Gardening with Nature on the Edge of the Atlantic

Repair or Replace

This a picture of a corner of the garden that I created shortly after I moved here twelve years ago. I was particularly pleased with the mix of formal planting and wildflowers which were allowed to seed themselves at will. Sadly, the last two winters have taken their toll and the corner is a sad sight at the moment.

The same corner this week. The Magnolia stellata continues to thrive but is a lonely beacon in what still feels like winter. The ornamental cherry ‘Koji No Mai’ in the background is fighting for survival after over twelve very happy years in the corner. The South African Euryops Pectinatus Silver star suffered last winter but revived after a severe pruning. Sadly, this winter has been too much for it. This is a great pity as it flowered for most of the year and the yellow daisy like flower was set off by silver grey leaves. I am still not sure whether the problem is the extensive, endless rain and unusual cold but regardless I have to review my design for this corner. That is when the ground dries out enough for me to work it.

This is the time of the year when some of the old stone walls are exposed. I can’t believe that I once tried to keep them clear of moss as I read that it could damage the stone! The birds are very happy with my change in practice.

On a positive note, this twelve-year-old Camellia reticulata ‘Inspiration’ was blown down by a storm two years ago but quickly started to produce new shoots from the remaining root. It is now three feet high and has produced its first flowers. Admittedly, these arrived in March although it usually blooms from early December but I am optimistic about its future.

To me Kerria japonica is the personification of Spring and grows happily beside Spirea in a shady corner. I have always seen it as a delicate plant and grew it for sentimental reasons. To date it is impervious to storms, salt and the cold. It is obviously less delicate than I think.

This looks more like an exotic rose than a Camellia. It is new to the garden and is rapidly becoming my favourite.

It has been reassuring to see that the wildflowers have not been deterred by the weather. This Common Ramping Fumitory is far more attractive than its name implies. It is allowed to grow at will in the garden and the colour is very welcome at the moment.

My impression is that many plants are producing flowers either earlier or later than usual. This Pieris ‘Forest Flame’ is an example of the former.

Pieris mingling with a Cornus controverta.

This is another interesting substance that has appeared on dead branches in the garden. As usual, I have no idea what it but am certain that it has a purpose. I will just leave it lone and wait to see what happens!

I planted a small area with camellias two years ago. The plants are still very small but have made up for their size by covering themselves with blossoms.

The weather has prevented me from doing any work in the garden for month and it was getting seriously out of hand. One morning of hard work by the staff from the Tree Company and order has been restored. Great care has been taken to ensure that no birds were disturbed and most seem to use the extensive system of old dry-stone walls round the property for their nests.

I am determined to try and grow some more acers in the garden even if they do have to join this Acer ‘Palmatum Deshojo’ hiding behind the shed. It may not be easy to see but it loves the shade and shelter and I always try to visit it each day.

My lovely repurposed threshing wheel has survived the winter much better than I have and is set off by the Berberis. Maybe I can learn something from it.

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