Six on Saturday 6/4/2019 – Front Garden Highlights

Grevillea victoriae

I need to learn to love my front garden just a bit more. Its a lot better than it was three or four years ago before I dug up the lawn but the truth is I just walk past it every day and every so often I find myself thinking I need to spend some time tidying up and sorting it out . So today I thought I would include it in the Six on Saturday meme so I would be forced to look at it more.

Grevillea Canberra Gem

There are two Grevilleas in the front garden.  The Grevillea ‘Canberra Gem’ has been in the front garden for probably 11 years.  I love it, it reminds me of my late sister as I bought it with her. At the moment its about 5 ft high by 5 ft wide and thats after we heavily pruned it last Autumn by about 2ft all over.  It has just started flowering and is beloved by the pollinators.  The other grevillea is Grevillea victoriae (see top picture).  Interestingly, it has broad leaves not the pine like leaves of Canberra Gem and it is only the flower that really, in my opinion, indicates they are the same family. This shrub was added to the garden probably about five years ago and was moved a few times so is now only really begining to establish itself.  The shrub is less floriferious than the Canberra Gem, you really have to seek the flowers out, although I am wondering if that will improve with time.

Sorbus pseudohupehensis ‘Pink Pagoda’

As well as two Grevilleas, there are two Sorbus in the front garden; more of a flux than by design – I just like Sorbus.  I planted a Mountain Ash (Sorbus aucuparia) when we moved in 15 years ago and a couple of years back added Sorbus pseudohupehensis ‘Pink Pagoda’ to add balance in the garden.  They form a sort of triangle of trees with a Birch being the third point.  I was pleased to see the leaves had reappeared today, as it struggled last year in the drought and was one of the few plants that I consistently ensured had a good watering once a week.

Persicaria nepalensis

I have a preference for foliage these days over flowers as I think the garden looks better all year round with a good tapestry of interesting foliage and then flowers add interest as they come and go.  I’m not the biggest fan of Persicaria as it can be a bit of a thug and attempt to take over a border (been there, done that) but I did succumb to Persicaria nepalenis because of its beautiful leaves.  I think the flowers are a pale pink, but as I can’t remember it shows you that the main attraction of this plant is its leaves.

Lunaria ‘Chedglow’

Last week I showed you the swath of Lunaria (Honesty) at the back of the main garden, which self seeds around.  From the colouring of the leaves they seem to be a cross between a couple of Lunaria I have grown over the years.  In the front garden I am more certain that the Lunaria are self-sown Lunaria ‘Chedglow’ due to the distinctive dark stems and leaves with variegation.  This one has placed itself in the gravel path and is thriving.

Fritillary melegaris (Snakeshead Fritillary)

Finally, I spotted a line of Snakeshead Fritillary growing along the beech hedge.  I planted them years back when there was a lawn and I laboured over whether or not the dryness under the hedge would work for them for not.  It seems to have worked well, although now it means that the fritillaries are growing at the back of a big border and not really seen so I may have a think about trying to relocate them – or maybe not.

Thanks to the Propagator for hosting this weekly meme which gets me into the garden even when I dont have time to garden but I can find 5 minutes to take some photo and see what is happening, and ponder plans.

 

Thoughts from the Garden – 8/1/2017

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At this time of year any time snatched in the garden is a welcomed treat.  Here in Malvern it has been mild but also very damp with heavy rain on Friday and rain again overnight on Saturday and most of this afternoon.

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I have a lot of tidying to do and I am prioritising those parts of the garden where the bulbs will be emerging over the next month or so.  I always start with the back slope as I have a lot of Galanthus nivalis planted here, so many that last year I had to divide them and spread some into the adjoining borders.  The slope has historically been very shady and so is planted with ferns and epimediums.  It’s quite amazing how much debris you can clear away from such a small area by the time you have collected up all the fallen leaves, weeded out various seedlings and cut back the dead fern fronds. Over the last year some Iris foetidissima have self-seeded here which I think I will be removing the next chance I have as I want to add another epimedium. It will be interesting to see how the removal of the boundary trees affects this border and whether my ferns will continue to thrive.

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The end of the slope just before the bench has really filled out over the last few years. The Fatsia japonica ‘Spiderweb’ seems to have settled in and has lots of new leaves.  The problem I have is how close it is to the fern, whose name I have lost as I was one of my first ferny acquisition, so I am thinking I might have to move the fern but I will think about it for a while.

img_9076 I also need to move this Adiantum which has been looking very unhappy for the last year.  Adjacent to it is Galanthus ‘Galatea’ which should be fully open in the next week if the sun shines.

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Also close to opening is Galanthus ‘Ding Dong’ which is growing in a drier border under the Field Maple.  I am really pleased with both of these as I took the decision a couple of years ago to risk my special snowdrops in the ground rather than keep them in pots and so far they have rewarded me with reappearing each year and beginning to bulk up.

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Due to the rain overnight this morning was very foggy with little sign of the Malvern Hills behind the house.  I was torn as yesterday I had finally bought an extra tree for the front garden and I wanted to plant it.  I have felt deep down for some years now that the front garden needed a third tree to balance the Silver Birch and Sorbus.  It really irritated me over Christmas so yesterday I popped down to the local plant nursery and bought a Sorbus pseudohepehensis ‘Pink Pagoda’.  I toyed with another Sorbus vilmorinii like I have in the back garden but it seemed daft to have two the same when there are so many lovely varieties to choose from. This morning, despite the fog I decided to get it planted as I was concerned that next weekend might be much colder and not so conducive to tree planting.  I also started weeding the front garden and mulching it.  It’s a big job as this is its first winter and there are lots of persistent weeds to deal with. I have some planting I want to do over the coming months so some preparation is needed.  Sadly I didn’t get far as the drizzle reappeared and set in for the rest of the day but at last it was a start.

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