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TheH (Hazel)'s Journal

TheH (Hazel)'s Journal September 2016

Last Post 476 days 23 hours ago

Old friends and new

29 September 2016 00:00:57

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In my very first garden in London I inherited some Sedum Spectabile which I knew then as the Ice Plant! I learned about dividing plants with them - but I don't remember them self-seeding! SoI have alwasy had a soft spot for this undemanding plant.

My Sedum Garden is at its best in June when all the low-growing sedums are in flower but I really value the taller ones at this time of year. They are far and away the best butterly magnets in the garden. I am delighted to find that there are three different colours among the ones in the photo!

And the little sedum in photo 2 is one that found its way into a planter rather than into the Sedum Garden - it is also a late one but I have no name for it.

The third photo show Cotinus 'Grace' and Verbena Bonariensis - two plants I had never even heard of before I joined this site! I just love the blue against the dark foliage of the Cotinus. There are two Cotinus in the garden, this one and Cotinus coggygria 'Royal Purple' but neither of them produce the signature flowers that give them their name of "Smoke Bush" - I cut Grace back hard this year but have let Royal Purple grow undisturbed. Any suggestions how I can persuade them to flower?

Had to be done!

27 September 2016 01:15:01

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The saxifrage around Colin's tree had become infested with some sort of creeping grass over the past few years so I decided to solve the problem once and for all. 

The tree had its canopy raised which made dealing with the people who might be interested. 

The grass was removed for now but it was a painstaking and difficult task - come back Scutch Grass - all is forgiven!

I'm happy with the layout now and will be planting lots of Spring bulbs until I see whether I've managed to get rid of the grass or not!

Finally - congratulations Monty on your very practical view of grass in the garden - Mine just got basic care!



Cherub came out of hiding ....

23 September 2016 12:33:50

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...while Elizabeth was staying with me!

My Rock Garden was originally created with rocks excavated from the site and dumped in that area of the garden. A hasty decision about placing them had to be made because there was a mini-digger available to do the task but the result was less than pleasing to me! I ended up with two far-to-regular rectangles which Brendan remarked were like graves! I managed to sort one out with strategic movements and planting but the second one was still far too grave-like.  Elizabeth and I discussed solutions and i suspect Cherub was hiding in the shelter belt rubbing his hands with glee!  Not needing much encouragement I removed all the plants and started chucking the smaller rocks about as the reconstruction commenced.

Cherub was definitely needed as the redesign required two very large rocks to be repositioned to reduce the regular rectangle to a more natural outline. It is amazing what two determined little women armed with a pickaxe, a jemmy and a basic understanding of fulcrums and things can do! He also showed me that a pickaxe can be a perfect lever in the right place!

Inch by inch, with Cherub providing exactly the right stone to prop things up the rocks just had to give in and the Rock Garden is now a much more pleasing shape - at least to me anyway!

The Album "Rock Garden Reconstruction" shows the before and after views!

Yum Yum!

17 September 2016 11:19:34
Yum Yum!

Yum Yum!

To have a decent supply of homemade Raspberry jam it is necessary to have a LOT of patience! My autumn-fruiting raspberries are fruiting at the moment and it is a constant race between me and the blackbirds each morning to harvest the ripe fruits!

It takes two days crop to make one small pot of raspberry jam but it is so delicious!

I'm wondering if I could add some apples to the jam to "stretch" the raspberries a bit? I'm not sure if I would lose the delicate raspberry flavour if I did. Sas anyone tried this?

Also, I treat the raspberries as recommended - I cut them to the ground when they are finished fruiting but i have a lot of canes that don't fruit. any advice would be welcome!

Three lovely lassies

17 September 2016 01:39:10

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Visiting Mount Venus a few years ago there was an offer of three free plants as Joan mentioned. I chose three different Michaelmas Daisies all of whom are doing well. I have their names carefully recorded in the database but of course the labels have long since disappeared!

So I took a photo of each one today. Problem number one is that the camera isn't able to differentiate between the different colours. Problem number two is trying to match the names to the plants!

They are quite different so I'd really like to be able to have the correct names for them!

Photo  One is quite a deep blue and isn't very tall - not much more than 2 eet tall.

Photo Two is paler in colour and more towards mauve than blue. It has a loose format and sprays out quite nicely without falling over. If it was up straight it would be between 3 and 4 feet tall.

Photo Three is also pale mauve but the flowers are much smaller and the whole plant is taller - over the 4 foot mark.

The three names to choose from are:

1. Aster Nemoralis

2. Aster Pyrenaeus Lutetia

3. Aster Cordifolius Blue Wood

I've matched them as best I can but would love to have a definite identification!


Des. Res.

15 September 2016 00:52:22
Des. Res.

Des. Res.

I was tidying the border down by the stream when I spotted what  I think is a Hedgehog Sleeping Nest! Definitely a Desireable Residence for a Hedgehog! I hope my tidying up of that border hasn't upset them too much!

It is at the opposite end of the garden from where I found one hibernating last Spring! 

I am so happy to find evidence of these very gardener-friendly creatures!

Now if only I could persuade some froggies to take up permanent residence ..... haven't seen any this year at all :-(

Gardening in the Rain!

13 September 2016 00:17:31

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Sometimes life gets in the way of the gardening! I had a delightful weekend away with my new Grand-niece and her Mum. So getting up this morning to dismal rain was a bit of a disappointment!

The storm while I was away had tossed quite a lot of stuff round the garden so as soon as the rain eased off I donned the rain-gear and went out to view the damage - well, nothing too drastic so I picked up the fallen pots and repaired the blown-over fence. Having the rain-gear on I wasn't too bothered when the rain stopped and started for the next while. So I tackled the shredding that had been left over before the weekend and it was quite a job! Four fills of the shredder box! But I had a great sense of satisfaction when it was done!

On my way back from the compost heap with the final shredding I spotted a task that I had been trying to get to for ages. I have some giant daisies that grow to about 6 or 7 feet and always fall over and smother their neighbours. In the right place they are truly dramatic but some of them have ended up in the wrong place and I have been planning to remove them. I have another daisie that I divided that is only half the height if I decide to replace them but I may just give the neighbouring plants a chance to spread their wings!

Turning round after wrestling with one of these daisies I was struck by how vivid the Rudbeckia were looking in the rain!

They are in the sometime 'Hot Border' but the planing there seems to have migrated to mauves rather than hot colours - the Joe Pieweed is at its best at the moment but the Salvia "Red Ensign" is still keeping the hot thing going!The yellow Kniphofia is an early flowerer gone by now but there is a nice red-leaved Persicaria 'Red Dragon' there and a little yellow Crocosmia the other side of the path is carrying the theme!


Last Hurrah

06 September 2016 01:52:17
Last Hurrah

Last Hurrah

This delicate white climbing/rambling rose is a slip from my sister-in-law and it is settling in well on my Pergola. It is an early flowerer but each year it manages to produce at least one perfect flower late in the season - just to remind me how lovely it is!

My own little miracle

06 September 2016 01:37:28
My own little miracle

My own little miracle

Not as dramatic as Scrubbers but to me it was quite miraculous! I was tidying and cutting back the straggly dead bits off the Clematis that have finished flowering - of course there was also some weeding to be done - but it was all worthwhile because I found that "Princess Diana" has staged a recovery - no flowers but nice healthy foliage! I have hopes that there may be some flowers again next year!

What can be done in half an hour?

01 September 2016 02:27:31

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Well, I was busy with non-gardening stuff today so i only managed to get outsdie for a short session. I did a bit o shredding and a little more on the Hazel Grove and as I turned around my eyes fell onthe disaster area that was such a pretty sight in July with giant daisies cascading down and sweetpeas climbing through the willow! How quickly those lovely flowers have gone and in their place is - well it can only be called a MESS!

So I tackled it.

All the gone-over stuff was yanked out or cut down and undeneath the debris was yet another Hydrangea! Not flowering but looking quite healthy!

And the wheelbarrow has disappeared under the load!

And the whole transformation was completed in half an hour! Why did I leave it so long instead of just tackling it!


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