Fronting the Garden

This morning, the sun endures past dawn. I realize that it is August: the summer’s last stand” ~ Sara Baume

Having moved home and garden in the sweltering late July heat, I’m pleased to report that there were few casualties. Sadly however, the Leptospermum scoparium or Manuka seedlings roasted after being left in the car whilst unpacking was done. The scorchingly hot day meant that all the growing tips were singed, and one by one, all but a couple, gradually died.

manuka clinging on with a wing & prayer

The loss is very disheartening as till then I’d taken much care and pride in the seedlings. If there is an upside, however, it’s that these were the first seeds I’d ever attempted to stratify and met with such success. And now with a small glasshouse under renovation, there is a future of much seed sowing to be had.

Stratification” as cold storage – laying seeds on moist paper within a plastic bag and plenty of air and placing in a fridge. Removal from the fridge simulates the winter to spring temperature change and triggers germination.

As the time drew near to moving, I had put so much thought into developing (over time) a Japanese style back garden that I failed to fully register that at the front of the Annexe is a generous dais space for pots. This means that my old ‘garden in a pot’ can continue in some shape or form and hence I’ve subtitled this blog “and other plants“.

The Derbyshire Dais – with all my potted plants

This is a sheltered, North facing space which catches the afternoon sun so part sun/part shade loving plants will be the requisite. And here in Derbyshire I’d have to consider hardy plants or else be prepared to put in a great deal of overwinter cosseting.

After moving Acers, Hydrangeas and Hostas to their eventual Japanesque garden, there will be significant gaps here. I’m toying with creating an old-fashioned ‘potted cottage garden’ but am still unsure as to what varieties and colours to choose.

Acer at the window

At the moment, I enjoy looking through my front window at the very upright Acer Seiryu or Blue-Green Dragon. In Autumn, it will turn a beautiful red-bronze. Thus, after it is moved, I would want to replace it with something equally colourful in both Spring and Autumn. I’m currently considering one of the smaller Amelanchiers (snowy mesipilus) but am open to suggestions and have plenty of time to do more research.

Already I have added a wishlist category to the Plant Register and from the internet, am starting to bookmark some possible suitable plants. I use Firefox’s Pocket bookmarker solely for plant ideas and its tag facility makes such bookmarking even easier to sort.

After many years of garden visiting, I constructed a virtual wishlist in my head of trees, shrubs and perennials I would want for my garden whenever I had one. Like castles in the air, such ideas literally come down to earth with the reality of locale. Thus, I shall probably never grow the strongly scented Pineapple Broom (Cytisus battandieri) or one of the wonderful Cornus kousas but a Spindle tree (Euonymus europaeus) is still possible. I shall eventually have a gate from my back garden into my daughter’s woodland and along that path down to the brook. This native tree would be right at home there!

Anyway, that’s enough of daydreaming for now. There is very little to be done in the garden at this time of year as the plants begin to take a rest. I have yet to build up more late flowering, autumn interest plants but meanwhile, a great deal of manual work is about to begin with the first steps towards my Japanesque garden design. Watch this garden design space.

Take a scrolling stroll through the Derbyshire Dais of the Front Garden in August

2 thoughts on “Fronting the Garden

    1. A very belated reply Kiki after being away from the blog to the real world of manual labour in the garden! I’ve always avoided any seeds that required stratification till now as it seemed too much bother but the manuka seeds would not settle for less!!
      The hydrangeas have indeed recovered beautifully and am currently drying some bloloms for the winter

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