All change

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Dissatisfied with the left border, I bribed Raewyn with home made scones and jam to come and cast her expert eye over it. I just keep sticking plants in wherever there is a spare inch of soil, giving no thought to how big things will grow or how everything will fit together. Raewyn sat pondering with pencil and paper and rearranged the whole left border and some of the main border.  The trouble with friends with an expert eye is that they leave you with lots of work to do!  Having spent all weekend in the blazing sun digging, uprooting, planting and watering. The Festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’ has been gathered from around the garden and planted together in a feathery fountain. The astilbe was really unhappy at the lower level so has now been planted in the deeper soil of the higher level.  I am now much happier with the overall appearance which will be finished off with an architectural angelica archangelica at the back.

First of all I got rid of all the winter pansies that had brought so much pleasure in the early months but were now past their best. I dug out great swathes of crocosmia that was crowding out so much all over the garden and even found some things I forgot I had.

August 2010 May 2011 July 2011

Unfortunately, I managed to knock the one flower off the red rose, let’s hope there are more where that came from. Now the crocosmia has gone from the main border, the beautiful salvia “Wendy’s Wish” has been brought forward into the sunshine and looks lovely with the dark red dahlia.

The front rockery is completely out of hand. I made a big mistake planting so much cosmos all over the garden; I didn’t realise how dense the feathery foliage would be. The artemisia has really spread out and made itself at home and the aliums tower above slowly turning from green to purple. However, the smaller candy stripe cosmos has worked well with the anenomes in the dividing border.

May 2011 July 2011

Although most of the leaves were covered in red rust spots and were removed, the hollyhock flowers are rather majestic.

The veg have been enjoying the sunshine and quietly getting on with the business of growing. The cabbages are huge and one provides 3 or 4 meals. Now I have removed some of the bigger ones, the later ones have more room to grow. The salad leaves are lovely and enjoyed by the whole family and neighbours alike. I keep nibbling on the peapods and some have developed the sweetest tasting peas. The carrots have encouraging foliage although I haven’t investigated further and the onions are pushing themselves up out of the ground; much more successful than last year.

September 2010

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This was the first month that I kept my Gardener’s diary correctly so it becomes more detailed.

September began dry and sunny but by mid-month it was wet and unsettled. The end of the month saw the first ground frost and a definite nip in the air heralding the end of summer and the imminence of autumn.

There are still plenty of flowers in the garden and 3 apples on the tree (one fell off). The dahlias and lillies are fabulous but I am still waiting for the buds on the aconitum to flower.

1st Sept:
I finally removed the hydrangia which has been in the garden since we moved in but I have never really liked it. This opinion was consolidated when Jean referred to it as ‘old ladies’ hats’. In its place is a beautiful but small buddleja with an unusual dark purple flower.

The remaining potatoes have been harvested, like discovering buried treasure! Decided to plant some for Christmas. Jean and I shared some Kestrel and Beauty of Bute. Why do they sell them in such large numbers?

Planted the strawberry satellites in the new tub.

Planted purple and orange tulips.

If we could decide where the new shed was going, we could organise where everything else could go.

7th Sept:
We have had a damson tree in the garden since we moved in and it has been the bain of my life. I didn’t even realise they were damsons at first. Wherever the damsons fall a tiny tree appears overnight like magic beanstalks so I am constantly combing the grass for fallen damsons. Each year I severely prune the branches in an effort to stop the fruit from forming but the harder I prune, the more damsons are produced. One year I even meticulously removed all the blossom! The final straw came when our unwelcome guest, affectionately known as Roland, was seen peering out from under the shed with a huge damson bulging out of his mouth. Steve was immediately instructed to remove and dispose of all remaining damsons from the tree (I didn’t know what else to do with them). However, this year I had a change of heart and decided to make damson jam which was delicious and I am now looking forward to next year’s crop.

Took some cuttings from penstamons and put in grow house.

We have decided to have some paving laid for the shed so it could be another two weeks before it is erected.

14th Sept:
New plants include corkscrew grass, echinacea, gypsophilia, pretty pink hebe – Nicola’s Bush, weigela, euphorbia and a couple of varigated sedums. Ordered some cyclamen and cosmos seeds.

Paving for shed arranged for 15th. I have asked the man if he will take the soil round the front and create a rockery on the other side of the fence.

Moved pennisetum rubrum to underneath the silver birch where it looks lovely against the white trunk and gets more sun.

21st Sept:
Have planted some winter pansies in the Chelsea garden just to fill the space up for now, they are pretty though. The Japanese anenome is about to flower but the foliage doesn’t look very healthy.

Paving completed, the shed has finally been erected. The man made a right pig’s ear of building a rockery and Steve will have the dubious pleasure of digging it out again and making it good.

I soaked the cyclamen seeds overnight and sowed them in chinese takeaway containers then put them in the conservatory.

Rearranged main border and am much happier with the arrangement. Removed a huge clump of crocosmia which was taking up too much room and replanted as a ‘swathe’ weaving around other plants.

Raewyn gave me some more penstamon cuttings from her garden and I also took some from the new silver leaved plants for the front rockery.

28th Sept:
Japanese anenome in full flower now, still concerned about the leaves though, very geometric discolouration. Dahlias still have some flowers.

Ordered some ornamental grass for front rockery – miscanthus sinensis ‘Kleine Fontane’