What a rewarding weekend in so many planty ways. I spent Saturday at the annual HPS Variegated Specialist Group meeting which was held near by and was fascinating. The attendance was much smaller than at the annual Galanthus group meeting but being smaller number, possibly 30ish, the welcome to a new member was wonderful and the day was good fun. There was an informal AGM, followed by a fascinating talk by the Treasurer, Jane Kilpatrick, on the theme of her first book Fathers of Botany. This was Jane’s first ever talk and I was completely hooked on the story of the missionary plant hunters in China. Then we had a plant auction led by Bob Brown, the Chair, which was great as you learnt about the plants as they were sold off. The afternoon saw us visiting World End Nursery and the owner’s garden which was a great garden but the visit was so much more interesting given the knowledgeable company (at least 3 experienced nurserymen and a plant historian).
I came home feeling really recharged and my interest in the garden reinvigorated. I have cut down all the delphiniums which were just going over. Clearing the flower stems away showed me that the echinacea I had given up on were still there hidden away under the foliage. I am rethinking the Delphinium, which I know may surprise readers given how wonderful they have been, but they take up a lot of room and once they are cut down they leave large gaps in the border. I have made the decision this weekend that as the garden is full I need to be more ruthless and only plants I absolutely love will be given space. I like the Delphinium but I don’t love them as is evident from the few photographs taken of Delphinium compared to the roses. The Delphinium are also suffocating the roses and you could almost hear the sigh of relief as the delphiniums left. I haven’t dug the plants up but I think I might replace them with more foxgloves and aquilegias which I enjoy far more.
I spent today tweaking the Big Border. I removed some campanula and also thalictrum flavum which just don’t appeal to me any more. I moved some of the Calmagrostis ‘Overdam’ around as I didn’t allow enough space for everything when the border was planted up in the spring. I think the border is looking better now as the plants look less hemmed in. As I am on a mission to plant out all my purchases I added a fern, epimedium and peony to the far end of the border. Before I completely ran out of steam I removed a load of Japanese Anemones from the border on the other side of the grass path.
There are a number of plants which I am really pleased about. Firstly the digitalis in the photo above which is just so elegant. It is meant to be digitalis trojana but when I compare my flowers with images on the web they seem far more yellow. I might have to find an expert to ask. I am also waiting for the Cardicronum giganteum to flower hopefully it will do this before I go on holiday next week. I am also pleased with the Watsonia which has come through the albeit mild winter in the ground. Again I’m not sure about the identity of these plants. I had the seed labelled as Watsonis pillansii but this has been queried on Facebook. Whatever they are the flowers are very elegant and make me smile.
Now I just need to find something to recharge my interest in this blog – I am currently struggling to maintain my interest in it so it may be updated less regularly for a while.