Gardening with Nature on the Edge of the Atlantic

Catching Up?

I have finally managed to rejuvenate the corner decimated by the winter rains and storm Kathleen. Following the advice of one of the best gardeners I have ever known, I gave the Cherry ‘Kojo no Mai’ a severe pruning and a good feed. It is now showing some very healthy leaves so I am more optimistic about its survival. I have replaced a number of weak shrubs with small rhododendron and hope that this will again become a very colourful spring corner.

The news concerning my ash trees is mixed. Of the four that were coppiced last year one is dead, with three currently producing healthy shoots. It remains to be seen if this continues. Only forty or so more to go! Not only will the trees be a loss, but so will the luminous silver and gold lichen that has covered all the trunks and glistens in the sunlight. I am beginning to believe that the fact that some of these are fading away is an indication of the health of the tree.

Details of the trunk of one of my ash trees taken in healthier times.

This Elephant Ear Hosta does not seem to mind being overcrowded in this shady shrubbery and, as usual, is still untouched by slugs. I am not sure if it is unpalatable or if they don’t know what it is. Time will tell.

Another pristine Hosta. I have decided that although snails make light work of gravel, cement and high walls they don’t like old plastic. If this is true, I feel less guilty for buying some when I first moved here as it can be reused and also offers a second life for compost bags.

I have spent the last week trying to identify this plant as I have no memory of buying it. It grows to over six feet tall and is obviously a relative of the carrot family. It starts out as a deep purple and eventually fades to white. The stem seen below is unusual for the carrot family. It grows well in the shade and is seeding itself freely in the area. I think it is a Daucus decipiens or Parsnip Palm from Maderia but how on earth did it get into my garden?

The stem of the Daucus decipiens.

An accidental pairing of irises and wildflowers in an area that has yet to be designed. Maybe I should leave it as it is.

The first Buddleia ‘Globosa’ to flower this year. It needs to be given some more space as I slowly work through the garden trying to catch up after the dreadful winter.

I like this combination of Buddleia and Berberis thunbergia.

This blackbird spent a long time in the tree in front of the house and rather unusually was very silent. It looks a bit ‘shook’, but eventually flew off apparently unharmed. Maybe it was just having a bad hair day.

I have so many stone walls in the garden all of which enhance any plants growing near them. I think that this Geum ‘Mrs Bradshaw’ looks very dramatic against the silver of the garage wall.

Another happy pairing of cultivated and wild flowers. All I do is remove any grass that encroaches on the area.

The foxgloves are in full flower in most of the garden and keeping the bumble bees very happy. Sadly, there is no sign of any white ones this year. However, any flowers are welcome after this winter particularly if they feed the bees.

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