This Month

This Month December 2017 - Thursday, 30 Nov 2017

A bit cool now although when the wind drops it is quite pleasant to be working, even when the wind makes it seem a lot colder it is still bearable to be in the garden especially when the sun is shining. I am still clearing ground cover in the shrubberies which is some areas seems to be mostly Harts Tongue Ferns, Hypericum and Iris foetidissima , all these creep up on you and you suddenly find they have seeded so much they drown more delicate plants. I am a little concerned how I am going to manage doing the pruning with hand loppers and long-arm saw as just trying a bit aggravated my elbow.

There are still plants to split and move which I hope to get around to soon but as always there is not enough time or energy to achieve everything.

I have some delicious new specimen plants which will be planted in spring so that gives me a little time to decide where to place them. Taxodium ascendens Nutans is a lovely Swamp Cypress with a ‘frothy’ effect as the shoots are erect when young but become nodding as they mature and are arranged in whorls. Betula albosinensis Red Panda , Chinese Red Birch as its name suggests has reddish bark. Abelia engleriana, Chinese Abelia is a shrub with arching stems and purple-pink bell-shaped flowers with a golden-orange throat. Sinocalycanthus Hartlage Wine is a shrub with superb lightly scented wine-coloured flowers 7.5cm across. Xanthoceras sorbilofium, Yellowhorn or Chinese Flowering Chestnut is a lovely deciduous small tree from northern China, it has upright panicles of white flowers with deep-red centres. I look forward to watching all these new additions mature.

I have moved the bird feeders to the veranda but as they are under the roof and thus sheltered from rain the birds spend more time at them so they need refilling more often. One day a Sparrow Hawk buzzed them, it didn’t catch anything but sat for a short while on a armchair. They are  lovely birds to watch as I usually only get a quick glimpse as they swoop through the shrubberies, sometimes almost skimming my head.

I have still been collecting seeds for the seed swap in the Conquest Theatre, Bromyard on the morning of  Saturday 27th January so there will be several unusual species for people to try.

Even though we had some rain we are still well below the annual average by about 8ins (20cm).

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