This Month

This Month December 2020 - Tuesday, 01 Dec 2020

It has been a busy time in the garden when we have been doing some serious pruning, I say we as I am struggling with injuries and have difficulty doingIt has been a busy time in the garden when we have been doing some serious pruning, I say we as I am struggling with injuries and have difficulty doing some of the work on my own at the moment. I do the fiddly little pruning jobs myself but when it comes to taking out big branches or getting out roots it is good having the help of my occasional odd job boy, he is also a plantsman so I bounce ideas off him. We have been doing some heavy chopping back and clearing of some plants which have spread very vigorously and with restraining them into a more manageable size it will add more interest with new planting. Some of these are Roses, one is a Rosa rugosa which has spread to about five or six times bigger that it needed to be yet is still a good sized shrub after pruning, I may end up taking it out completely as I there is more of it in other areas. Another was a smooth-leaved Ilex where the branches had touched the ground and rooted to quite a wide extent, the same with a shrub honeysuckle.
Did someone mention new plants! It just so happens that a box of plants, actually four boxes, have arrived however they were not meant for some of these new cleared areas, oh dear I will have to get even more! Of the new ones four are Hydrangeas but most are ones more rarely seen in cultivation.
I am taking a risk with Franklinia alatamaha which is a tricky tree to grow. It is native to the Alatamaha River valley in Georgia in southeastern USA and has been extinct in the wild since the early 19th century. It may grow to 33ft (10m) but is often 15 to 25ft (4.5 to 7.5m). It has lightly fragrant white flowers similar to single white Camellia flowers. The 6in (15cm) long leaves turn a bright orange-red in Autumn. It doesn’t like being transplanted but once established may live to over 100 years. I am not sure if it will survive as the soil conditions here are not ideal for it but I decided to try it anyway.
Rostrincula dependens at first glance looks like a Buddleia, it is part of the mint family and is from south China, I think it was only quite recently introduced to this country. It has weeping  racemes of lilac-pink flowers from August to October followed by beaked nutlets.
We already have Zenobia pulverulenta which is in shade near the oak circle, it has white bell-shaped flowers and make a small compact shrub, I bought another which is called Z.p. Raspberry Ripple which white flowers with pink markings. I am always looking for plants for shade.
Now I must get moving as we are cutting back or removing more of the wide spreading shrubs today, that will be a warming job on a chilly morning.

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