I am a day late, but nevertheless I hope that I am not too late to join in with the Patientgardener‘s End of the Month meme. I am focusing on my latest project and I will revisit it in future EOM posts to see how it progresses. I mentioned some time ago that I wanted to make a garden for winter interest because although I grow many plants that are beautiful in winter, they don’t make much impact as they are dotted about the garden.
I chose a neglected corner of the orchard. And when I say neglected, I am not exaggerating, it was positively shameful.
When I dug up the entire front lawn four years ago I couldn’t straighten my body for days and I wasn’t looking forward to doing it again. I don’t have a gardener, but on this occasion I decided to get help. (No, not the Pianist, he keeps telling me that he has to look after his hands. ) But I found Paul and Julie, a really enthusiastic husband and wife team who seem happy to tackle anything.
They set to work digging up turf and I tackled the horrors of decades on the other side of what is going to be a grass path. I found ivy, nettles and elder seedlings amongst bricks and rubble. There was even an ancient pig sty hidden in the undergrowth.
There is the dreaded honey fungus in the orchard which has killed many of the apple trees, but this fungus is a different one and rather beautiful.
I began to wonder what I was going to find next, buried in the rubbish of centuries. Maybe that is where my toolshed monster is hiding, ready to leap out and jeer at me.
Planting it up is exciting, but expensive. I have moved quite a few plants here from other parts of the garden. I find most things move alright, apart from Daphnes. Never move a Daphne, it will cause instant death. From other parts of the garden I have moved two Witch Hazels; orange ‘Jelena and red ‘Livia’ and Lonicera elisae which is lovely though not highly scented.
Arbutus unedo ‘Rubra’ has found a new home here and also the lovely red Cryptomeria japonica ‘Rubra’.
I think conifers are great for all round interest as long as they are not overdone. I bought the glowing yellow miniature pine Pinus mugo ‘Golden Glow’, a dwarf Chamaecyparis obtusa ‘Fernspray’ a blue prostrate juniper; Juniperus squamata ‘Holger’ and the gorgeous Abies koreana which when it is mature has lovely upright cones like candles.
I love the orange Cornus sanguinea ‘Winter Flame’ so I had to have some of these. Incidentally you will sometimes find it named ‘Winter Beauty’ but as far as I can make out this is the same thing. I bought some red Cornus alba ‘Siberica’ which is so dramatic in Winter, behind this one I am going to plant the Osmanthus heterophyllus ‘Goshiki’ which looks rather like a holly.
When I was at Anglesey Abbey recently I bought three lovely bright red Cornus which I had never seen before called Baton Rouge’. It is a much brighter red than the ‘Westonbirt’.
A Cornus you don’t see so often is much finer stemmed Cornus sericea ‘Kelseyi’ which makes a nice compact shrub. The leaves turn a lovely red and orange in winter.
I love grasses and I think the red Uncinia rubra is a perfect match for the Cornus.
Grasses are so effective in Winter, so I have bought a few more and I will be adding to them.
I have planted a birch tree which is new to me called Betula albosinensis ‘Pink Champagne. Two more trees with wonderful bark that I really want are Prunus serrula and Acer griseum.
Although I have planted snowdrops, hellebores, heucheras, heathers and primroses and a few ferns it is still looking very bare. I shall just have to be patient ; at least I have made a start.
I will finish with a view of a different part of the garden which is in need of a bit of attention but never mind, just look at the lovely Japanese Apricot; Prunus mume ‘Beni-chidori’ it has such gorgeous, deep pink flowers which are lightly scented. I love it.
Thank you Helen at the Patient Gardener blog for hosting the End of Month View meme. Do pop over and see what other people have been showing us in their end of month view.