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Thats enough introduction - on with the plants!
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... out in the garden.

22nd July 2012

Rosa 'Toby Tristram'
A week can be a long time in a garden and things have moved on a long way. The jet stream has ambled off to the north and summer has drifted in on a wave of high pressure from the west. The temperature went up, and now the skies have cleared. Perhaps we will have the sort of summer that children look back on fondly from their dotage (May and June will be forgotten if July and August deliver the goods).
'Toby Tristram' gets better and better. I do nothing at all to help her along and she manages to spread further and further across the shed every year. Unfortunatley the shed is now unusable and will have to be demolished. I am hoping that if I cut her back and give her a pyramid of stakes to grow up, that she will reach into the lower branches of an adjacent Eucalyptus and not notice the absence of the shed. There is a chance that when the time comes I will be able to untangle some of the stems and 'whip' them up into the tree in my most adventurous Indianna Jones style but I'm not relying on it. They are rather thorny for whipping through the air, and it they dont latch on first time they will fall back down on the poor unfortunate (me) beneath. It will all depend on how brave or reckless I feel on the day, and the day hasn't come yet. Ideally it will wait until autumn, but a good summery thunderstorm might be enough to collapse the shed and force my hand.

22nd July 2012

Cornus 'Norman Haddon'
Another old favourite in the garden. When I planted it I just popped it in a bed of other shrubby things and left it to get on with the job, but as it matures it is taking over that corner of the garden. It is a magnificent thing, flowering over a long season when all the spring shrubs have finished. I am slowly reorganising its corner and rebuilding that part of the garden around it. The original arrangement of paths has long been abandoned and I need to come up with a new plan. It would be nice to have a meaningful path, at present I simply push through the undergrowth to get wherever I want to go and it isn't really satisfactory.
There are so many shades of green that I am rather embarrassed to have to fall back on lime as a description of the flowers. Limes are rich, dark and shiny and this is not. Perhaps closer to Lime Barley Water and we base our colour descriptions on our desire to eat them. Whatever the colour, it is now blushing pink and will remain in beauty for a couple more weeks before the bracts shrivel and fall.
A hybrid between C.kousa and C.capitata which arose in the Porlock garden of Norman Haddon. The original plant was moved to Knightshayes Court.

22nd July 2012

Sanguisorba officinalis 'Pink Tanna'
I have been ignoring Sanguisorba for some time, and while my back has been turned the genus has developed. When I moved into this garden I got my fingers burnt with something that claimed to be Sanguisorba officinalis but was probably S.obtusa. It was delightful and I lifted it and split it up to plant around the place. Everywhere I moved it from it came back up again from the roots. Its determination to remain where planted was quite disconcerting. I took to mowing over it and eventually it died out, but it was a warning that I heeded.
Suddenly the genus is becoming popular again and there are some beautiful new plants being produced. I am trying a few of them, and watching them carefully. 'Tanna' is a dwarf growing selection of the species and 'Pink Tanna' is a slightly taller seedling from it found by Coen Jansen. The flowers are interesting among herbaceous plants and the leaves are entirely rewmoved by rabbits so it may not survive long. If it does survive being eaten to the ground by rabbits, that will be a worry in itself.
I would try it in the meadow, but it is coming to its best just as I have cut the meadow down, taking advantage of the first dry day for weeks. Now the meadow is accessible I have taken the opportunity to cut a few more leyland cypress down. I am very fond of them, but there are too many and the shade is too dense.

22nd July 2012

Persicaria amplexicaulis 'Orangofield' ORANGEFIELD
Another genus that has sat quietly doing nothing for decades has burst into innovation recently. Persicaria amplexicaulis is a good perennial, a little too vigorous at times but it is quite shallow rooting and fairly easy to remove. There are a number of new selections and ORANGEFIELD is working out well in the border here. The flowers are not orange, but there is a salmon tinge to them that has a much softer effect in the garden than the pink and red of the typical form. It should be vigorous, but it is another plant that gets eaten by rabbits and it remains to be seen how well it will survive beyond the safety of a rabbit fence.
If the summer continues then this will be a week of bonfires as I clear up some of the timber that I took down last night. I have to be cleared up and off the meadow by autumn when the new daffodil shoots start to appear.

Acorus Alocasia Anemone Arisaema Arum Asarum Aspidistra Begonia Bromeliads Camellia
Carnivorous Cautleya Chirita Chlorophytum Clivia Colocasia Crocosmia Dionaea Drosera Epimedium
Eucomis Fuchsia Galanthus Hedychium Helleborus Hemerocallis Hepatica Hosta Impatiens Iris
Liriope Ophiopogon Pinguicula Polygonatum Ranunculus ficaria Rhodohypoxis Rohdea Roscoea Sansevieria Sarracenia
Scilla Sempervivum Tricyrtis Tulbaghia Utricularia Viola odorata Watsonia

To find particular groups of plants I grow, click on the genus name in the table above. Click on the "Index" box at the top of the page for the full list.
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