Monday, 2 May 2016

End of Month View April 2016

End of March 2016
It's time to link in with Helen and other garden bloggers over at The Patient Gardener. What a rough couple of days we had this week but those heavy rain, sleet and snow showers have given the plants a good drink and everything is looking rather lush right now.  I deliberately avert my eyes from the gaping hole back right of this border.  I suggest you do the same. That Cotinus will leaf out eventually.  So just what has changed since last month?  Nothing major.  I got the whole bed mulched but before that I took the opportunity to juggle around with a couple of Hellebores, it's not quite so obvious from the picture but they appear more balanced now. The evergreen ferns have had their annual chop and  I have removed a couple of the lower branches from the Cotinus.  Something I immediately regretted - it looks rather odd now.  Still, what's done's done!                                              

Admittedly there are a few colour clashes going on here at the moment.  One particular combo I am very pleased with though is the Bergenia Overture and Heuchera Binoche.  The purple leafed Corydalis picks up these tones too.  I do however need to swap out the pale blue Pulmonaria and the orange flowering Epimedium.  I can't remember this causing me much concern last year.  My attention must have been elsewhere.  I will swap the E.Ellen Willmott with E.rubra growing down in the side garden.  The Bergenia is one of those plants that I didn't particularly like but I have to admit like many other plants I now grow, it has grown on me and am glad I added it to the garden.  The bees are grateful for it too.  The drumstick Primula, P. denticulata Cashmeriana add a bit of colour near the back.  I grow these plants at the rear of the borders mainly because I find it helps hide those huge leaves later in the year.  This in my opinion is the only fault of this otherwise useful plant.

At the opposite end there is a bit too much white.  I recently bought some red flowered Trillium, Trillium erectum to be precise to underplant beneath the Hydrangea paniculata - another slow starter here.  I thought the red tones of it's blooms would balance out with the Heuchera and Bergenia.  Alas, since getting the pots home and doing a bit of research on this particular Trillium I have discovered that they are rather smelly things.  Since the spot they were meant for is near the arch I am now in two minds as to whether or not to plant them there.  I can't detect any scent from the foliage at the moment so I am presuming that it's the flowers that whiff.  I will keep them in their pots meantime and find out just how smelly they actually are.  Hostas and Solomans Seal are just coming into growth and some height here will come by way of the Polemonium in a few weeks time.      

End of March 2016
Through the arch everything is filling out just nicely.  Again, the plants have really benefited from the rain.  The hybrid cowslips are delightful, their sunset shades are just something a bit different and are now bulking up quite nicely.  The do clash a bit too with the other Bergenia here so that will be moved to replace the pale blue Pulmonaria.  I mentioned last month that I was concerned by the absence of the Gillenia trifoliate I planted here last year.  It has still not shown face.  I removed the box ball and brought the Liriope from the front garden where quite frankly it was looking some what peely wally (a scot's term for pale). Already it seems to be liking it's new home and putting on some new growth.  The Epimediums I thought I had lost have began to put out some new growth.  Of the three pots of E. Alabaster I planted last year only one appeared to have survived.  I blamed my watering or lack thereof for their demise.  The gap there near the front of the border should now fill up pretty quickly.  Just coming into bloom on the trellising is Clematis macropetala. Although planted on the opposite side of the trellis it naturally scrambles through it to this side.  The wind funneling up the side path dictactes it's growth - who am I to argue?    

The Camellia in the back corner has as you may remember taken a fair beating from to the cats trying to get to the fresh buds of the Actinidia kolomikta growing against the trellis.  The growth was very floppy - I have never notice a Camellia grow in this manner before.  I can only presume the cats have caused the problem.  Finding a solution was praying on my mind, a lot.  I don't want to loose the Camellia.  The other night lying in bed I conjured up a solution.  I had an old piece of metal trellising that I could utilise to give the Camellia the support it obviously need.  What a job I had shuffling my backside in there.  Now that the cats have lots interest in the Actinidia I am hoping it will recover.  If not I will need to seriously consider removing the Actinidia.

Without the trellis on Saturday
With the trellis on Sunday
Camellia japonica Elegans on support
Lastly, I have discovered some seedlings in this area and am hoping one of you very knowledgeable people can help me identify them.  Friend of Foe?  Anyone recognise them or is it a bit too soon to tell?  Thanks for reading.

unknown seedlings