My Garden this Weekend – 27th October 2013

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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.

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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.

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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.

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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 sieboldiiWith 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.

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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.

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. Cathy says:

    My goodness Helen, that is a stupendous photo of your acer!! How beautiful is that? 🙂 You have had a good w/e’s work, getting your garden in order, and it will be interesting to see how your fence border develops. I looked into local HPS and there were three about 30 miles away, but not on a feasible day or at a time worth making such a journey for, which is a shame.

  2. Yvonne Ryan says:

    Have been thinking of your garden Helen when I hear them predicting hurricane force winds in England! Weather is weather – mostly unpredictable! We are hoping for light to moderate sw as the Tall Ships are sailing out of the Waitamate Harbour this morning about 11am. They were moored outside my daughters house off Whangapararoa the other night waiting for the morning to sail in! they have been open for inspection all weekend and thousands have seen how boats used to be. Good luck and keep safe.

  3. Hi Helen, it seems to me that you’ve managed to choose conifers which even a conifer loather (like myself) enjoys – especially the junipers, v. useful and also pretty. Hope your fence doesn’t come down today. The obelisk is lovely – wish I could find one like it here.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Cathy
      The winds didnt get to us thankfully, we had a lot of rain on ground that was already saturated but I think we were on the fringes of the problems.

  4. Really productive weekend, I think that collection of conifers could look rather lovely as they develop, particularly in Spring with all those bulbs popping up inbetween them. I find myself looking forward to seeing spring in your garden, as your bulb combinations sound really interesting. I have years of bulb buying and planting ahead of me to make the best use of the borders in Spring, so I am up for stealing ideas! Glad the storm didn’t damage you.

  5. bridget says:

    Thankfully the storm was’nt quite as bad as forecast. Hope you did’nt have too much damage.

  6. Lyn says:

    Glad to read that the storm wasn’t too bad where you are. I think it’s silly to follow fashions in gardening, as if none of us had our own brains, preferences or creativity. The idea of conifers under your maple seems very appropriate and you have chosen some interesting looking ones. Snowdrops would be lovely there too.

  7. rogerbrook says:

    Unfortunately those pesky winds have stranded us here in Folkestone but hope to get back to York today. I agree with you about not following fashion and conifers have their place. I say this as one who has frequently removed old so-called dwarf conifers. I expect there will come a time in a few years when you might need to transplant interplanted bulbs before they are crowded out.

  8. Pauline says:

    When we moved here 23 yrs ago I brought 6 dwarf conifers with me, I’m afraid they are dwarf no more and half have had to come out, but at least I was able to enjoy them for quite a while. Yours look very nice with lovely texture and will look super with bulbs between, while they stay small. Your Acer is colouring up beautifully.

  9. Hope you and the garden came through the storm okay.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Marian
      Yes the storm didnt get to us just a lot of rain and a little gusty – all well thankfully

  10. bittster says:

    Nice job! I always like the look of a healthy happy conifer in other yards, unfortunately I always have trouble committing to one for my own garden and really should, since other evergreen choices for this area are kind of limited.
    I didn’t know they were out of style…. shows just how avant garde I am 🙂

  11. Your garden is such a pleasure. You have such amazing color and such rich texture.

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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