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JoanG's Journal

JoanG's Journal October 2012

Last Post 1848 days 7 hours ago

Reluctant decision

29 October 2012 22:34:04

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I never like the thought of removing a tree but, after much pondering, recently decided that our 'Goldcrest' had to go.  It was planted when I knew little about gardening and less about how fast and large this conifer would grow.  Gradually we pruned it up to get light for the plants around it and had it trimmed once a year, neither of which it liked and it was looking quite poorly after a chop too far earlier this year. 

I'll miss its evergreen presence and its bright colour, especially in winter.  I will plant another tree and have one in mind that should be a better shape and size, if I can source it.  Meanwhile, the plan is to knit the pyracanthas together to fill in the gap on the wall (I've layered a branch and also have some cuttings taken).   And after spending half a day digging out the stump, there is now space for some more plants too. 

Acer 'Orange Dream'

22 October 2012 23:48:35
Acer 'Orange Dream'

Acer 'Orange Dream'

I bought acer 'Orange Dream' only this spring and have it in a pot outside the patio door beside a seat. 

I'm thrilled with how much it has grown since then.  I loved its fresh colours when I got it and now it is taking on gorgeous autumn hues.  Just hope it will survive for me as I have lost two acers in the past. 

Good days

22 October 2012 23:28:39

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From recent journals it's clear we've all been enjoying the good autumn days that have come at last. 

Yesterday I cut what's left of my lawn, washed the pots that were piling up outside the back door and took some photos of autumn colour which I'll add to the Sept-Oct album.  It was so nice to be out and pottering. 

Hope it lasts a while longer.  Happy gardening everyone. 

New border

19 October 2012 22:39:00

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For a while now I've wanted more planting space in my small garden but was reluctant to dig up the lawn which I like too.  So finally I decided to take a big bite out of it. 

In the new bed I've planted dwarf asters and sanguisorba from Mount Venus and moved francoa, primulas, mukdenia and alpine phlox from pots or other areas where they were crowded.  I've put in spring bulbs too (narcissus 'Jenny', white muscari, pink and white tulips, iris 'Katherine Hodgins).  I'm thinking of having mainly low growing pink and white flowers plus grasses in this area.

Looking forward to see how it looks next year and no doubt I'll be moving things around and adding more plants.  For now, I'm pleased to have made a start on this new little area. 

Free plants ...

15 October 2012 22:23:39
Fuchsia x bacillaris

Fuchsia x bacillaris

... are often the best.  When we visited Bay Garden last May, Ian gave us each two free plants.  This fuchsia x baccilaris has grown well and flowered right through summer, still going strong.  I'm thrilled with it.  It has tiny flowers, intense cerise pink, not like other fuchsias.  I've since read that it may not be fully hardy, so will bring it into the greenhouse for the winter, though I recently saw it growing in the ground in a garden in my neighbourhood.  Hope the plant has done as well for others who also got it that day.

Oh, and apologies to anyone who thought I was making an offer  :-)

Enjoyable talk and interesting tip

15 October 2012 20:55:14
Furzey Gardens - web photo

Furzey Gardens - web photo

Last Wednesday I went to a most enjoyable talk by Chris Beardshaw in Dublin, courtesy of Fran who gave me his ticket.  The talk was on Furzey Gardens in the New Forest which, as well as being a beautiful restored garden dating from the 1920's, is also a training centre for adults with learning difficulties.  Specifically Chris gave an account of his project to bring Furzey Gardens to Chelsea 2012, creating a gold-medal winning show garden.  All of the 120 trainees and staff at Furzey took part, growing plants and creating structures for Chelsea and helping to build the garden. 

If you remember Chelsea 2012, this was the garden planted with rhododendrons and other "less popular now" plants.  Everyone loved it and fortunately so too did the judges. 

During his talk, Chris gave this tip for anyone trying to choose plants in a garden centre which will go well together ... bring a sheet of white paper.  Pick a key plant, stare intently at its flower for at least 30 seconds, then hold up the white paper between you and the flower.  You should get an image of the flower on the paper and alongside it, colours that will be complementary.  I haven't tried this yet! 

Thanks Fran, I really enjoyed the evening and hope you were fully recovered for the plantsperson course. 

Best kind of retail therapy

07 October 2012 15:07:12
Mount Venus plants

Mount Venus plants

Well, Clare (Clara) and Fran have already posted journals on the Mount Venus nursery sale so I haven't a lot more to add except to say what a lovely day we had for our visit yesterday in the sunshine and many thanks Clare for your good company and my plant pressies.  We met Myrtle and Dorothy as we were leaving and hope you both came away with nice goodies too.  Clare got a beautiful crimson leaved acer at a great price. 

Here's what I brought home:-

Miscanthus 'Flamingo', Panicum 'Squaw' (snap Fran), Poa cita, Sanguisorba (white), two dwarf asters, Chelone (turtle head), Anaphalis, Coreopsis.  Not forgetting a lovely fuchsia cutting from Clare's garden. 

Hope everyone else who gets there today or next weekend does equally well!

Michael(mas) question

05 October 2012 21:49:46
Aster - photo from web

Aster - photo from web

Can anyone recommend a dwarf or low-growing Michaelmas daisy, ideally one which will grow to about 12-15 inches high, or any other low growing plant associated with the name Michael?  I'm looking for a suitable commemorative plant, preferably perennial; it doesn't have to be late summer/autumn flowering, any season is fine as long as it is a fairly small plant. 

All suggestions welcome. 

Autumn colour

01 October 2012 22:01:48

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After this rainy and sunless summer, I'm wondering if there won't be as good autumn colour in the trees of our parks and countryside that we've enjoyed for the last couple of years. 

But some of our garden perennials are showing up well now. 

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