out of its pots really quickly. Had to transplant a small penstemon cutting.
– Bought grapevine Black Hamburg in Wilko. No idea where to plant it. Aidan insisted to buy a panda plant (kalanchoe tomentosa).
– Dug up pulsatilla vulgaris, divided and replanted, one in a nice pot, the others in holes in the beds. I know it will sulk. If it sulks too much it will be binned.
– Got rid of the paeony. Last year I got two flowers. This year three buds which are not fattening up. That plant was never what it was supposed to be – bought a packet in M and S which said Sarah Bernhardt. It certainly wasn’t. It doesn’t look very healthy now. It is a shame. I have loved it. But now the bed has more unity (in my eyes anyway – a sort of mix between prairie and Mediterranean style, something for full sun). In the place of the paeony and the pulsatilla, I moved a white echinacea which was suffering under irises and planted Iona’s cistus (Alan Fradd) which was in a pot. Somehow it wouldn’t come out of its pot. When it finally did, it strangely detached from all its new roots that had filled the container. But I expect this tough one won’t sulk too long.
– planted out some cosmos gazebo white and orleya grandiflora seedlings.
– bought two passiflora caerulea at Wilko, the blue one for Aidan and Constance Elliott for me. Planted Constance in a big pot with a bamboo cane tipee. Need another big pot for Aidan’s passiflore.
– Also bought trellis pannels for the clematis montana. Need at least one more.
– Checked the roses like everyday for signs of life.
– Finally planted the giant sunflower seeds : 2 in the border (to keep one) and three in a big pot.
– Planted one little Penstemon cutting in the ceanothus border.
– Spotted what looks like the promise of two flowers in the foxtail lilies !!!
– Planted the hanging basket which came crashing down when I tried to turn it around. Great. Started again.
– With the rest of the petunias and trailing lobelia, planted the pot where tulips Orange Emperor were. Also stuck a trailing nasturtium in there. Discarded the tulips.
– Planted the last bare root rose.
– Yesterday’s torrential bouts of rain seem to have woken up seeds… and weeds.
Under rain and hail, struggled to plant the bare root roses from the Gardening Express deal. Have no idea what colour they are or even if they are going to make it. Hum. Fortunately the depth of the soil was quite dry. Not too much damage to the clay structure hopefully.
Have been in the garden everyday and can’t remember all the things I did. Mainly moving plants here and there. That poor geranium Black and White Army must have been moved more than 5 times since I bought it.
– Planted the nasturtium around the circle.
– Planted out the little blue penstemon I got from a cutting.
– Yesterday, noticed some minute buds on the dogwood stump. Yeah ! Still alive ! Also on the pyracantha I severely cut back as it was totally encroaching.
– Today, planted out the cowslips that I had kept in a pot to give them a chance in the new Spring border (in front of the copper beech). They are in flower now and I am hoping they won’t be too shocked and will self seed. *
– Pricked out some Californian poppies and planted them.
– Received the alchemilla mollis Irish silk plugs and planted them around the circular lawn. I will have to use nasturtium Alaska seedlings to interplant as I don’t have enough of the other type bought as plugs.
– Planted two tomatoes Moneymaker in the « clever pots » (hum).
– Cut back lower branch of the copper beech.
– Moved some plants which were on the edge of the circular lawn to make space for what will be planted there : a very small agapanthus (i hope it is blue as I already have a white one), a penstemon, a pulmonaria, a tradescantia andersoniana Sweet Kate.
– Took a tiny cutting of brachyglottis Sunshine from school.
– Bought 2 tomato Moneymaker from the old man in town and one gooseberry Hinnonmaki Red from Wilko (wrongly spelt hinnomaki).
23/04 (After a week of garden layout transformation):
– Moved borage seedlings
– Sowed erigeron in pots and borders
– Made a bamboo tipee for clematis jackmanii superba
– Received some dahlia from Crocus : Bishop of Llandaff, Bishop of Leicester, Moonfire (in a very, very sorry state !), Orfeo, Akita. Also lilium regale Album. All planted in pots.
– Bought perovskia Blue Spire and Buddleia Black Knight in Wilko. Potted the buddleia.
– Moved Katsura in full leaf near Osakazuki (I know…).
– Potted the potentilla fructicosa and hard pruned it.
– Sowed foxgloves excelsior, orleya grandiflora and honesty. It is very cold indeed for April.
– Keep pulling up baby horse chestnuts
– Pulmonaria seedlings appearing
– Planted Dahlias Seattle, Crazy Love and Avignon in black pots.
– Severed a shoot of rudbeckia Goldsturm and planted it in the “long border”, where the strawberry planter housing salvia Armistad was placed.
– Replanted geranium Black n’ white Army under the “niwaki” box.
– The tulips Orange Emperor are out !
– Sign of life on the two main verbena bonariensis in the summer bed.
– Some time round this date, I have planted two penstemon cuttings in the corner near salvia Black and Blue. No sign of life on any of the salvias yet.
– Have also planted the santolina cuttings. They are still very small but the roots grow so quick I hope they will bulk up fast.
– The two delphiniums planted in the same corner have disappeared, nothing left in the soil. Have planted some liatris spicata and a white gaura in their place. Still, I don’t think I can do a summer without delphinium, will have to buy some.
– The kids have sown Californian poppies and Nasturtium Alaska. We have also “rescued” some lilies of the valley which were sprouting and even flowering inside their bag at Wilko.
– Have planted Dahlia Procyon and Dahlia Snowflakes.
– Most importantly, I have cut back our firethorn ! This was long overdue ! Now, we may even have enough space for a small table and folding chairs, which would be awesome in the summer.
– Potted up two new plants bought in Wilko yesterday : a yellow dwarf rhododendron and Cistus purpureus Alan Fradd (chosen and paid for by Iona).
– Pruned what I can reach of the climbing rose at the back. The wooden top fence at the bottom of the garden is crumbling. Storm Gareth who has been blowing for days didn’t help.
– Moved one lychnis coronaria into the long border.
– Binned most of the chiastophyllum oppositifolium which was under acer palmatum Redwine. Not very interesting plant and needed the space.
– Of the 3 physalis bits planted a month ago for my son, two are showing up.
– A few days ago, displaced the geranium Black n’ white Army from the front of the pond where it was crushed by the white red valerian.
– Forgotten bulbs are poking up everywhere, fritillaries, alliums and muscari. The brunnera have started flowering, as well as the primulas. The pulmonaria have been in flowers for a while.
– Young shoots of phlox, bleeding hearts and astilbes appearing, amongst others.
– Cleared the two RHS pots which contained the old “bulb lasagna”. Binned what was left of the half-rotten tulips. In one of the pot, I put Euphorbia myrsinites which had been dumped near the pond in a totally unsuitable spot for it.
– Moved the Jacob’s Ladder into the sunny bed in order to free a space where I displaced a foxglove.
– Damaged and had to cut the best Verbena bonariensis young plant I had.
– Decided to cut Sambucus nigra in order to obtain an upright silhouette. Made cuttings of the two severed branches.
– Struggled to build a cheap Wilko obelisk to support our clematis montana which was cut back hard when we had to change the fence.
– Helleborus x hybridus Double Ellen White Spotted (bought in September 2017) flowers for the first time.
– Repotted a few house plants : a small Easter cactus (?), an unnamed “foliage plant” from Wilko (didn’t repot Pteris ensiformis as I read it likes to be pot-bound), and Crassula Gollum (bought last April and healthily grown).
– Moved the tricolor crocus (which have almost finished flowering) into the ground around small Acer dissectum Garnet – next year, it won’t look so bare. The bulb lasagna planted in the RHS pots in Autumn 2017 has had it.
– Gathered four little cowslip plants (Grandad’s gift) in a terracota pot which used to house lovely scented Tazetta daffs, of which there is no sign left. In their place, planted some muscari exhumed by mistake some days ago.
– Managed to severe very easily a shoot of Tricyrtis formosana Pink Freckles and pot it. It might become a present… or not.
– The paeonies are well under way (especially the potted one).
Don’t remember when :
– Cut back the big hypericum behind the hydrangea.
– Planted Physocarpus Red Baron nearby.
– Bought a small and gorgeous Pteris ensiformis and another unknown “foliage plant” from Wilko, as well as two Goldcrest cypress (what for ???)
– I let a few days of bright February weather pass by without gardening. Today, managed to finally plant the persimmon tree in a large glazed pot with coarse grit and ericaceous compost. The pomegranate I put in the ground some time ago. Yes, I do know growing persimmon in a containuer isn’t ideal and it may well mean I don’t get fruits, but it will have to do for the moment.
– Iris reticulata Katherine Hodgson and Gordon are up and absolutely gorgeous. I need to plant more in the future (but where…).
– Acer palmatum Katsura is displaying a constellation of beautiful pink leaf buds.
– Planted 3 poorly physalis bits from a sorry bag bought in Wilko (at the son’s request).
– I suspect the potentilla fructicosa is dead… Shame, I loved it, and it was one of the things that were there before our time. But… if it is dead, it means I can use the space… 🙂
– On the audacious (hum) purchase of a pomegranate tree (Mollar de Elche) and a persimmon tree (Rojo Brillante) : here.
15/01 /2019 :
– Finally mulched the rest of the beds with manure.
– Cut a few crossing branches off the two big acers and a big branch from Redwine.
– There are a few baby leaves on the branches of salvia Armistad that I had left for winter protection. Now would be a bad time to start leafing out as we are promised some very cold weather at the end of the month. I have cut one of the salvia down.
– Washed two feeders. The seeds feeder was absolutely filthy…
– Cleared the pond and brought some daff pots nearer the house.
– I did other things in October that I lacked the time to record here. I planted tulips (Orange Emperor I believe), planted the alliums sphaerocephalon in the “new border”.
– Most importantly, the old broken fence between Adam and us was flattened by the wind and replaced (by Adam). Weird new very yellow fence which will probably weather down quite quickly.
– Today, went out to repot some chrysanthemum L. got me for my birthday in September and ended up doing a lot more. Namely :
– Planted Acer palmatum dissectum Garnet in front of Osakazuki. To do that, had to lift and divide a big pulmonaria.
– Planted hosta June which had always been in a pot (and was never repotted !) in the big shady bed, near hosta Fire and Ice. To do that, had to remove heuchera Berry Smoothie which I put in the new border, maybe temporarily.
– Moved some foxgloves to make space for Geranium Rozanne between Acer palmatum Katsura and a hydrangea.
– Amongst the cuttings, helenium Waltraut has rooted, so was potted. Nothing on the choisiya cuttings yet.
– First frost : leaves are blackening on various plants. I cut the dahlia down. The salvia won’t last now.
– Found use for the two big plastic pots bought yesterday : one for rehousing Sambucus Nigra Black Lace, around which I put iris reticulata Gordon, one for the rosa rugosa that came from Tottington. The rest of the iris bulbs were planted in a middle size pot around Gaura lindheimeri. I still have some tulips and alliums sphaerocephalon to plant…
– Mother-in-law took the kids and me to the garden centre. We left with 200 litres of compost, 200 litres of manure, 4 plastic pots (the terracota ones are so heavy…) and saucers, and one Geranium Rozanne from the reduced shelf. Yes, just one plant (“Are you alright dear ?”).
– Have decided to give Sanguisorba obtusa to Grandad. Loved the plant, but it will be happier in his wet garden.
– Father-in-law, my hero, has cleared the old ivy that held the fence between Adam and us. The axe from the archaeological store proved very handy, and I am so glad it wasn’t me wielding it. How strange it is to see this flimsy fence now, freed from the many hairy arms of the ivy !
– One of the big edging stones (concrete) fell in the pond again. Probably because of Mr Snuffles (our hedgehog. Grandma’s hedgehog is called Mr Prickleberry. Could be Mrs, of course). So I dabbled in the pond again, cut back, moved.
– Yesterday, couldn’t resist three little pots of Viola Nice (I wonder, is it nice as in “she is nice”, or Nice as in “Pearl of the Côte d’Azur ?”) which were sold by the old man in town. Today, planted them on top of the big tulip pots where there was just the right depth of free space for them. I have run out of compost a long time ago, so have been using garden soil that was dug out for the pond. If I’m feeling generous, I sprinkle some of the manure I have left from last Autumn. Some of the unknown little plants that were growing on top of the pot have been repotted, just to see what they might be, friend of foe. I did throw some seeds there last Spring, so who knows, there might be a good surprise in the end.
– To plant the liriope muscari Variegata, moved the small fern to the pond.
– Decided in the process that the positioning of the heuchera Aumtun Leaves and two primulas could be improved, so moved everybody, even though the primulas are in flower. Sorry !
– Planted the beauties received yesterday. In the sunny bed : gaura lindheimeri Siskyu Pink (to complement salvia Armistad), centaurea montana (to do that, had to move Helenium Waltraut and put calamagrostis brachytricha in a pot). Where the cornus was (and still is as a stump) : persicaria affinis Darjeeling Red. Near the Japanese laurel : euphorbia characias wulfenii. Still waiting in their pots : gaura lindheimeri, liriope muscari variegata, another pheasant’s tail grass, a little asplenium undulatum. Also received a bag of nasturtium Alaska seeds. Beautiful autumn weather these days.
– Had to remove the very numerous conkers that the kids collected with a friend and had put in pots to decorate them because the squirrel is stealing them (which is fine) and planting them in our garden (which is less fine).
– Planted 20 bulbs of Daffs Winston Churchill which enchanted me last Spring in two pots.
– Cut the dogwood to the ground. It had been grown to be part of a tall hedge but had become too messy, with branches twisting and almost making knots. I hope it will throw new upright stems next Spring.
– Because of a Facebook gardening group, I have discovered the Secret Gardening Club and couldn’t help ordering new plants. The prices are amazing and there is no postage fee.
– Took a tiny clump of a variegated grass, an offshoot of a plant growing near the swimming pool, in a place where it is neglected.
– Sometime in the previous weeks, rearranged the planting under acer palmatum Redwine, divided the brunnera and the carex again. Replanted a bit of the hellebore that was divided pretty much next to its parent plant (hum).
– Tried to thin the ivy on the path side. Hacked the ivy on Adam’s side. Can’t wait to get rid of it and replace the fence panel. Found there was a dead baby robin inside the pouch.
– Lifted the Sambucus Nigra Black Lace on a strawberry planter.
– Some day last week, swapped pots between the Autumn Bliss raspberry and the Poundland black currant. Repotted a little buddleia.
– Hacked the firethorn ! Thank Mother-in-law for the pair of loppers. Discovered that I can’t get rid of it because the fence behind it is horrendous.
– Pruned acer palmatum Redwine quite successfully – I am so pleased with myself and with the tree ! A vigorous grower, it had developed such an awkward shape that I didn’t really know how to tackle it. There was no obvious natural structure to clean up, a shape had to be revealed. It is not perfect now, and retains some awkwardness, but it is much better, less dense, with the canopy slightly lifted. Happy me.
– Planted the the 6 new heucheras / heucherella bought on Ebay (Autumn Leaves, Berry Smoothie (this is the second I have), Sweet Tea, Cinnabar Silver and the bright Gold Zebra and Alabama Sunrise). Had to move some plants again (the Jacobaea maritima).
– Moved the ‘big’ fuchsia into a pot, settled it on top of one of my Turkish strawberry planters which I now use mainly to lift plants, and moved it against the salvia Armistad in the sunny bed. Finally, the colours and structure are starting to make sense, sort of ! I know the fuchsia will sulk, especially as the new pot is too small, and might have to be replaced (Apologies, very bad picture).
– Received an order from Crocus : miscanthus sinensis Kleine Silberspinne (I ordered Kleine Fontäne last summer), anemanthele lessoniana (pheasant’s tail grass), helenium Waltraut and Fuego. Oh, and some allium sphaerocephalon bulbs. No idea where I will be able to plant them…
– Planted everything except the bulbs, moved other plants around in order to do so. Less chaos I think. Of course the trouble is to remember where those Spring bulbs and other now dormant plants were… The sunny border is increasingly looking like those fashionable “prairie style” pictures with grass, verbena, salvia, echinacea, rudbeckia, etc. I guess I am a victim to fashion. To be fair, I have always always loved grass. By the way, I now know the echinacea bought in Goodnestone Park is white !
– Had a sudden urge to cut back the turf on the left side of the garden. My God it is musculation for the arms. I think the idea came from the necessity to plant the baby choisiya (a cutting from the big one I had to get rid of to make space for the pond) where the white Japanese anemone Honorine Jobert was. I dumped the anemone in a bucket of rain water for two or three days before I had time to deal with it. Now of course, more space = moving plants around + buying new ones. 😀
– A picture of the border (temporary state)
No time to record but plants moved around quite a lot, as usual.
JULY and AUGUST 2018
– Bought two small purple dianthus and a Leucanthemum superbum Snow Lady, put together in a container (black plastic unfortunately)
– Dug some iris out and gave them to the neighbour. Moved the Salvia guaranitica Black and Blue in its place.
– Inherited a bucket of tadpoles from a nearby pond in which the water was getting dangerously low. Now I need to make a small pond happen…
– On 15/05, went to Goodnestone Park with my in-laws. Wonderful garden. Had a long chat with Paul, the lovely headgardener. Bought a Phlomis russeliana, a rudbeckia and an echinacea of some sort.
– Moved an unforeseen hellebore in the shady bed to make more space for the heuchera Berry Smoothie.
– Planted a few plants given by Father-in-law (forget-me-nots, fox-and-cubs, cowslips).
– Tried to plant some of the very numerous stock seedlings in pots and around the rotary airer, got rid of the tulip bulbs which were there.
– Potted a little rose (badly affected by black spot) which was about to flower and planted the coreopsis in its place. Planted a little echinops ritro where the coreopsis was.
– Tried to get rid of some of the spent wisteria flowers and removed dead branches.
– Potted a little wild rose seedling.
– Admire the big blue lupin with its 14 flower spikes.
– I have spent these last days in the garden, taking advantage of the glorious sunshine. I can’t recall everything I did. Mainly moved plants around, for example a bit of tradescantia Sweet Kate back into the sunny bed, the chiastophyllum / umbilicus oppositifolium (goutte d’or) from under the hellebore into a more visible place, the campanula from the shade into the sun, etc.
– The garden is all wonderful scent : the wisteria is blooming, the choisiya has been flowering for some time, the honeysuckle is about to come out too. Delightful.
– On 03/05, the robin chicks left the nest. I saw one today twice (or two of them, who were five chicks). They make me happy !
Meanwhile, the blackbirds are still feeding an enormous fluffy baby.
– On 05/05, went to see the bluebells in the woods.
– On 06/05, daughter helped me sow foxgloves and stock.
– On 07/05 (bank holiday), we went to Broadstairs. From there I brought back a piece of red valerian. I am hoping to God it survives. Also gathered something which looks like centranthus ruber too, but smaller and with yellow-white flowers, and a bit of yellow wallflower (?).
– Took pictures of a common blue butterfly today.
– Am still waiting for the delivery of 6 salvia Armistad plug plants, but had the lovely surprise to find that the two crocosmia Lucifer corms had produced a leaf (tiny) ! The bearded irises are about to flower. And I am very pleased with the veronica gentianoides bought in Poundland last autumn.
– Sunshine today. I feel very tired (lack of sleep). Moved the santolina again, split in two and replanted on the sunny side, somewhere where it can lean towards sunlight without crushing anything else. There’s no point having a sickly plant in the wrong place. Planted the new cordyline where I am hoping it will pick up the red colour of astrantia Hadspen Blood and cocosmia Lucifer. The alchemilla are in the middle to break the red with their acid green flowers.
– Moved the “English lavender” (more probably lavendula stoechas ?), the chives, the Jacob’s ladder in a game of musical chairs, trying to fit everybody in a suitable spot.
– Planted the lilies of the valley (not sure they are still alive, came in one of those Wilko bags). Displaced a Welsh poppy to do that – yes I must be the only person on this island trying to transplant something that comes up everywhere anyway.
– Planted a raspberry Autumn Bliss. Also planted a blackcurrant from Poundland the other day, which looks quite healthy… Wait (maybe very long) and see.
– Husband and neighbour fixed a new treillis on top of the brick wall between our houses. I think the old powerful ivy’s days are numbered… The clematis montana about to flower and the robin’s nest are the last things standing between the saw and him…
– And there is the nest !
– Lots of rain.
– The wind blew the greenhouse over. Probably lost my cosmos and other seedlings.
– Looked at pictures of the garden in 2015, before we left for Paris. It was very nice. I don’t think we will manage such a floriferous garden this year, but hey, this is our first year back. I also feel bad for pulling the dutch irises out, now, when I see how beautiful they were (but in all honesty, they were probably not going to flower, and I will have more bearded irises).
– Decided to move the Santolina out of the sunny bed, to be replaced by Calamagrostis brachytricha. I am not quite sure it was a good idea to swap them. Santolina won’t like it to have less sun, and the grass will resent being too dry.
– Bought another cordyline (probably Red Star) and another small dark red grass. Not quite sure where to plant them. Also bought lilly of the valley bulb, don’t know quite why.
– Pulled two alliums from the shady bed, as they didn’t look like they were going to flower, but now feel bad, they might have been late.
– Rain has arrived.
– Rearranged the plants in the reorganised “summer bed”.
– Replanted the ranunculus which failed to flower (the buds having been strangely excavated and eaten from inside) in the sunny bed.
– In the terracota pot thus freed, planted the dahlia which seems to have survived the harsh winter easy peasy. I find plants are often tougher than what books tell us.
– Dug up, or rather pulled up Yoshiki’s rhododendron which is very probably dead (I did scratch the bark). I am going to keep it for the moment, as I like the shape. Might be included in some art project.
– In its place, planted the little pink azalea.
– Waiting for some rain…
– Alas, today, a baby blackbird was killed. Found it on the “lawn”. It hadn’t been eaten. I don’t think it’s the cat. The magpie has been seen swooping around, chased by Mrs Black. Since then, I haven’t seen her go to her nest to feed her babies anymore.
– Planted the buddleia found in a crack last autumn.
– Had lunch on the bench with the kids.
– Took a cutting from a neighbour’s flowering currant…
– Planted the little plants of Smyrnium olusatrum out, here and there, knowing I will have to get rid of some of them if they all take.
– Moved a Brunnera under the yellow euonymus, and planted an Ajuga reptans (bugleweed) on each side. Replanted Silene uniflora Druett’s variegated which at the moment is rootless.
– Sowed what I think is yarrow seeds on dry patches.
– Planted the little matricaria and the other plant (not doing well, this one) taken from Reculver in november in the sandy dry bit against the fence in the sunny bed.
– Gave a Geum Totally Tangerine to neighbour.
– Enjoyed the birds immensely : Mrs Black feeding her babies in the ivy, Mrs Little Red in Grandma’s pouch nest, various others. Now that we have a peanut feeder on our new feeding station, blue tits and great tits are back. Aidan saw the goldfinch again.
– Sat on the bench in the sun. Observed Mrs Back feeding her babies in the ivy. The fritillaries are very good this year.
– New plants for the garden : rhubarb Timperley Early, fig tree Brown Turkey, one purple azalea, one sweet pea.
– Planted an agapanthus Donau
– Installed a bird feeding station with new seed and peanut feeders.
– New houseplant : crassula ovata Gollum. Very funny-looking !
– New encounter with the robin in the pouch nest ! May she / he stay long !
– Saw a goldfinch for the first time in our garden !
– Back from the North. The garden has really come on during our week away ! Fritillaries, primulas, brunnera flowers ! Tulips and daffs not quite yet. The pulsatilla bloomed in our absence. Stuff growing everywhere, weeds too.
– The epimedium is not dead !!!
– Easter ! And April ! But the garden seems late this year. The maples are preparing to leaf out, as are the other trees and shrubs, but there is not a daffodil in flower, and the muscari are only starting.
– Cut back the mildew-prone euonymus which had taken advantage of our two years of absence to try to grow back. I need to find a way to get rid of the stump and the roots. I think that, in time, the new physocarpus will take its place. For the moment, I repotted it. I am also hoping some of the dogwood canes I stuck in the soil will take, so I can get more of that lovely luminous foliage.
– It seems a teeny tiny something is growing from what is supposed to be an epimedium.
– Not much is happening in the seeds section… I struggle to believe that something as vigorous as borage can start as those tiny strings which have appeared. Still better than nothing…
– In Wilko again. Bought two small tomato plants Super Shirley, a reddish azalea and a physocarpus Red Baron (hoping the label doesn’t lie).
– Put a big saucer out as a bird bath. Mr Black and Little Red used it.
– Fell nose to beak with a robin in the little nest offered by Grandma ! He flew away, hope he will come back.
– Bought and built a mini greenhouse with four shelves. Moved the seedlings which had invaded the windowsills into it. Felt very pleased.
– Planted a paeony Sarah Bernhardt (let’s hope this time it is what the label says), two purple lupins (one in the shady bed, the other to counterbalance the only surviving lupin from before our Parisian years), 5 crocosmia Lucifer corms to keep company to the plant bought from Crocus, one Dicentra Alba (the other one bought the other day, a pink bleeding heart, seemed not to be able to make it – but I still transfered it near the redwine maple, who knows).
– Amongst bulbs poking up, I can already see fritillaries flower heads (still closed, of course) ! Many other plants are just appearing, like the dark leaved geranium Black’n White Army (which was replanted at some point in front of the arching fuchsia), the phlox paniculata, etc, and maybe, maybe even the Salvia guaranitica (fingers crossed).
See this post.
– 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.
– 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.
– In a bitter cold wind, planted Tulips Spring Green and Groenland (both viridiflora) and Alliums Christophii in the new green container.
– Mulched with manure.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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…
– 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.
– Cleared the climbing rose, the honeysuckle and the ivy in the corner where the leylandii was.
– The tree surgeon came to fell the sycamore and the leylandii.
– 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.
– 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 !
– Bought a ground feeder (mesh bird table) for the blackbird. Bought a rosemary. Birthday.
– Cut nearly every bit of ivy trunk I could access on the path side.
– 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.
– Bought bird feeder and food for robins and blackbirds.
– Planted bits of Armeria maritima here and there.
– Carried on with the niwaki pruning of the boxwood. Four hours at it.
– 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.
– 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.
– Moved some plants around (geranium, alchemilla, the arching fuchsia).
– On the way to Harbledown, collected Smyrnium olusatrum seeds. Brought by the Romans. Edible. Old veg. Beautiful.
– Battled the ivy on the path side.
– Planted a tiny pulmonaria in the shady bed.
– 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.
– 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.
– 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.
– Received my birthday present to myself :
The Korean feathergrass is so beautiful I wish I had ordered more.
– 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.
– 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).
– Divided Brunnera macrophylla Jack Frost. Replanted where I could in shady beds.
– 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.
Summer 2017 : return to Canterbury. Amongst other plants, we lost Acer Shirawasanum Aureum.