Iris sibirica 002 Wm[fusion_builder_container hundred_percent=


Iris sibirica and Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’

A bit of Chelsea bling, up on the bank


It can be so frustrating, this gardening lark.

Remodelling the terraces last year I had a bit of a headstart. I’d been tinkering with that area for a couple of years beforehand and many of the plants were already established, even if some most endured the indignity and subsequent setback of being dug up and shifted. The Precipitous Bank is a completely different affair. It does have some specimen trees, planted shortly after we moved here to release them from the pots that had been their home for the previous three years. There’s a berberis hedge, which I daren’t move for fear of undermining the slope, a few evictions from the terraces that were dumped on the bank for want of a better location and a lot of ferns. Other than that, nothing. Nada. It supported 30 tall conifers in a previous life. I’m effectively working from scratch.

It’s not that there’s no colour.. there is.


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Inherited day lily, one of said evictions


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Cornus kousa ‘Satomi’


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Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’


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Cistus ‘Grayswood Pink’


But put those plants into the vast expanse of the bank and they just disappear.. puff!


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The Precipitous Bank: May

They’re all there.. but can you see them? I’m blowed if I can.


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At least it has filled out, a lot, compared with last month.


Three things are at issue here I think. First, it needs patience. (Stop laughing Mike.) Plants bought in new, especially this early in the year, are not going to create the impact I want from the get go. Second, I need a lot of plants, even though I’ve been adding them in the traditional groups of three. No, planting on this scale requires drifts. And third, colours need to be strong to stand out. Pastels are just not working here.

It will improve as the season progresses, I hope. I’ve planted annuals, grown from seed, which should come into their own in the summer months, provided they are left alone. Experience in the vegetable garden suggests that direct sowing of seed is a waste of time given all the hungry critters in these ‘ere parts. So I’d grown them as plugs, thinking that would give them a better start..


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Californian poppy seedlings, found lying limp on the soil yesterday morning

There are holes beside each of the affected plants. Something has been digging them up, leaving the top growth untouched and feasting on the rootball. Mice.


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Hydrangea petiolaris is just coming into bloom along the path handrail


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Astilbe too, another terraces eviction.

Note ‘The Heap’ in the background has diminished considerably in size..


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Digitalis purpurea

Wild foxgloves, self seeded. How come the mice leave these alone? Not that I’m complaining.


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Digitalis purpurea, Silene dioica (red campion) against a backdrop of Libertia grandiflora


Towards the top end of the bank wildflowers have completely taken over.

It seems a shame to weed it really..


Linking up with Helen’s End Of Month View (here) at The Patient Gardener’s Weblog. Click through to find out what other gardeners are up to this month.