This Month May 2023 - Sunday, 30 Apr 2023
April has been a busy month in the garden but it has not been all work and no play as I have managed to find time to go to some plant fairs. One of these included an exciting stall with rarely seen plants ideal for Moors Meadow although many can already be found in residence I did find some new species to add. The problem came when I got home and had to decide where to plant them all, especially the trees but I was surprised how quickly I made these decisions. I bought a Sorbus aronioides (Chokeberry-leaved Rowan) which is a lovely small tree that I have planted above the sunken garden. I bought five new Acers and planted the smaller ones in the shrubberies, one of the larger ones above the new Rhododendron bank and the lovely Acer cissifolium is now near where I lost a Eucryphia at the bottom of the garden.
New plants to go in the ‘lovely leaves’ areas include Kalopanax maximowiczii and Metapanax delavayi which I already have but the new one seems to have wider mature leaves. Helwingia chinensis is an intriguing shrub with flowers in the centre of the leaves, I do already have one of these too but it has never been a great specimen whilst the new one looks very healthy and lush. I got Illicium oligandrum which has pale yellow flowers and may not be as hardy as the other Illicium (Anise) that I have but I have still planted it in the same shrubbery bed as the others. It is quite a sheltered bed with fairly moist soil, I did notice while I was in that area that Illicium simonsii is in flower, it has darker yellow flowers.
I bought several new ground cover plants for the shade as well as Adiatum aleuticum which is a beautiful delicate fern that I planted by the Oak circle where I have already put several new ferns. In the same area I have planted a lot of Martagon Lily and Veratrum which I have grown from seed.
I hope to find time to start the summer prune in May, while doing some jobs I have noticed the odd branches here and there which are dead, if I have a few spare minutes and the right tools with me I will nip them off there and then but usually I am too busy to side track myself.
A different plant fair brought another haul of plants, one of these is the very pretty single bright-yellow Rosa Canary Bird, I must plant this in an open area as the previous one in the garden got shaded out as the larger shrubs and trees around it grew.
I was pleased to see the peas, broad beans and spuds pushing through the earth whilst keeping my fingers crossed that they will not be damaged by rabbits, mice and slugs.
Whilst planting out I spotted a few thing which could be split and moved, this is usually best done in autumn but some I decided to move now as there has been a fair bit of rain. After the drought problems of last summer I am much happier on rainy days than I used to be although I still get stir crazy if it lasts for a few days in a row. I should spend those inclement days on housework but I am far to easily led astray from that chore into something more interesting such as writing.
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