A work in progress

This year the front garden is getting some serious attention at last. For many reasons, its been neglected in recent years, and the longer something gets left, the harder it is to make a start isn’t it? It’s south facing, and slopes to a four foot wall above the path, so quite difficult to work in because its elevated.

This area leading to the front gate has a John Downie crab apple tree, lovely in blossom and with an abundance of pretty fruit. But the roots spread far and wide, so planting nearby is difficult. I’ve  cleared a lot of campanula, forget me not, marigolds and cerinthe, from here, all of which are sprouting again of course. I think I acquired the rhubarb some years ago and randomly planted there because I couldn’t think of anywhere else. It’s never produced very well though.

I’ve planted salvias, French lavender, Gaura, Scabious and  Osteospermum so far. The Japonica is self seeded from one that was dug up a few years ago.

Here’s my long suffering geranium, a favourite brought from my last garden, that’s being invaded by Wood Geum, a pest that I’m digging up everywhere.

A couple of exotics that are staying for now, unlike this one that took two days to dig up.

A couple of spaces waiting for some new plants,

This euphorbia is too big but I don’t know how to get it out without poisoning myself 🙂

and the lavender will dazzle in a few weeks time when the flowers spill over the wall.

House leeks and hardy geraniums are such generous plants, they haven’t minded being ignored.

Leading up to the front door is the space in front of the arch where I’ve taken out the monster. There’s a brand new clematis, but I’ll photograph it when it’s grown a little.

Meanwhile peep the other way. I know it looks untidy, but it’s getting there.

By the end of this summer I hope to have found some nice plants, so that next year it will look really nice. If my back can cope and if the Spanish bluebells don’t take revenge and multiply! So that’s what I’m up to, instead of blogging and visiting you my friends.

Fanny the palm

This beastie, Fanny, lives and thrives in my front garden. I’ve never decided if I like her or not, but people often pause to look at her.

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In recent months, she’s had her skirt shortened, because it was impossible to walk past her without being attacked by her thorns.

She’s already sprouting a new silver fan,

that will grow up like this one day

and she’s wearing some new jewels at her feet

which could be interesting if she’s part tryffid. She may have plans to dominate the local gardens, should I be worried?


Peony mlokosewitschii

Meet Molly, Molly the witch to her friends. I first met Molly probably around 35 years ago and I fell under her spell from the beginning. Whichever garden she lived in then, they didn’t have one for sale, but it would have been very expensive anyway.

It had been a long time since I’d seen her, but she was always a ‘one day’ plant. And then two years ago in a small independent nursery west of Dartmoor there she was. Or at least a very juvenile Molly, just a stem and a couple of leaves. She had to come home with me.

I’m ashamed to say that after all that longing, I left her in the pot, just watering her when I remembered, and of course she died down through the winter. Last year I neglected her again and I thought I’d lost her, but lo and behold a tiny shoot burst through the soil. The shoot grew big enough to actually plant in the ground, she only grew a few inches then disappeared.

Early last month I noticed a tiny pink spear, so I gave her a few words of welcome, which seemed to conjure another inch of growth and an unfurling leaf. Since then we speak every day, as is the way of witches, and this is what she looks like now.

So will she make it this year? The experts say she is shy to flower and can take five years to make up her mind. Watch this space, if she blooms you’ll see.

Anyone grown one?