So it has been a year since I started contributing to six on a Saturday. It’s been great being part of such a lovely gardening community. I’ve learned a lot from reading everyone else’s posts and I’m developing a better seasonal spread from seeing what everyone else is growing. The last few months the garden has seen quite a lot of disruption with building work going on. The building work is coming on though and I am making plans for improving the front garden and making some serious changes to the back garden. This has already started, over the last few weeks, with a number of the shrubs and trees that gave the garden a lot of its framework removed. I’m taking it as a chance to remove plants I don’t like. With limited space I don’t want to waste it on plants I don’t like.
1. Hydrangea paniculata limelight
One plant I have come to love through writing my six on Saturday posts is the hydrangea. I have three pink mopheads in the garden that I didn’t care for much when we moved in. But I’ve come to enjoy them through their long lived seasonal interest. I’ve also admired this particular hydrangae in the in-laws garden and fancied one for the front garden and one of the little limes, a dwarf variety, for the patio. The little limes aren’t available until August and there wasn’t much difference between buying two or three so I now have three. The front garden is North facing and shaded for much of the time and I think it will thrive there. Then the other two I’ll try growing on the patio in large pots. I’m aiming for a few large statement plants on the patio with a few ferns, hostas and pots of bulbs that can be moved on and off the patio as they flower. Previously the patio was cluttered with lots of small pots. I’d like to make it more cohesive. We’ll see how long this lasts.
2. Ilex Crenata Stokes
I’ve bought these two to grow together on the patio to act as a low screen to stop Alice throwing herself off the patio into the roses. Ilex crenata is recommended as an alternative to box for giving domes that can be pruned into evergreen mounds. I’m on the look out for some square planters to put these in.
3. Slug gone
Slug gone are wool pellets to put round plants as a barrier to protect from slugs and snails. I tried it last year in small amounts to protect my lupins. The one surrounded by this survived. As I added more lupins again last week and have lots of hostas to go in I felt they should have some protection. It also adds some nutrients and acts as a mulch to keep water in the soil. So even if it is ineffective as a slug and snail deterrent it at least serves other purposes.
4. Beer traps
In addition to the slug gone, I’ve added a couple more ceramic beer traps. These snails are easy to fill. I use cheap supermarket brand beer and find these work well in keeping the mollusc numbers down. The plastic bottle is protecting and marking one of the hostas positions.
5. Window planters
I’d bought these with a vague idea of doing something for Jack Wallington’s window box competition. I don’t plan to attach them to the house I’ll raise them on a stone outside the front windows. I had an idea of doing a mini zen garden with a bonsai but I don’t think this is practical so I’m back to the drawing board. I would like something low maintenance with some year-round interest. So I’m probably looking at a number of structural evergreen plants with maybe bulbs for seasonal interest. It’s a shaded spot so that will limit choices too. There a bit shorter than I’d like at 50cm but it seems the price rapidly increases for any larger and I don’t want a plastic window box. This is clay fibre and still has a bit of weight to it.
I planted these minature iris back in December in pots hoping the building work would be done by the time they flowered and could go back on the patio. The building work isn’t done so they are currently sat on the edge of the lawn looking a bit untidy but the flowers themselves are lovely. I’ve seen some lovely varities this year and think it’s something I could happily plant more of next year. Though I think next year I’ll look at less pots but putting a bit more care into planning seasonal succession planting.
I hope you’ve enjoyed my six and watching the gardens progress over the last year. As mentioned there are a lot of changes ahead as I try to create a more cohesive garden rather than a series of individual plants. Enjoy your weekends and good gardening!