Gardening with Nature on the Edge of the Atlantic

More Suprises

My first apples. This is an impressive sight as I have never knowingly planted apple trees in this garden and now have two. They are half hidden in a thick and deep hedgerow that I created in an empty field when I moved here, so I guess they came with a batch of hedgerow trees by mistake. Now I will have to learn how to care for them. My only past experience of trying to grow fruit trees was in Scotland when my newly-planted orchard was stripped of all its bark by deer and subsequently died. All that I learnt from this experience was that I should have surrounded it with a high fence so I suppose I do know something. However, as a fence is already in place and we have no deer I might as well know nothing.

I think that Cuckoo spit is not the nicest name for this ’foam’ created by Frog Hoppers or Spittle Bugs, especially as it contrasts perfectly with the Bitter-vetch which is very happy in my wildflower beds. The foam and insect are harmless and I consider them a nice addition to the wildflowers in the garden.

The rose ‘Chevy Chase’ has taken its time to establish itself in the garden but this is its best year. This is in spite (or maybe because) of the fact that it is now shaded by some maturing trees and shrubs.

Chevy Chase in all its glory.

This may not look like much, but I think that it is a sight for sore eyes. It is the first growth of one of my coppiced, diseased ash trees. It looks very healthy as do two of the other three experiments (one died). I am determined to be optimistic, especially as I am suddenly finding Ash saplings in the strangest places in the garden including one in a pot of Dahlias. I still have to decide what to do with the remaining forty trees or so. I am not sure if this good start will continue in this vein but all of my fingers and toes are crossed.

One of my favourite spots in the garden. It has shade early in the afternoon which is a blessing in the summer. As in many of my beds now the flowers are a mixture of cultivated and wild flowers. The Ox-eye daisy has joined the group this year the seeds presumably blown in by the wind or dropped by bird.

I have been looking for some wine and red wildflowers to increase the colour in my wildflower beds and this Hedge Woundwort with its orchid like flowers would seem like a perfect fit. However, it is as invasive as mint and, to boot, has a horrible smell when crushed. I don’t think that I will ever be able to get rid of it but it does not need any more encouragement so my search continues. Actually as I don’t ‘introduce’ any wildflowers into the garden I can only hope that some red ones choose to move in by themselves.

One of the ‘wind tunnels’ that was created a few years ago during a severe storm has filled up again. Despite my concerns, all of the shrubs are thriving including this Cornus Kuosa. It is completely covered in flowers although they are hard to see because of the other foliage. Another job for the autumn.

I am always pleased to see new wildflowers in the garden. This is the first year that the tufted Vetch has appeared and seems very happy in the fruit garden. I hope it will make a regular appearance.

The flower of the tufted Vetch unfurls like a fern and is particularly attractive.

This eucalyptus is a perfect example of resilience. Most of the roots were torn from the ground during Storm Darwin and I found it flat on its back. I left the roots as they were and cut it back to about a foot from the ground It made a miraculous recovery. Every second year I perform the same task and it is still looking as healthy as ever. Its leaves make a dramatic addition to any flower arrangement.

I am always threatening to spend some time looking at past photographs and checking dates, as my feeling is that the roses and hydrangea have flowered very early this year. As usual I am too busy to get around to the task but if we have another winter like the last one, I will have no excuse.

This Ozothamnus rosmarinifolius ‘Silver Jubilee’ that I planted last year has settled in well and I was tempted to buy another. However, it is not necessary as a storm damaged branch has rooted very well and looks as heathy as the parent. Now I just have to find a place for it.

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