And There’s More?

Geum 'Totally Tangerine'

Geum ‘Totally Tangerine’


The garden is bursting back into life and getting away from me at the same time. For all manner of reasons I desperately need to spend more time in it.

Extreme house decorating. Two rooms at once. Would we make life ‘easy’ for ourselves and call that enough for this year? Of course not.



The old and very leaky greenhouse, photo from back in March.



The area behind the old greenhouse, summer 2017.

In a few short days a mini digger will trundle down the drive to make a start on landscaping, shaping and levelling this patch of earth so we can begin to tackle what has always been something of a wilderness. The aim will be to construct a new run of terraces (to mirror what already exists in front of the house), dismantle the greenhouse and create a potager in its place.



This is an old photo, the garden was a lot more enclosed then than it is today, but it demonstrates how much more we could open things up if we removed the greenhouse and extended the terraced beds further toward to the left. The plan is to replace the greenhouse with a slightly larger one in a new location, out of shot to the far left. But that is a job for autumn.

My focus right now is to shift every plant in the path of the digger.



Safely beyond the impending mayhem, the raised vegetable beds. Except there will be no veggies in here this year. The beds have been commandeered as a transit lounge, a place to nestle the temporarily displaced until new homes can be found. I have been clearing the space as I’ve been going along so please ignore the weedy bits. Their turn will come. If it had only been weeds that might have been simpler but in truth these raised beds have been used as a dumping ground before.


Petasites palmatus 'Golden Palms'


Petasites palmatus ‘Golden Palms’

In the veggie bed it formed a mahoosive clump. Lifted piece by piece and moved down to the lowest level of the garden it now forms a ‘drift’ some 2m long. It’s the perfect place. Permanently moist soil, dappled shade. But of course it’s not just the hauling of the petasites out of the veggie bed now is it. Not when the chosen destination is in virgin territory. The new ground would itself need to be cleared. Mostly in the rain as it turned out. Ivy, brambles, grass. And that’s only the start of it. If it was easy I’d have done it years ago, not wait until a deadline forced my hand. Astilbe ‘Red Baron’ came along for the ride (centre right).



Rodgersia pinnata ‘Buckland Beauty’

And two rodgersia. Plus a ligularia. All evicted from the veggie beds. Because now I need the space. The bog garden. Yet another new project in the making? It’s deer country down here. All of these plants are said to be deer resistant to some extent but I’m taking no chances until they’re properly established.


In other news:


Paeonia cambessedessii


Paeonia cambessedessii has returned for a second year. The Majorcan peony, one of the earliest to bloom and what a picture when it does. It’s said to be marginally tender, especially in the wet, so I regard this as something of a triumph. It is planted in the shelter of a south facing wall. The undersides of the leaves are brilliant red.


Magnolia laevifolia


Another second year returner: Magnolia laevifolia


Orchis mascula


Orchis mascula

And I couldn’t believe my luck when wandering in the woods the other day – the Early Purple Wild Orchid. I didn’t plant this, it must have always been here. Sweetly smelling for now, but said to take on the delicate aroma of tomcat pee. Lovely. Not. But beggars can’t be choosers when it comes to wild orchids.


Euphorbia x pasteurii 'John Phillips'


Euphorbia x pasteurii ‘John Phillips’.

This last winter was another mild one, but very wet. It’s good to see so many things that have made it through.


Arisaema sikokianum


Arisaema sikokianum. Still to be tested. A recent impulse purchase. Ah-hmm.


And finally..



Things are happening on Strelitzia watch.

The flower stem has started to bend over to form the ‘beak’..



And a ridge is forming where (I hope!) the orange and blue ‘crest’ of the Bird of Paradise will soon appear.



Linking to Sarah and Through The Garden Gate (here).