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I should really change the title of this post to my garden this week as I have done around 6 hours in the garden after work.  As I said in my last post this is not something I am in the habit of doing and I find myself wondering why.  This week I spent four evenings staining the back fence.  Not the most exciting job and when there is so much to prick out, pot up and weed it took a lot of determination to start the job in the first place.

My view this week
My view this week

To be honest we have lived here 9 years and I have never stained the fence and I suspect it is many years since anyone has, if there ever did.  I have avoided doing firstly as there was a vast laurel in front of it, then my focus has been on the ground looking at perennials etc and it is only in the last year or so I have opened my eyes and seen the boundaries for the disaster they are. As part of the workshop development I needed to move a large Pyracantha to a new site in front of said fence so it was a case of now or never.  You could tell  it hadn’t been stained for ages as the fence positively sucked up the stain.  I had to do two coats to get the darkness I was after but I am thrilled with the result.  The dark fence has lifted the garden in a strange way, the bamboos show up much better.  As you can see in the photograph below I have moved the large Pyracantha into position and I have also planted another four much smaller ones. Admittedly the concrete bases of the fence still stand out and I considered painting them but then there is a risk that it would be hard to match the fence which will naturally fade.  Anyway the plant is that the Pyracantha will clothe the bottom of the fence as well and I will be planting other plants in here to create a layered screen.

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As well as staining the fence I also worked my way through the borders during the week and on Saturday.  It was thrilling especially in the woodland area where lots of treat were showing their faces but I was especially pleased with the bog garden where the Ligularia is looking quite decadent with its glossy burgundy foliage.  I have moved a whole host of foxgloves to the back of this border to add some height and also as they needed to be relocated from the workshop site.  I had hoped to get some candelabra primulas today from the Spetchley Plant Fair but I think it was too early as none were to be seen.  The Plant Fair was great and I will post about it soon.

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So lots of tidying achieved, lovely back fence (the other fences will be done at some point this year honest), and the plant moving from the workshop site has started.  My eldest has also started to lift the back lawn which will be a huge job so I am pleased he is helping.  We need to dig out quite a bit of soil from the back  slope to accommodate the workshop so the plan is that this soil will go where the lawn was to improve the levels of the new big border.

Meanwhile in the greenhouse and cold frames more delights are germinating: Digitalis trojana, Digitialis ambigua, Cyclamen hederifolium ‘Silver Cloud’, Boykima jamesii, Aster amellus and Astrantia major x’Sunningdale Variegated’.  I think my priority over the coming week is to get on with the pricking out and potting up and to start hardening off some of the tender plants.

Note: the top photo is of an unknown Epimedium in the woodland border.

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