The Rhododendron bed, or the Sunset Bed, is in urgent need of a makeover, so I’m making this the subject of my End of Month Review. Plants have been seeding around and the end result has become rather a jumble. I have been buying a few plants recently that are meant for this area, but first, before they can be planted, the muddle of seedlings has to go, along with all the weeds that are there at the moment. The soil will then need improving with our own compost and then eventually will be mulched with our own leafmould.
This Rhododendron is the first to go, it was moved about 10 years ago and has never really established itself and hardly grown at all. Compared to the other Rhodos next to it, it looks positively unhappy! If plants aren’t performing, then I’m afraid they have to go!
Look how small the root ball is, it has hardly grown at all since it was moved all those years ago, no wonder the leaves looked sickly and the flowers are so sparse.
Somewhere in there is a path leading through the wide bed, so that weeding can be done more easily. The ordinary spotty dotty Pulmonarias have been seeding everywhere, so 95% can come out. I feel guilty doing this as the bees love them, but needs must.
The path is starting to emerge, but there are still a lot more seedlings to remove. The bees were still coming to the flowers even when they were in the wheelbarrow, but the bees needn’t worry though, I’m planting 2 special pulmonarias which are much better behaved!
Slowly but surely, spaces are beginning to appear. While working in this area, I’m having to be careful of all the dying snowdrop and daffodil foliage.
This border is in shade until about 3pm, when it then has sunshine until sunset – hence it’s name! Therefore I reckon that yellow, orange, pink, blue and purple will be the colours here. You can see the black name tags for my special snowdrops, so I will have to keep them in mind when I come to plant.
At last I have found the wooden circular stepping stones!
The undergardener has been weeding the path from the other end which starts in the bog garden, I think we will meet in the middle somewhere, I hope so. I have a feeling that the path continues under all the crocosmia leaves that have put themselves there, maybe I will have to move the path, it would probably be easier!
All the weeding of unwanted seedlings and weeds has now been done, leaving lovely spaces that I can now fill once I have improved the soil with a load of our own compost.
This is where the fun starts! These are plants bought over the last few months and even, dare I say it, bought last year, poor things. Unfortunately fate was against us last autumn when I should have been re-doing this border, it is only now that I have the time to put my plans into place. It is definitely time they all got their roots into some lovely soil.
I’ve had great fun placing all the plants where I think they will look best, but who knows, maybe I will change my mind tomorrow! Contrasting the colour, shape, size and texture of leaves as well as taking into account how tall each of the plants will grow, plus the colour of the flowers is like doing a three dimensional jig-saw puzzle!
I will wait until the soil is nice and soft once more with the rain that is forecast, before digging compost in and doing my planting, no point in making things more difficult than they need to be. Hopefully the finished result will be done in plenty of time for next months review.
Many thanks to Helen at The Patient Gardener for hosting this meme each month, so that we can keep track on how our gardens are progressing. Please pay her a visit to see what other gardeners are doing in their gardens.