Posted in gardener's jottings

Autumn’s cusp

And all at once, summer collapsed into fall.”Oscar Wilde

I had no time to post last month before leaving for the last of summer, holidaying in Cornwall. Always we gardeners fret about our plants when absent but I need not have worried for there were so few sunny days that the plants only needed one watering (though potted plants are obviously thirstier than most).

Nerines in a Cornish garden

And just at the equinox, Autumn’s cooler damp days swept in and there seems to be hardly a dry day since, as these images show.

The Peacock Orchid (Gladiolus murielae) is on its last bloom and some of the plants came up blind so I should pull these out.

Another disappointment has been the Balloon vine (Cardiospermum halicacabum) – clambering nicely with lots of tiny white flowers but no sign of any seed setting. I’m wondering why or am I being impatient?

The more diminutive fuchsias like Tom Thumb are resplendent with bloom still and in the Salvia corner, the later blue and purple ones (S. amistad; S. farinacea) are mixing with the summer reds and whites of ‘Hot lips’ and ‘Royal bumble’. I miss ‘S. Phyliis Fancy’ though which did not make it through the winter this far North

This time of year reflects both permanence and change and it shows in the selection of foliage which is the first rule of planting whilst the backbone of a garden is its winter plants including evergreens like the Sarcococcas which will smell sweet by the back door if I venture out in the cold!

Featuring in the garden now:

Posted in gardener's jottings

After Easter

I love spring anywhere, but if I could choose I would always greet it in a garden ~ Ruth Stout.

Three weeks into the lockdown over the Covid-19 virus and no let up in the social isolation rules. The weather has been warmer than usual for a few days prior to Easter and suddenly everything in the garden is moving ahead.

Of note are the three Acers – Seiryu; Trompenburg; Ukigumo in order of their respective size and emerging leaf colours of spring green, red, and variegated green & white with a pink tinge.

I should mention the rescue mission I had to do with the Seiryu Acer last month – it had become badly waterlogged in its pot with the late winter deluge. Thus I removed it with great difficulty, cut a portion of its root and resettled it in fresh John Innes #2. Similarly the other two trees were given a 2″ top soil removal and replacement of the same JI.

Would A. Seiryu survive this rough and ready treatment? The answer is YES!

In the long oval ‘Spring Sensations’ planter, the euphorbias are blending well with a white bleeding heart –L. spectabilis ‘alba‘.[ Not called Dicentra anymore since being reclassified as Laprocapnos. Translation ‘Shining smoke’ which bears no resemblance!] And since moving the root clump of Loosestrife ‘firecracker’ to the back of this planter, its young bronze leaves are now appearing right at the front! Had I read the label from the outset, this lovely tall and leggy plant would have been positioned correctly.

That’s one lesson learned to the point that I’m now including height and spread in all the plant page details.

Another lesson, learned the hard way, is that this far North is much colder than London and the late frost has killed off the cutting I brought with me of Salvia ‘Phylis Fancy’. Also the Blackcurrant Sage is struggling as is Fuchsia ‘Walz Jubelteen’. In future I will give some protection to these more tender plants.

On the seed front, I’m having scant success with the tall variety of Nasturtium but was surprised by the appearance of seedlings from some trickier plants: : Bleeding Heart vine – Dactylicapnos macrocapnos and Love-in-a-Puff. I mustn’t count my chickens though as it s a long way to go from seedling to plant!
[Postscript – after 2 weeks all the Dactylicapnos seedlings dampened off 😦 ]