My Garden This Weekend – 12/4/15


I’m sure you won’t mind me saying that I am rather pleased with my garden at the moment.  It makes me smile so much especially when the sun shines, as it has been all week, and the small spring flowers glow.

I have been taking advantage of the longer days and have managed to work outside for an hour at least three evenings during the week and I am hoping to make this a habit for the rest of the year while the days are long enough.  It is a wonderful way to unwind after a trying day at work.  Although having spent some hours this last week digging up sycamore seedlings I could feel irritation creeping back from time to time so I had to restrict myself to sycamore weeding for just 30 minutes at a time.  I have never known a year like it, they are everywhere.


The grass path has had its first cut of the year and I have decided to retain it if for no other reason than the cat objects to the gravel paths!  I am pleased with the border above – still in need of a name, maybe the Cherry border?  It has perplexed me for years ever since it was first created. Earlier this spring I really cleared it out and planted some hellebores, a peony and some other perennials.  Various daffodils which were already in the border have been flowering and a host of aquilegia are now putting in an appearance.


The back of the border leads round to the former Bog Garden, again in need of a new name – I’m thinking Camellia border.  This has also been a little perplexing for a few years.  There are a number of ferns in this border including some Onoclea sensiblis which I hadn’t realised when I bought them a few years back need moist conditions, so I have really mulched the border to try to retain the moisture.  One evening this week I added a Cardiocrinum giganteum, Mertensia virginica, Dentaria pinataand a whole host of snowdrops lifted and divided from the other side of the path.  I know some people argue against planting snowdrops in the green but for me I needed to do it now as they are swamping some of the epimediums and other spring plants. The larger log to the left of the photo is the cat’s scratching post. The other


The other end of the border. I am hoping that next spring, and even more so the following spring, the border will be a sea of white in early spring. It will be interesting to see how it all fills out over the coming year and to think about ways of improving it more.


I spent several hours in the border above where the worst case of sycamore seedlings has been, the neighbours have a large sycamore just the other side of the fence so I blame them.  I first created this border probably 3 or 4 years ago and this spring is the first one when the plants have started to fill out and bulk up. What you can’t see if that there are fat noses of Solomons Seal coming up all over the border but still no sign of the large hosta I am waiting to relocate. My only disappointment is that hardly any of the small narcissus I planted 3 years ago have flowered this year.  There is meant to see a sea of yellow here and there is nothing.  I don’t know why.  The clumps aren’t congested at all so I don’t understand why the narcissus are blind.

I feel that the garden is beginning to have a more cohesive appearance.  I just need to continue this through the rest of the year.


Today I have wrecked destruction on the patio border.  It looks awful at the moment but hopefully the image in my mind will come together as the year progresses.  I removed a small euonymous from here as well as some Japanese Anemones which have been moved up to the back of the woodland border.  I have also dug up quite a number of bluebells which I have to say have gone on the compost heap.  Outrageous I know but planting bluebells in a border is madness, they are such thugs once they get going and the leaves soon swamp out other plants.  In this border there is a whole host of lily of the valley and last year I struggled to spot any.  I relocated some of the bluebells last year to the top of the garden where they will cause less problems so I don’t have a problem ditching the rest.  I also lifted and divided the clumps of snowdrops here spreading them along the border rather than all clustered at one end.  Others were relocated in the woodland border along the top of the wall to try to increase the spread for next year.  The reason behind the destruction is because I had a number of plants that needed the wonderful conditions in this border – the elusive moist but well-drained soil; it is also quite shady.  So I have planted Blechnum chilense, Peltoboykinia waranabei (a home-grown seedling), Anemonopsis macrophylla seedlings and most scarily four Meconopsis ‘Hensol Violet’ seedlings which I grew last year and have nursed over winter – I so hope they flower, I will be delirious if they do.



I leave you with a shot of the wonderful blue sky we had on Saturday with the flower on the large Prunus against it.  Given the winds we have had today I am surprised that so much of the blossom is still in place and the air is positively humming with pollinators on the blossom and other spring delights.


22 Comments on “My Garden This Weekend – 12/4/15

  1. How I agree with you about sycamore seedlings, there are millions in my garden! And their roots go down so far so quickly given the chance.

    • Hi Rachel
      There are still more out there. I havent started dreaming about them yet but I suspect it is only a matter of time!

  2. I suppose there are always arguments for and against pretty much everything. But I have always re-planted snowdrops in the green with, if I might say so, great success and I don’t think I could be persuaded otherwise. It’s all looking good, Helen – especially that top shot. Dave.

    • Hi Dave
      I agree. The snowdrops in my garden get moved around all the time as I garden quite intensively so the bulbs often get disturbed and they do very well.

  3. I should think you are pleased with it, your garden is looking lovely. The shed is just right. Which Prunus is the lovely white one? It looks so pretty against the blue sky.

    • Hi C
      I have no idea on the prunus, it was here long before us

  4. Your garden has really come together in the last year or so. I love the feature element the shed and bench provide. Every garden needs something to plant around and now everything seems so cozy and organized. Your doing a great job with the borders too, there is something of interest every where you look.

    • Thanks Marian
      I was amazed when the bench went in the difference it made and painting the shed seems to have tied things together

  5. I think that you should be patting yourself on the back Helen. All your hard work and loving attention is really paying off. I think that when you have established clumps of snowdrops that you want to divide that it is best to do the deed whilst you can see them. As long as you transplant them immediately and water in dry spells they seem to be quite happy. Don’t mention sycamore seedlings in my hearing 🙂

    • Hi Jessica
      I had one last year but they are monocarpic. They do produce bulbils but they take a while to bulk up and flower so my plan is to add one every year until the first bulbils start flowering!

  6. Hi Helen – I agree with your cat – the grass path looks good around the flower border! Looking forward to seeing a photo of the mecanopsis! I have only seen photos of this gorgeous flower and covet it – but too warm here. Poo winter has suddenly caught us up. From sleeveless tops and shorts to jeans and polo neck jumper in a week! Swimming in 25 degree pool only a week ago! Squally showers up here but the ‘white stuff’ – SNOW in South Island – brrrr! Happy spring for you. So glad I have done lots of gardening in last month – not so keen now!

  7. I can see a lot of work, but if you do it to unwind, it’s a great way to do this. I love Camellias. Once’ you’ve planted them, there’s almost no taking care of them:)

  8. I think the picture with the steps leading up to the bench looks like an ideal place to sit and rest after a day working in the garden. The trees are just waiting for the chance to take over again!

  9. Morning Helen!
    Can I just say your garden looks gorgeous! Love this time of year. Can I ask what your small trees are you have in the garden- i think i see an Amelanchier in flower- but also remember you have a Sorbus somewhere too- any others?
    The Sensitive fern is my favourite- i have one growing in a pond so constantly wet- and another in a pot on my allotment that only gets watered sporadically- both seem to do ok- so a tough customer!
    Have a lovely day

    • Hi Owen
      Its interesting that the sensitive fern is growing in a pond. I have a damp corner in the garden which sometimes floods and I was thinking of moving them there is they dont like their current home but I wondered how well they would do in standing water for a few days at a time.

    • I would do it Helen- it will love it there and spreads really nicely! Mine has been permanently in my mini pond for 2 years now. Its crown is kept 1cm above the water level at all times- but would be fine in your bed with occasional flooding

    • Sorry Owen
      I forgot to answer your question about the trees in my garden. Yes there is an Amelanchier and a Sorbus vilmorinii but it hasn’t leafed up yet. Then there are a number of shrubs including the Prunus kojo mai, Cotinus and a black elder

  10. I’m not surprised that you are pleased with yourself, your garden is looking lovely! The bane of my life are the Ash seeds, they sprout everywhere and if I miss them in the middle of the plant, it is impossible to get them out. Your seat overlooking the garden is perfect, just the right place for it, to sit and dream up more plans for the garden!

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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