My Garden This Weekend

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After a slow start this weekend has been wonderful for working in the garden.  I would say pottering but I think my idea of pottering isn’t the same as others.  Saturday was a wash out which is fine as we needed the rain.  I went to the HPS garden club meeting and amazingly I didn’t buy anything possibly because I have been feeling a little jaded recently but also probably because most of the plants were summer flowering perennials which I really don’t have much space for at the moment.  Because my youngest had come home from University on Friday I was keen to spend some time with him so I forgo the afternoon talk which after all was on Heleniums, not a subject I am particularly interested in.

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As my neighbours have gone off on their annual holiday the first job on Sunday was to get the beech hedge between our properties cut; so that was Sunday morning gone.  But in the afternoon I got to play.  The Hardy Exotic Border has been my project this year and I have been adding plants to it over the last few months.  Today I added a Painted Fern (Athyrium niponicum), Blechnum spicant and Arisaema consanguineum.  I think the this area is now full in fact, as in many other bits of the garden, I suspect it is overfull and in a year’s time I will be editing it but for now I am happy with the effect.

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The Hardy Exotic Border tapers down into a shady and narrower part of the slope.  This has snowdrops and narcissus in but also bluebells which have turned out to be a mistake as the long leaves smoother the epimediums and emerging ferns and I love these far more than the bluebells.  So I continued along the border digging up the bluebell bulbs which will be planted somewhere else out of the way.  I relocated a hosta and some geraniums and now the border is predominantly epimediums, ferns and arisaema; in this case Arisaema speciosum.  These poor plants have been moved from the old bog garden since firstly I was worrying it was too damp for them and secondly you can’t see the flower spathes unless you lie on the floor.  I am hoping the slope will be more suitable to them and it should make it easier to see the flower spathes next year.

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Having relocated the Arisaema I had space finally to plant the new Cardiocrinum giganteum.  I bought the bulb at the Malvern Spring Show and it has been in a large pot on the patio getting taller and taller.  I don’t know if it will flower and if it does I think it might be monocarpic so that will be that but I have been trying to grow one for years so I am quite excited at the prospect.  The old Bog Garden (top photo) is looking quite good now a real mix of ferny textures with the odd big leaf from the Cardicocrinum and another large-leaved plant whose name escapes me.

A most satisfying day spent pottering in what is quickly becoming my favourite part of the garden.

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13 Comments Add yours

  1. You did a lot! I just love pottering …. to me it means wandering about starting a job then abandoning it as something else catches your eye and so on until 9pm when you realise you really HAVE got to go inside! Brilliant!

  2. Rick Nelson says:

    If your Cardiocrinum has a central shoot which is “getting taller and taller” it will flower, it is also strictly speaking not monocarpic as only the flowering bulb will die, others will be developing round it which will eventually develop to flowering size.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Thanks Rick, will the new bulbs develop if I have only just planted it?

    2. Rick Nelson says:

      There should be bulbs developing, so best mark where you planted it and let it develop if there is growth in the spring you are on your way!

  3. Yvonne Ryan says:

    I hope you sat in your nice sunny seat I see near your shed to survey your garden – with a ‘cup of tea’ or nice cool drink!

  4. Janice says:

    Your garden looks so lush. You probably have more plants in one little corner than I have in my entire yard. Your soil looks so rich, due to all your hard work no doubt. I like the picture of your sons workshop, I don’t think you have posted a picture of it from that angle before. I just love reading your blog.

  5. bushbernie says:

    Pottering is one of my favourite gardening jobs! There’s nothing better than simply wandering around spotting little things to do and actually having the time to do them. It sounds like you had a most productive day in the garden and things are coming together nicely.

  6. We also have our youngest and his girlfriend visiting this weekend. We spent a good deal of time with them but I was also able to get out and do some mowing, pruning, staking, weeding, etc.

  7. I think you will enjoy the cardiocrinum Helen. We have one at Sissinghurst that is flowering at the moment and it looks amazing. Happy gardening, Helen

  8. Adam D says:

    It’s all looking great Helen.

    I remember that I used to be scared of the shady bits of my garden, but I now actually like them more than the sunnier bits!

    “Editing” is a nice euphemism for the having to undo some of gardening over-exuberance, ha ha.

    What’s your secret with Blechnum spicant? I can grow loads of different types of ferns in my Scottish climate, but I have tried this one 3 or 4 times before and failed each time.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Adam
      I always think the range of plants you can grow in the shade is much nicer than the sun. I dont have a secret with Blechnum spicant as I have only just acquired it so it may well fail! Will let you know.

  9. bittster says:

    I’m also a big fan of pottering, but at least you accomplish things…. I tend to wander with a coffee in hand, pull a few weeds, get distracted, go searching for a stake or pruner… watch some birds… I can think of a much worse way to spend an afternoon.
    Your bench area seems to have become a nice sheltered nook to take a rest in. All the work sems to have paid off well!

  10. Your garden does not appear as though you have been pottering. It has all of the signs of a well thought out design with a lot of hard work to make it happen. Really like the Japanese painted fern.

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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