Under-planting roses and other jobs In the gardens this week…

The Rose garden looked fabulously colourful and abundant last June  – if a little wild.  It has been underplanted with Nepeta ‘Six hills giant’, which is a very popular and attractive ground-cover perennial for rose beds. It has many great features including a  beautiful scent and the bees adore it.  At the end of the summer it can be cut back to the ground leaving access to prune the roses.  All in all a great choice.  However,

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It is a maintenance nightmare.

It grows tall and then collapses all over the roses. That shouldn’t be a problem because you can cut it back hard, to grow and flower again…and again. Fine, if that is all there is to do in the garden but it never is, so this year we made a choice to dig the Nepeta out of two of the quadrants and replant with Alchemilla mollis. This is another ground cover perennial with lime green flowers.

So one job this week was to divide Alchemilla from other parts of the garden and replace the Nepeta.

Quadrant with Nepeta

Quadrant with Nepeta

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and one without…Hooray hooray! I can’t wait to see how it looks in the summer.  Watch this space.

Another job this week was rose pruning around the tennis court (yes, we still haven’t finished all the roses yet)

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Remembering that the plant is more floriferous if the main stems are trained towards the horizontal, (which gives us the opportunity for creativity and fun :-)) and to cut out some of the older stems making way for new growth.

Highlights of the gardens included these deep blue hyacinths

Hyacinths

Hyacinths

and Anemone blanda ‘Blue shades’

Anemone blanda 'Blue shades'

And the geese have returned and are already laying eggs

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No golden ones yet though

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