Autumn is a second spring when every leaf is a flower. ~ Albert Camus
After unseasonably long hot months, September headed straight for cooler temperatures. The plants have been happier; putting back lost foliage and summoning some more blooms.
But my focus is already on next Spring and contemplating the ‘gaps’ in the front dais when the Japanese plants move to the back garden. With the Acers and some medium shrubs removed, much of the backbone of the planting will be missing so I’ve been researching what new plants to substitute with. They must be in keeping with the style of a cottage garden and tolerate being potted. Scroll for ideas I have:
In all at least 18 plants will be moved, including some very large hostas. These are a favourite of mine and I’ve only recently discovered their Japanese origins (see ‘here come the hostas‘). Even so, one or two will remain resident on the dais. The rest will stay potted and be placed within the gravel area of the Japanesque garden (to deter gastropods!).
September is a good time of year to prepare new beds for planting and having dug up the potatoes, that soil and duck straw manure have freshened the beds either side of the stone steps to the raised lawn and small pond area. Hydrangeas will most likely be planted here.
For the south side of a newly part-constructed teahouse (see ‘An unveiling‘) I’ve dug a place for two miniature fruit trees (‘Worcester Pearmain’ apple and ‘Conference’ pear) which in turn lead on to what will be a small, terraced vegetable plot with timber retaining walls.
And at the far end of the garden (beyond the greenhouse) is initially open woodland, with a sloping area I’d designated for suitable Japanese plants, with Acer Seiryu as centrepiece.
First though, it was back-breakingly necessary (with help from ‘builder buddy’) to dig out several very large blocks and then infill, edging the bed with even more upturned stones!
Two things that would look especially odd in a Japanese style garden are the greenhouse and raised ‘lawn’. The former will eventually be occluded with a wooden screen and Acer Trompenburg planted in the freshly prepared bed. I’ve also now scrubbed/mattocked out all the grass, down to subsoil (but have yet to level). It will be replaced entirely with pea gravel though I’ve decided against a weed membrane beneath as I really dislike that fabric.
In the far centre, and at the back of the teahouse, I’ll plant the Japanese hydrangea vine and parallel to it, I’ve planned a slabbed platform for early morning Chi Gung practice. Something about ‘paved with good intentions’ comes to mind!