A quick head count…

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2 x Geese and 9 x goslings
1 x hen and 3 x chicks
1 x hen and 1 x chick
No ducklings left 🙁
1 x tortoise – check
1 out of 2 snakes
3 x dogs
Most of the sheep

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The cock and his mrs
The 2 x Indian Runner ducks or as I call them, the 2 old boys

Eremus robustus or Foxtail Lily

Here it is standing tall and proud at the back of the border. Wow. But just the one one? It looks daft on it’s own. Foxtail lilies flower for about 3 weeks. I shall be leaving the flower spike to stand till early Autumn this year as that gives it more of a chance to self seed. Fingers crossed.

Persicaria bistorta superbum

A fabulous perennial plant that looks great in a herbaceous border, flowering here with alliums or naturalised in the wild garden, happily nestling in with the grasses..IMG_0730

It reaches it’s peak at the end of May/beginning of June. The leaves and flowers then begin to die down and if you then cut it back to the ground, it will grow for a second flush later in the year.

Ground Elder

Ground Elder, the enemy

Ground Elder, the enemy

If I added up all the hours I have weeded out ground elder from the borders in the last 10 years, it would probably have been 5 of them, although I sincerely hope it only felt like that and was more like 1 year. If you don’t have it in your garden count yourself lucky. Whilst it can be quite satisfying pulling the roots out of the soil (thick white roots a bit like spaghetti), you also know they travel into and through all the other plants and downwards more than a metre. Realistically impossible to get rid of in an established border organically. All we can do is try and slow it down and pick it when we see it.

In contrast, the featured image is the gorgeous variegated ground elder. Beautiful in colouring and habit, as ground cover or as an edging plant. It also has dainty white flowers held in umbels above the leaves. Nor is it invasive at all. It is rarely found in Garden Centres though, as people just don’t trust it!

Forget-me-nots, beware

This week we have been pulling out all our forget-me-nots. Given all the rain we have had recently, they are satisfyingly easy to remove. Just gather all the stems together near the base, and yank.
Shake off the excess soil and throw the plants away (compost? well that depends on your composting skills! If you are good at composting and the heap gets very hot, it will kill the seeds. If the composting is poor you will be spreading the seeds all round the garden when spreading the compost).
During the removal process you will be shaking seed everywhere. This will germinate to provide hundreds more plants next year. You will also find plenty of the seed stuck to you and your gloves. I like to wear rubber gloves to do this as the seed doesn’t stick to them.
Pulling forget-me-nots can also cause skin irritation. My face often feels itchy so I rub my face on my jumper or back of my gloves and before I know it I am all red bothered and blotchy. Not very nice at the time but easily resolved by a good old soak in the bath or hot shower at the end of the day.

Why you didn’t go to Chelsea Flower show 2014!

4 Pretty plants for ground cover or edging a border

My Chelsea Flower Show 2014

Anemonella thalictroides 'Cameo'

Anemonella thalictroides ‘Cameo’


Rhodohyrox's

Rhodohyrox’s


Ranunculus aconitifolius 'Flore Plano'

Ranunculus aconitifolius ‘Flore Plano’


Syringa meyeri 'Palibin'

Syringa meyeri ‘Palibin’

4 Cool Clematis

My Chelsea Flower Show 2014 – Clematis

Amethyst Beauty with Pistachio (The Climbing ones)

Amethyst Beauty
with
Pistachio
(The Climbing ones)


Zara

Zara


Diamantina (More 'blousyey than 'cool' but still love it)

Diamantina
(More ‘blousey than ‘cool’ but still love it)