I had the benefit of a three day weekend this week and despite the weather forecasts of doom and gloom it turned out to be much better gardening weather than I had anticipated. However, overshadowing the weekend is the forecast for storms on Sunday night/Monday morning with winds up to 90mph. I wonder how many of the plants in the garden will still be standing in 24 hours.
I am quite philosphical about it especially as there isn’t much you can do when faced by Mother Nature. My biggest worry, if it’s a worry, is the fences will come down and maybe the obelisk will topple. All these things are fixable of course.
Friday I took the opportunity to continue with the fence border and plant up the conifers I had bought the previous weekend. I’ve never been one to follow fashion in fact I have a rather perverse satisfaction in going against it so I have no issue with planting reviled conifers. Somewhere in the recesses of my mind the idea of prostrate conifers under the maple tree was the obvious choice. I had intended to only go for one conifer, its not that large an area but I couldn’t choose at the nursery and they weren’t that expensive (being so unpopular) so I bought three – opps. I went for two Junipers: Juniperus media Gold Sovereign and Juniperus communis Barton. The second one has creamy new growth in spring and will not get any larger than 18″ x 3′ in 10 years. The Gold Sovereign, as the name implies, has yellow new growth and is a slow growing prostrate variety. The third conifer is Cryptomeria japonica Elegans which I fell for as apparently its foliage turns purple in the winter and I do like interesting foliage. This one too is slow-growing 1.5m x 1m in 25 years and as a plus the reference book says it responds well to coppicing. I don’t get sentimental about plants unless they have been given to me by someone I care very much about so if the conifers start to out grow their space they will be removed. I have interplanted them with Narciuss recurvus (Pheasants Eye) and Muscari latifolium and Muscari Blue Magic but it occurs to me that this might also be a good space for special snowdrops.
Saturday I spent at my HPS group meeting where we enjoyed a fascinating talk on fungi which showed what a vast subject it is and how you really really need to know what you are doing before you collect and eat. Needless to say I bought a couple of plants (succulents not fungi) and I also booked on a snowdrop day in February which is something to look forward to. I had also plucked up courage and taken in some stems of salvia for the display table and for Bob Brown to discuss – it was OK and next time won’t be so daunting.
Sunday was preoccupied with clearing the patio of all my various pots and plant purchases. Storing seedlings away until the spring and tidying away furniture, watering cans and anything else that might be thrown around by the wind. As the sun was still shining I took the opportunity to start clearing the shorter end of the slope border. This is full of crocosmia which has been lying flat most of the year and not produced any flowers. I don’t know what variety it is but it was in the garden when I moved in and I suspect it is what some people still call Monbretia. It was a little challenging clearing the crocosmia as I also have snowdrops and other bulbs in this border so there was quite a lot of distangling of bulbs. I am planning on using this border to extend my woodland plant/bulb collection and this was started with the addition of Epimedium pinnatum subsp. Colchicum, Blechnum chilense and Dryopteris sieboldii. With the addition of Narcissus Sophies Choice and Narcissus Elegans as well as the replanted snowdrops I am hoping this will present a good show in the Spring.
Sadly the rain showers got to a point where it was just too much for me to carry on so I retreated indoors. Looking at the lovely Autumn colours on the Acer I wonder how many of the leaves will still be there tomorrow. We will just have to watch and wait.