I’m struggling a little with life at the moment and to top everything else off my car has died on me so I have the irritation of having the phone the garage tomorrow and no doubt part with large sums of money at some point this week. The only time this past week when I have felt calm and at peace as been in the garden. Even though I am not conscious of worrying about things in particular I think when you are ‘working’ in the garden your mind focussing on what you are doing, the plants, what you could plant in a space and the other things which might only be bothering your sub-conscious leave. Interestingly I started off today deciding not to do anything but I twitched around so much that I decided to potter for an hour in the garden.
The theme of removing sycamore seedlings continued and today’s focus was the hardy exotic slope and the back border. I wrote about tackling the back border about a month ago and I am quite pleased so far with how it is going. I am trying for a leafy texture of plants ideally with some all year round interest. I think planting up the area behind the shed has also helped and it feels more gardened now rather than part of the garden which challenges me. I added a half hardy salvia amongst the bamboos – its a bit of a beast so should fill the space here and the pink flowers will work well with the geranium palmatums which can be a little garish on their own. I have also added some impatiens qingchanganica bought from Growild Nursery, a wonderful new online retailer of plants and seeds. Also added was an Athyrium otophorum ‘Okanum’ bought from Sally Gregson when she gave my local horticultural club a talk on epimediums last week.
The hardy exotic slope is coming together and this year I need to add to the shorter perennials to cover the ground and reduce the bare soil on show. You can see there are some daffodils in the border which are OK and interesting but you can’t see them from the bottom of the slope as they disappear behind the bench. I think I might forget about spring bulbs here and concentrate them elsewhere as to me you need to be able to see spring flowers from the house so they cheer you on a cold or rainy day. I am pleased to say that the ridiculous collection of plants waiting on the patio waiting to be planted out is diminishing, its generally one year old perennial seedlings or bulbs now. The downside of this is that the pile of empty terracotta pots is ridiculous and shows just how much effort and funds I invested in growing alpines and bulbs over the last couple of years but I feel a lot happier with the plants in the ground and concentrating on growing perennials from seed.
I am really pleased with how most of the garden is filling out now and the view from the living room (top photo) makes me smile which is very important. I can see great combinations from the sofa; such as the way the blue rosemary flowers pick up on the camassias and then the honesty at the back of the garden. It wasn’t planned at all but seeing it work makes me understand a little how to bring the garden together and make it more cohesive instead of seeming piecemeal; Mother Nature is obviously showing me how things should be!
And then there is the first trillium to flower. I planted it some 4 or 5 years ago and it disappeared but a c0uple of years back it reappeared and flowered. Last year it has two flowers but it seems we are back to one this year but it is flowering which is a thrill. I learnt recently that trillims shouldn’t be planted too deep and if they are they will pull themselves into the right position which is probably why it disappeared for a couple of years. I will have to make sure I mulch well around it to give it a little moisture and hopefully encourage it to bulk up and spread.
Finally I had to smile as my youngest son, 22, has been to Wilkinsons buying herb seed pots in advance of getting his first home. He says adamantly “I’m not a gardener”, he doesn’t want to admit that some of my passion may have rubbed off on him but showing him how to sow a few rocket seeds this afternoon was an amusing delight.