Time to catch up.

Having had days of very heavy rain and storm force winds means that I now have time to catch up with my blog as gardening can’t be done at the moment. Gales last night brought a large branch down from one of my ash trees, but more of that later. I will start by going back to the removal of the Leylandii hedge which then sat on the drive for a couple of weeks until friend Simon had time to come and remove it.

I hadn’t realised that he was coming in the farm tractor!! I’m amazed there was enough room for him to come up our little single track road and he must only have had a couple of inches to spare getting through the gateway!

Everything was packed away in no time at all, all that was left for me to do was to rake the drive and clear all the bits.

Watching him turning the tractor on the proverbial sixpence was wonderful, no plants were hurt or squashed and once I had cleared away all the bits, you would never know that he had been here. I recently had a letter from Calor Gas to say that they are coming on 16th October to install a new tank, not a word about moving it,  more excitement for me!

Since I am still more or less still self isolating, I have been clearing out some of my beds and starting again. Over the years the planting has got very mixed, plants have seeded around, others haven’t grown as hoped, some have grown far to much and had to be removed. Best to start again.

The beds that are in a corner under the dining room and sitting room windows still need more plants, but so far I have planted peonies and dwarf nepeta. Alliums have been added and tulips will go in some time in November.

I will add some Penstemons for summer flowering which will be flowering at the same time as the Nepeta. Everything else will flower in spring and early summer. Clematis will be added to climb up the trellis that is already there.

I have also been working on the short double borders that lead through to the circular lawn.

Once again these borders had got very messy and needed organising.

There are three Iceberg roses each side which have never done very well, maybe because I hadn’t really looked after them, they have now been given some fertiliser so we will see what happens next year. I have added 2 small white Hydrangeas each side, 2 white peonies are still to come for each side, lots of white and blue Agapanthus have been planted along with a few Geranium Rozanne at the front. White narcissus have gone in and white tulips are waiting for November,  lots of Alliums have also been included.

This side isn’t quite finished yet, the Hydrangea at the front is still in its pot, I have to remove more alchemilla mollis first which has seeded everywhere.

The hydrangeas will only grow 3 ft, so shouldn’t get too big. The problem with planting a double border is the different rates of growth. The left hand border faces south west and the right hand border faces north east, but still manages to get some sunshine for half of the day.

When I got up this morning and drew back the curtains, I could see that a branch from the ash tree at the back had come down onto my large hosta.

I managed to drag it free and don’t think there is much damage to the hosta, fortunately it was dying back anyway.

Hmmm…this doesn’t look very good. The top of this tree looks as though it might have ash die back as lots of the twigs at the top are dead. This is the tree that has my Wedding Day rose up it for my daughter’s wedding and the white Clematis montana for my son’s wedding, it will be such a shame if it has to come down.

That’s me more or less up to date. There is another small bed that has been cleared but this has some bare root roses coming in November so will get planted up then, I might plant the bulbs for here in pots so that they are all ready to go in at the same time. All the borders have had lots of home made compost added at planting time and will soon be mulched with my own leaf mould, so all the new plants will hopefully be happy.

Hope you are all coping with whatever your weather is doing at the moment, I have got hooked on jigsaws for when it is raining, hopefully they will keep me occupied over the winter!




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12 Responses to Time to catch up.

  1. Susie says:

    Pauline, you have certainly had some gardening challenges lately. Hope the ash can be saved and will continue to host the wedding day tributes. Your descriptions of plants for your new border were helpful. I have lots of unused spaces and need a full refresh. My sister took possession of a puzzle I’d bought for my husband after he tired of it and she completed it after six long weeks–Rosetta Stone. Here’s to good weather.

    • Pauline says:

      I hope the ash can be saved Susie, it will leave such a big gap if it has to come down as it must be a few hundred years old by now. Ash die back is spreading throughout the country which is very worrying as there are so many ash trees everywhere. I’m trying to delay starting another jigsaw yet, The previous one took so long to complete, I don’t want to take it apart yet!

  2. Frank says:

    You’ve had a lot going on lately and have been very productive! I like the new plantings, they sound very promising, and all that compost and leafmold will be excellent for your soil. Compost seems to disappear here within weeks, I think I have very hungry soil!
    Hopefully your weather improves shortly. We’ve had a few days of clouds and I forget how much I prefer sun!

    • Pauline says:

      I’m glad you like the new plantings Frank, I still have more to do but the weather is against me at the moment. I have to add the compost and leaf mould to open up my heavy soil, it is always much better for the new plants to root into. We have rain forecast for the rest of this week but I think better weather should be with us by the weekend.

  3. Anna says:

    I do hope that you ash does not have the dreaded die back Pauline. We inherited a mature ash in our back garden which provides us with privacy. I would hate it to fall to this horrible disease. Your new planting sounds most appealing and I look forward to seeing them develop. I’m trying to resist any jigsaws until Christmas 😄

    • Pauline says:

      The damage was worse than I thought Anna, much larger branches were stuck half way up the tree and up those around it, but thankfully Derek, the gardener was able to get hold of them with an extending tool and pull them down, it has left a large gap though. Hopefully my new borders will be flowering from narcissus time until now in future, I’m looking forward to seeing them too!

  4. Denise says:

    You really have been very busy Pauline, always so much to do with a garden. I’m glad you are making progress with the ‘ Calor Gas project’. The White and blue planting theme for the double borders sounds lovely and I look forward to seeing how it comes on next year.

    • Pauline says:

      Derek, the gardener, has been busy this morning Denise, clearing lots of rubbish from around the old tank, hopefully the men will be satisfied when they come. I should be able to finish the bulb planting in my new borders soon as the last of the alchemilla mollis was cleared out this morning, it all looks so much better.

  5. Cathy says:

    Yes, such a lot going on – almost like a clean sweep with a new broom and I’m glad to hear Derek is able to do some of the work for you. You have been busy planning your new borders and I hope they all work out well for you – I always find it hard to visualise what the end result will be, and the most successful plantings always seem to be coincidental! Hope you are keeping well yourself Pauline

    • Pauline says:

      I have to admit Cathy that I like the planning stage best of all, maybe I should have been a garden designer, but there wasn’t such a thing when I was leaving school! Derek is turning out to be a real asset, he is a hard worker and does jobs in a fraction of the time it would take me. I am keeping well thanks, just so fed up with not seeing anyone or going anywhere, how much longer will it all last?

  6. Rogers Jayne says:

    I do hope the ash will be saved. If not could you leave several feet of trunk as a natural pergola for the vines? What a lovely reminder of happy occasions!

    • Pauline says:

      We are both thinking along the same lines Jayne, I was thinking that maybe the whole of the trunk could maybe be left as a support for the climbers. I know if it was by the road, it would have to come down, but as it is further into the garden it isn’t really posing a hazard so maybe it could stay a bit longer, I hope so.

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