Friday, 1 November 2019

Go On, Grow a Tree!

After a tough summer of neglect for the garden, the last week has been a pleasure to get back to some Autumn maintenance. Some projects have been ongoing since we moved, the rejuventation and reduction of the trees and hedges, being one of these. Last week we tackled the remaining laurel hedge, deciding on taking it down by half in height and width, leaving it a 'Trisha-sized' scale for me to manage. There was also a lavetera for the chop, one of two I planted from cuttings taken from the garden. One cutting behaved impeccably, the other decided on world-domination and tried to crowd out the top flower bed, grapevine and nearby tree, not to mention the view... We'll have to dig out the stump or will have the same problem next year, I'm hoping the plants lost in its shade over the summer will survive.
I'm still working my way, very slowly, along the long flower bed by the new fence, clearing brambles, day lilies, overgrown clumps of kerria japonica and self seeding geraniums. I'll keep two of the kerrias, much reduced, so probably few flowers next year. New roses should arrive soon, climbers with scent and single flowers good for pollinators. The idea is to cool down a south-facing red brick wall, providing shade and cover.
Each year I try and grow a few trees, last year it was Monkey Puzzle trees, this year I couldn't resist a couple of lovely shiny conkers found on a walk, so two horse chesnuts, a pine cone and some cyprus seeds as well. Checking through my seed tin and there is still some Giant Redwood seeds so into the fridge with them for a few weeks. It will be interesting to see if any of these germinate. 
I was given a packet of Bird of Paradise seeds the other day, the packet is ancient (possibly 40 + yrs old!) and only contained two seeds but they look robust and so am giving those a go as well. I have also taken cuttings of hardy fuschia and an interesting geranium. Windowsills are always in short suppy over Winter!

Fir tree seeds


Avocado plant grown from fruit pip, fun for kids to try,
go on, grow a tree!


Twisted willows (Dragon's Claw) potted on


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