It hasn’t been a bad week for gardening, a few showers, but mostly at night, and a couple of breezy days, but I managed to get the lawn mowed and some weeding done (though that is ongoing as I watch the bindweed and cleavers make their way up anything they can get hold of) and the new herbs are in the raised herb bed. All this is taking time though as I am having to move very carefully on account of the sciatica. It doesn’t seem to want to go away this time and I did eventually cave in and visit the GP who confirmed it is in fact sciatica and will arrange a physiotherapist for me. Meanwhile I have stronger painkillers to help me sleep at night, though so far they haven’t been that successful. Meanwhile the sun shines and the pots need watering!
There are quite a lot of flowers to choose from, including Alliums now taking the place of the tulips, but this week we’ll have a look at what is happening in the Woodland Border. That’s the shady walled edge from the Orangery to my shed that receives late afternoon sun at this time of the year.
- Commonly known as maidenhair vine, creeping wire vine, lacy wire vine, angel vine, mattress vine, mattress wire weed, necklace vine, and wire vine, Muehlenbeckia complexa is an ornamental plant in the Polygonaceae family, which is native to New Zealand. At least I think this is what this plant is. I haven’t noticed it before and apparently it produces small, greenish fragrant flowers in the autumn, so I shall make a mental note to keep looking at it. It is growing behind the winter honeysuckle so hard to see.
- I planted several Bugle ( Ajuga reptans) plugs, also known as carpet bugleweed, in the wall a couple of years ago to try and create ground cover in order to stop perennial weeds from growing. It isn’t spreading as quickly as I had hoped, but at this time of the year it produces pretty blue flowers and mine has a pink-purple-white variegated foliage so looks good all year round. Soon the Sweet Woodruff which also carpets this space will be in flower too.
- All along the wall I have planted Polyanthus – the group of Primula that is sold in garden centres and supermarkets in spring to be used as bedding plants. They are hybrids of P. vulgaris (Primrose) and P. veris (Cowslip). I used them as pot toppers for tulips back in 2017 and later replanted here. They do get munched on by the S&S, but occasionally the flowers look good for a short while. They seem to flower pretty much all year round here, but definitely look better at the moment.
- I also bought six Primula Candelabra plants last May which were very small, but very cheap. I thought they had died or been eaten as they disappeared, but now most have returned and flowering beautifully. So far they seem to be the same colour though which is a shame. I discovered that P. candelabra are deciduous which means they die back in the winter, but they do return reliably each year for a great spring display and often flower into early summer. I will keep my eye on these too.
- In among the many ferns on this wall are Heucheras. They seem to survive S&S attacks much better than Hostas and add much needed colour to the border. Right now several are beginning to flower and produce dainty little flowers that give rise to the common name (especially in the US) of Coral Bells. I have several colours, but Marmalade and Lime Marmalade are my oldest plants and I have split them several times to produce new plants. Although they often die down in winter they do come back looking as good as ever.
- A new plant for this area is Geum ‘Bell Bank’ which has a very pretty dusky pink flower that matches perfectly with Heuchera ‘Marmalade’. Like most early flowering Geums it hangs its head demurely and this one has also turned its back on me! But it is supposed to straighten up and open wider as the year goes on. Another plant to watch.
A dry weekend is forecast with temperatures rising. By next weekend I hope to have removed the forget-me-nots from the other raised bed and have planted the perennials that are waiting to go there. As always, if you want a peek over other people’s garden walls then please pop over to our host, the lovely Jon, AKA ‘The Propagator’ where you find links to many more wonderful garden enthusiasts from all over the world
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