Gardening with Nature on the Edge of the Atlantic

Colour – In Spite of Everything

Regardless of the weather there is one truly sheltered spot in my garden – behind a shed. The only acer that is truly thriving resides there, where I placed it on a temporary basis when I moved into the property, but it is now there to stay. My less successful attempts have led to some very battered-looking plants which fill me with guilt and I may have to move them to a similar location even if it means that you have to seek them out in this area.

Details of my secluded Acer Plamatum Deshojo against the newly painted shed.

Some years ago, I was given some Canna lillies by an optimistic friend. They are not really suitable for the climate here and I don’t have greenhouse. However, as they have survived this long, I am reluctant to throw them out. They never flower, but the flower head is attractive in its own right. Perhaps I should give them a break and take them into the house for a year.

The ornamental cherry trees consistently produce the most amazing autumn colour. This year the Flagpole Cherry (Prunus amanogawa) is as dramatic as ever although the effect is lessened by the curling leaves. This is a small, hardy, upright tree and I hope that it also likes very wet weather as there has been little break in the teeming rain for weeks now.

The fungi seem to relish the damp weather, although in many instances they appear and disappear overnight. This is sometimes due to the nature of the specimen but I often find partially eaten mushrooms when I feed the birds in the morning. I think that this is a solitary yellow Club which likes the mossy areas on the hillside garden. It is described by Roger Philips as having ‘unknown edibility’ although I can’t imagine trying it regardless.

The blueberry bushes are still very small, but are guaranteed to provide a dramatic display at this time of the year. This almost makes up for the fact that my small crop is stolen by the birds every summer. I really have to build a fruit cage this winter even if it is for just a few of the fruit bushes.

The various Correa are living up to their reputation of being very tolerant of costal winds and this plant Correa pulchella is full of long lasting gracious pink flowers. However, it has not grown one inch this year and I am at a loss to know why.

The Abelia grandiflora like the Correa bushes produce flowers for most of the year. They were unperturbed by the recent storms and the bush retains a pink glow even when the petals have fallen.

This Abelia grandiflora is in an exposed position on the hillside but despite this is still managing to provide colour in an otherwise relatively dull area for this time of the year.

Yellow seems to be the dominant colour of the mushrooms and fungi on my hillside although if the rain ever stops for long enough, I may get a chance to explore for other varieties.

Cornus alba with dramatic foliage and stem which will provide colour all winter.

This is a good example of the fleeting nature of colour in a costal site. I took this photograph of one of my Cornus kuosa a few days ago and returned to try and get better shot when the rain had cleared up. There is not a leaf in sight.

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