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Rachel's Journal

Rachel's Journal June 2008

Last Post 3525 days 4 hours ago

Aster Bed

30 June 2008 19:33:18
Aster Bed

Aster Bed

Recently finished weeding my aster bed.

This bed was planted  up this spring, inspired by a photo in a gardening book of the Picton Garden in Worcestershire.

I planted two types of asters - blue and pink (the names escape me now). There were a few achillea and echinacea already in the bed so I left them there. There is also a giant phormium in the centre. I had grown the achillea & echinacea from seed last year but, when I planted them out, only a few survived the winter.

Anyway, I can't wait to see how the bed looks in autumn! No doubt I will be the only one reminded of the Picton Garden but, never mind, I hope it will be pretty.

Charles de Mills

30 June 2008 19:29:05
Charles de Mills

Charles de Mills

Managed to sort out a row of six Charles de Mills roses in need of attention. They are very floppy and hung out over the grass and onto the hill behind them. They were regularly damaged during mowing, as a result, but still give plenty of flowers.

I widened the border allocated to the roses and weeded them. After much thought, I invested in a set of 7ft bamboo canes and built a scaffold around the roses. Although probably not the best solution, I didn't want to fork out a lot of money for supports. Finally, I gave them a good mulch with well rotted manure and dead-headed them.

The overall affect is much better - adding heigth to the garden. However, I dead-headed half a bucketful of roses and, while doing so, noticed that the petals are turning brown before their time. They seem to be going brown before the flowers fade. I wonder is this a result of wind? I never noticed it on my other roses before. Any suggestions?

Kitchen Window View

30 June 2008 15:23:17
Kitchen Window View

Kitchen Window View

Just finished work on tidying up the view from the back kitchen window.

I had already built a narrow flower bed along the cliff there and had built a dry stone wall in front of the bed (when I refer to this construction as "dry stone wall" it usually gives my family a laugh as they think it falls short of any such label). You look onto the length of this bed and the length of the cliff from the kitchen window so it is an important view.

I have several low maintenance shrubs in the bed and there were a lot of tulips there in spring. Now that the tulips are gone, weeds are coveting the empty space in front of the shrubs.

I removed all weeds. Then I raised the soil level in the bed with compost. This was necessary as the soil was very poor and very low. The tulips won't mind the soil level being raised above them and the shrubs are sturdy enough now too.

I then got to do the fun stuff - planting the helenium (moorheim beauty) and coreopsis I had bought in front of the shrubs. And finally I moved the kids' trampoline from between the window and the newly refurbished bed.

It now looks a hell of a lot better. Can't wait until the helenium knit together and flower.

Orange Tree

29 June 2008 10:10:30
Orange Tree

Orange Tree

I'm absolutely delighted to note that my little orange tree is flowering for me this year.

I repotted it last year but it sulked and didn't flower. I fed it this year, however, so maybe that's made the difference.

4 July 2008

There's just a sprinkling of flowers but that's better than nothing. Maybe I didn't feed early enough! 

Box & Juniper Project

05 June 2008 15:09:03
Problem Area 6 June 2008

Problem Area 6 June 2008

Just had a great idea on how to manage a tricky area.

I have a raised bed, surrounded by a dry stone wall (self built so a bit wobbly). It is very messy as the wall doesn't come up to the top of the soil level. It has been built as and when I find large stones. There is only one plant there (a phormium) so the area gets very weedy. It is on the edge of another messy area of uneven grass (won't go into detail) so it needs to kind of camuflage the other area.

Here's the plan... 

1) Weed bed

2) Flatten and evenly distribute soil

3) Finish building wall to soil level

4) Plant vertical juniper at the corners and box between

5) Think of something else to plant in middle (a phormium is the only plant there at present)


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