Control freaks and twiddlers

March 6, 2009

DEFINITELY not my friends rose

DEFINITELY not my friend's rose

Are you a bit of a ruthless control-freak in the garden or do you just twiddle about?  If you ask any gardening acquaintances  they will readily jump (or tiptoe hesitantly) into one or other camp.

I have just been rescuing a Twiddler friend’s climbing roses from years of indecisive  mismanagement.  You know the picture:  horrid gnarled undercarriage staggering  jaggedly up to a just-out-of-reach 10 ft or so, the hips from last year’s sparse flowers clonking  on the bedroom window when the wind blows.  There are no leaves or flowers and precious little new green growth visible down below, and the lone shoot that started to make its way into the world last summer was shamefully cut off because it was either a ‘a sucker wasn’t it?’, or had ‘started going the wrong way’.

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What’s going on in Torquay? – tips on planting in the shade

July 15, 2008

My apologies to holiday Googlers everywhere.  This is not about the south coast of England’s famous watering hole, but about a small bit of my garden, somewhat dismissivly described by a non-gardening friend as ‘looking like Torquay‘ when it first started to evolve.  If you look at the pictures you will probably see why.

I absolutely love my Torquay – it looks infinitely better than it did when I moved here just over 2 years ago.

Then it was a deeply shady area of straggly and dead grass, with some sentimentally planted ex-Christmas trees plonked into the dry, acid soil, together with a lanky and yellowing caster oil plant and not much else. Read the rest of this entry »


Solomon’s Seal sawfly

April 22, 2008

Solomon's SealConfined to my desk by wet weather, I realise that the planting around my pond is the most important in my whole garden because I sit and look at it all the time I am ‘working’. Every leaf matters.

Currently the Polygonatum (Solomon’s Seal) is powering upwards with almost visible speed in its allotted space (where in a matter of a few weeks its bent-over stems and little hanging white flowers will be reflected artily in the pond’s glassy surface).

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