From small things

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I have been on annual leave this week and as ever had plans to spend time sorting the garden out, as well as redecorating the living room – I am always over ambitious! Firstly, the weather at the start of the week was not very conducive to gardening being dreary and wet and various unexpected family commitments eat into more of my time. It was becoming increasingly frustrating.  Finally on Wednesday having painted the woodwork I found myself outside exploring the garden to see what had emerged over the previous few days.  I am particularly obsessed with my epimediums at the moment and which ones are flowering.  Most of them seemed to be sulking last year but this year, possibly due to the wet winter, they are virtually all (there are some 14 different varieties at the moment) full of flower buds.  Anyway, during one of these forays into the flower border I somehow stepped backwards, caught my heel on the nearby step and managed to fall right over and literally roll down the garden and into the border stamping off Primula denticulata flower stalks on my way.

It really knocked the stuffing out of me and I had to sit on the offending step for a while before I risked standing up; luckily I hadn’t done any real damage which was a relief.  However, despite not banging my head, the tumble left me completely befuddled and I just couldn’t work out what I had been planning to do in the garden and what I had planted to do where.  Quite unsettling.

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So I drifted into the front garden to cut back a few plants that I remembered had been offending me for some time from my bedroom window.  Looking around I noticed the trough under the front window and how dishevelled the succulents appeared.  Suddenly, this trough become the focus of all my efforts and I spent probably an hour slowly removing all the plants, cleaning them up and replanting.  I planted the trough with hardy sempervivums back in April 2014 – you can see a photo in this post.   Since then it has fared well surviving only with the occasional splash of water as I water the pots outside the front door. However, as is their wont the semps have multiplied and multiplied, worse than rabbits, and basically they had run out of space and were growing on top of each other.  So much so that many of them barely had any roots in the soil.

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Interestingly, the semps that I planted in the gravel around the base of the sink looked a lot healthier.  They haven’t multiplied quite so quickly, probably less favourable conditions, and were looking full and glossy.   Having emptied out the trough and removed all the dead foliage I replanted possibly more sparsely than last time and then I used some of the leftovers to continue the planting along the edge of the border the sink stands in.  It is located in one of those narrow borders that builders insist on putting in against the front of a house but which are full of rumble and hopeless for growing most things.   As the rumble makes it very free draining I have over the years added compost and planted it up with lavender and bearded irises all of which are doing well.  I think the semps along the front edge will provide an interesting contrast and hopefully help to cover the ground.

Having completed this task and being pleased with the result I found that my head had cleared and got a second wind and started to work through my original plans for the back garden.  Over the last few days I have made significant changes to the Big Border which I think will move the garden forward over the next year.  So “from small things …. big things one day come”.

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End of Month View – April 2014

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I did say I was going to start this monthly meme with the view from my back window but I forgot and the light is now appalling so instead you have a view of my front garden taken yesterday when it was sunny.  The front garden was the theme of last year’s End of Month View posts and long-term readers will know how I struggle to engage with this area.  However, I think it is getting there and the lovely orange Ballerina tulips which I have extended along the end of the lawn are really helping.  I will add more of these next year and try some up the other side although it may be too wet there.

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Sticking with the front garden  I have planted up the old sink with sempervivums and sedums. I realise having seen some crevice gardens recently this is a poor imitation but it uses some of the stone I had lying around, although my concrete patching is also not the best but at least it has character!  I have added an Aloe striatula and a sad looking Agave which was lurking in the greenhouse.  I intend to add some more tender succulents in late May.

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The pot display area is slowly losing its bulbs and gaining more succulents.  I am using it to display what is good or due to flower and then when they go over I move them and replace with something else.  I have pelargoniums lurking in the greenhouse which I will have on here in the summer.

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The Spring/Patio border is predominantly green at the moment.  I think it has two seasons of interest firstly in early Spring when the snowdrops are out and then in high summer when the various perennials are flowering.  There are some bluebells at the far end which have been there more or less since we moved in.  However their foliage swamps everything around them and my interests have changed and I want to plant more interesting plants in this area so the bluebells will be coming out and moving to the back of the woodland border up the garden.

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The Camellia border (formerly the Bog Garden) is filling out and the ferns are putting on growth.  I have moved some Arisaema to this border from elsewhere in the garden where I thought it was too dry for them.  Hopefully this new location will suit them better and there will be a good display.  I’m not sure how well the Iris siberica will do as although the moister soil will be good for them it is rather shady and I keep reading that they like sunshine.  I will have to see how they do.

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Finally the Cottage Border which runs along the top of the wall and is a nightmare to photograph.  Again it is looking very green and lush. The delphiniums are really putting on weight and hopefully will flower well.  There are still some daffodils flowering and at the far end of the border the white honesty is looking fabulous.  On the other side of the path is the Big Border which is beginning to sparkle with blue camassias flowering.  I am hoping that by the end of May the colour will really be coming through.

So there is my garden at the end of April which has been a relatively mild and pleasant month.  There are some frosts forecast later this week but hopefully in a week or so it will be alright to bring the tender plants out from under cover.

Anyone is welcome to join in with this meme and use it how they like.  I just ask that you add a link to your post in the comments box below and a link to this post in yours, then we can all see whatever one else is doing.