|Oh dear - the back garden became a riot of colour - or to my mind it was definitely a riot! Restful and calming it was not.|
|The Azalea proved to be zingy orange-red ... and the pale pink Camellia continued to flower...||Clematis 'Vyvyan Pennell' flowered exuberantly - unfortunately the Camellia continued, so did the Azalea - all three together for a few days, before Vyv progressed from its single to double phase.|
|Meanwhile, the geranium in the next door bed - 2 feet away - was a good strong blue ... and a good strong plant. It planned to take over the entire bed, and possibly the world. In my old garden, with plenty of space, I would have been happy to keep it, but with such restricted space ...|
Corydalis ochroleuca is flowering bravely in the foreground, little knowing what could lie in store, but poor Anemone magellanica and Paeonia mlokosewitschii are quite buried already
|The Clematis in bed 3 proved to be pinkish, and also exuberant.|
|One of the Clematis growing up the apple tree was white with a pink stripe, the second was purple. I would have left both in the old garden, but preferably well separated, since there was room to view from a distance, with plenty of green to calm things down.||The third apple tree Clematis proved to be mauve and double! |
Meanwhile, in bed 2, Allium moly appeared - NOT my favourite - just to add to the colour scheme.
|However, things were not all bad ...|
|The Aquilegias under the apple tree turned out to be white and pale yellow.||The Clematis in bed 5 did turn out to be a good white Montana type and will stay - although it will need pruning.|
|A bulb in bed 2 turned out to be a Camassia - pleasant, especially when there is more in the bed round it to distract from the untidy leaves.|
The bare bush proved to be a Hibiscus when its leaves emerged - whether or not it will stay depends on the colour - one can get terribly picky with only a small garden to work with
|Ranunculus amplexicaulis flowered happily in the sink ...||... while Dodecatheon meadia alba flowered equally happily in the wall bed|
|The Saxifrage in the wall bed flowered quite nicely but is not entirely happy there - a move might be a good idea, but might finish it off instead which would be a pity.||Campanula 'E H Frost' survived its unceremonious move from the old garden (grab a handful from between the stones and shove vaguely in pot) and started flowering. As it will probably wish to strangle the Saxifrage I think I will have to move the poor thing.|
|Little Aristolochia sempervirens surprised me by flowering. I had not seen it do so before, but perhaps I hadn't looked at the right time - the flowers are quite small, but fun.|
|Perhaps a bigger surprise was the orchid. Six years ago I bought Primula florindae from Spinners. Regrettably I lost it, but another primula (? P bulleyana when I asked them on a subsequent visit) appeared in the pot, so the pot just stayed in its dish. Last year there were no primulas in it, but a strange bud appeared. This year it decided to develop into an orchid. Now, it isn't as if I need any excuse to visit Spinners, but this makes it a definite plan for a Summer outing - I would like to know what this is.|
In the background Saxifraga x canis dalmatica is flowering as happily as usual, but the Ensata irises in the other pots are less happy - hardly surprising as I caught Mrs blackbird busy trying to pull each out in turn. The dish is now covered with a bird cage to try to prevent such activities.
|The back garden is no longer a riot of colour - the rioters have been evicted - rehomed in most cases, but there were some I simply discarded as nobody else wanted them either.|
It appears that the previous owners believed deeply in severe pruning and tidying, resulting in a very boring garden in Winter. No positions were labelled, indeed only a few plants were, so I keep getting little surprises - have I really got potatoes growing in one of the beds? and why do I keep finding buried peanuts complete in their shells? There are also little Passiflora seedlings everywhere - not really likely to be self-sown.
The other 'joy' was discovering which weeds I would get. I expected the bittercress, spurge and all the usual little annoyances - inevitable. I also got bindweed - no hand-weeding there - out came the gun and so far things are improving. However, in addition to the little yellow Oxalis, which I put up with in the old garden as well, I have the larger pink one too - everywhere. Still, at least I can weed this garden in hours - a culture shock after the non-stop battle against the brambles and everything else in the old one - and will do so when the weather permits. It has been very hot and sunny, which makes me feel ill at the best of times and I have been told to avoid the sun in any case.
As can be seen from the plant list, further plants have been added. I was given a new 'black bamboo' by a friend whose own one had produced offshoot clumps, bought a few from a stall at a cat show, then paid a very enjoyable visit to Wisley plant shop - and the gardens themselves of course. Those plants had to sit in the shade, watered regularly, until the weather was suitable for planting - I managed to get them all in, in drizzle, before the thunderstorm broke!
I was also posed a problem by a kind friend from Scotland who couldn't resist, so bought for me, Chondropetalum tectorum, complete with the website address to look up all about it - just as well, I had never heard of it. Plant in a large pot in infertile, well-draining soil, it said. Drainage was no problem - I had bags of grit; I also had bags of compost - but where was I going to get the infertile soil? In the old garden I would simply have dug up a spadeful from somewhere convenient, but not here. A friend was coming over to collect some evictees so I asked her; when she eventually understood what I wanted she said how about molehills? The moles had been enjoying themselves under her (unfertilised and untreated) lawn. Three large bags of molehill duly arrived so I am well prepared for any other plants with similar requirements.
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