Tag Archives: Willow

Heart of Flowers

Where would we be without Hellebores at this time of year?

The race is on and I’m still trying to grab all those little weed seedlings, springing up right before my very eyes.  In between some more major jobs, I can be found kneeling down and combing over the ground, patiently removing them with my hand fork.  I remember an old allotmenteer commenting once on my weeding stance ‘What are you doing scrabbling around down there like a chicken in dirt? You need a hoe’  Well, he had a point.  If the garden plants were set out in nice neat rows like his vegetable patch, I’d be the first one to grab a hoe.  As it is,  I have to be more discerning..

For example, we enjoy growing forget-me-nots which are annual self seeders. At this time of year they look like this:

for the last couple of years we have been inundated with this:

Valerianella locusta, otherwise known as Lamb’s lettuce.

Close up you can see the differences in colour, leaf shape and veining but faced with a patch of both, you have to get really quite close to tell them apart:

Weeding them out can  drive you crazy if you allow it, I actually find the process quite meditative.

When we were not scrabbling around like chickens last week, we were doing this:

Still pruning roses

Cutting down Miscanthus

and transplanting snowdrops around…

 

Coppicing the willows and dogwood

and taking cuttings.  Making bundles for later use as plant supports

and most importantly enjoying the garden, both outside

Cornus mas

Hellebore foetidus

AND IN… (all very fragrant)

Rosemary

Euphorbia myrsinites

Juniper

Spotted laurel

Thyme

 

 

Willow Control (and other stems that are over-staying their welcome)

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These Willow trees provide a welcome dappled shade to the bog garden in summer, however they also cast  unwanted shadows over the neighbouring property. Tree surgeons can be a costly affair over the lifetime of a Willow in the wrong place so it comes down to us, the gardeners, to pollard them each Spring.

Today was that day.

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These bright orange stems from another Willow were used originally to create a wig-wam for the evergreen sweet pea to scramble up in the summer.  The wig wam then took root…Such a lovely colour in the Winter picking up the orangey hues of the Euphorbia milifera behind.

Again, left to their own devices they would create unwanted shade in this lovely sunny border.  So these are now coppiced annually in the Spring.  They will grow back strongly over the year, just beating the everlasting sweet pea, to create a new support for it every year.

This Cornus ‘Midwinter fire’ has enjoyed another year of growth providing a dazzling feature over the dull months – as the name suggests.

I would plant many more, if there was space,  as they look even better en masse.

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Time for you to be coppiced too.

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Along with more Miscanthus

And turning every corner now, colour is creeping back into our gardens..

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Easing our eyes gently into new fresh beginnings.

Herbaceous border versus Mixed border

Firstly, the feature photo was taken on my way to work this week… just saying 😉

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and Euonymus alatus spends the whole year in the background until NOW!  Woohoo, now we can see you. It is situated in my mixed shrub and herbaceous border for Autumn colour and this following photo is the rest of that border:

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There is Sedum spectabile, Hebe, Miscanthus, a Rose, Salvia, Willow, Hydrangea, Dahlias (Thomas A Edison, Karma chocolate and Hillcrest royal) and a Phormium. Still Looking good and packing a punch.

Alternatively in another garden, a mainly herbaceous area of the garden:

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Well it still looks ok but most of the leaves are raggedy, some plants have toppled over and I decided not to delay the inevitable…

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Yes,  it is now on the compost. This is what we cut down:

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Aquilegia (I think we have cut this back at least 3 times already this year)

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Polyganatum biflorum or Soloman’s seal

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Macleaya microcarpa

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Iris, yellow flag

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Hemerocallis (Day Lilies)

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Asters – Still flowering but blown over in the wind so some are now in a vase with white Dahlias

All have been cut back to ground level. What we have left:

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The adorable Arum italicum

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and lots of tiny Digitalis pururea (foxglove seedlings)

which we will leave until they are big enough to transplant around the area.

In another part of the garden we also cut back the Hosta leaves:

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All very therapeutic if you ask me.

Back to the deep brown beautiful earth again.

My heart is singing.