Tuesday, 1 March 2016

End of Month View February 2016

It's the time of the month when myself and other garden bloggers join Helen - The Patient Gardener for our End of Month View posts.

This year I am choosing a couple of borders to follow for this meme.  Both spots are on the shadier side of my garden and both need a bit of fine tuning in one way or another.  My regular readers will know that I have a habit to cramming in way too many plants.  As you all know I've hidden the shoehorn this year.  As the year progresses I want to observe and get my thoughts down on the record.

The first of which is the bed with the unimaginative name of Shady Bed in gravel area.          

End of January 2016
It had been my intent to tidy and weed this area before I wrote this post but the best laid plans and all that.  Most of my gardening time has been spent on the sunnier side of the garden.  It takes a while for the shadier side to thaw out and by that time I've usually got other things to be getting on with.  There really is not much difference between both shots.  While right now there is plenty of greenery, various shades and textures, I know that eventually as the months progress colours will clash and plants will compete for space.  This is never a good thing is it?  The corner really to watch is the right hand side. There is a beautiful Cotinus here but it takes so long to come into leave I sometimes wonder if it is actually worth keeping.  Just how much value does a shrub that only looks good from July to September bring to the garden?    The bare fencing also gets on my nerves.  But since I don't have a magic wand there is nowt I can do about that.      

End of February 2016
Right now clumps of common snowdrops are getting ready to bloom.  They bloom a few weeks later on this side of the garden than the do on the sunnier side.  The remainder of the special snowdrops are coming into bloom too.  Those blooms choosing to remain tightly shut since there is no warmth to open them.  G. Augustus and Blond Inge (a lovely gift from Anna @ Greentapestry last year) were new last year.  I am pleased they appear to be increasing nicely.  
left to right: G. Augustus, Blonde Inge, Brenda Troyle and Viridipice
The view from the back step.  You can see there are many bulbs coming up.  Pulmonaria and Corydalis for more spring colour.  My newest snowdrops have been planted in the little strip this side of the trellis.

From the back step February 2016 
And from the opposite angle.  Not much more to see I'm afraid.
End of February 2016
Difficult to make out in the wider shots but there are Hellebores blooming or about to come into bloom in this bed right now.  A pair of NOID oriental hybrids with some Narcissus Tete a Tete.


Helleborus x hybrid Yellow Lady is a bit, shall we say worse for wear.  Confirmation, if ever I needed it, Helleborus do not like a windy situation.  This plant needs moving if I am ever to get the best out off it.  


The other bed I am following this year is the Camellia/Enkianthus bed on the other side of the trellis there are few Snowdrop blooms.  The Enkianthus is one of my favourites.  The snowdrops here were added last spring.  They too are increasing.  The Camellia in the back corner, the shorter of the pair, is another plant that has a fight on it's hand.  The cause though is not so obvious.  I planted Actinidia kolomikta to provide fence cover in summer.  I saw it growing in my local nursery in shade and it look spectacular.  I had a vision!  For those that don't know Actinidia kolomikta is a far bigger draw for cats than Nepeta is.  Or at least one local cat in particular - Travis.  He spends a lot of his time in this particular corner and in the process of getting his jollies or whatever it is he gets from Actinidia, he continually snaps the Camellia's stems.   Bloody Cat!  Actually, as I write the idea of swapping the Cotinus for this Camellia in the other bed pops into my head.  Something to think about.    

End of February 2016 
That's about it I'm afraid.  Apologies to Helen for being a day late with my post.  You'd have thought given the fact that we had an extra day I'd have managed to be on time.  Thanks for reading.

27 comments:

  1. I've always admired a neighbour's cotinus and have never noticed that it is late to leaf up. I will now take notice.

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    1. I have always been under the impression that it is because I am so far north Sue. Cornus are another species that leaf up late here.

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  2. The Hellebores are looking lovely. Your garden is fab, I like the layout.

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  3. Hi Angie, I find shady beds always the most challenging! Yours do look good the way they are though and I think that is already a real accomplishment.
    Interesting that your Cotinus is leafing out so late. I wonder why?
    Love your photo of the hellebores with the Narcissus 'Tete a Tete'. Just beautiful!
    You almost feel a bit sorry for your Helleborus x hybrid 'Yellow Lady'. I had no idea that hellebores are so wind sensitive.
    I am already curious how those beds will look by the end of March and what you will do with them within this month!
    Happy gardening!
    Christina

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    1. I have always thought the cause of the Continus leafing late is a climate issue Christina. It gets warmer in the south of the UK a good few weeks earlier than it does here. Watch this space, it will probably contradict me this year!
      I've moved the Hellebore already - The RHS recommended time for doing this is early spring although professional growers prefer to do it in September. By doing it now I can keep a better eye on it as the new foliage appears rather than it sitting over a cold winter doing nothing. We shall see how it turns out.

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  4. Very nice! I'm so very jealous of your green-growing garden. Mine is, once again, buried under snow. But it won't be long now! Cheers!

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    1. You must be champing at the bit to get outdoors Beth.

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  5. I am really looking forward to following the gardens as they grow and bloom. You have lots of interesting shrubs for shade. I might have to take a closer look for my shady borders.

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    1. I am not sure I'd describe them as interesting Annette. They are pretty much run of the mill and if I knew then what I knew now I probably would not have chosen most of them. I hope you see something you like over the coming months.

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  6. It's really hard to get much out of shady borders at this time of you, as I still know with my Long Shady Border, but you still manage to make it look neat and full of potential. I look forward to following these borders in the coming months.

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    1. I've barely touched both areas since Autumn Julieanne and I think it's purely a fluke that they look so neat. I know exactly what you mean about getting much out of shady borders at this time of the year. The plants just look so sad when frosted too, that doesn't help one single bit.

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  7. I like Cotinus but they don't seem to like me, having lost two. When they are good they do provide wonderful contrast of leaf colour.

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    1. I have three Brian and all pretty young - I hope one day to have a fine specimen somewhere in my garden. I wonder why you lost them.

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  8. You have my sympathy with waiting for the shady side to defrost! Most of the borders I've been working on are in shade and don't defrost (if at all) until afternoon. Still it's been good to have some dry weather. Your snow drops are lovely, ours are barely out up here in the hills :)

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    1. Those frosty days have me praying for some cloud cover and rain Rona. We've been frost free for 2 days now but I certainly won't count my chickens!

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  9. The early narcissi and hellebores are very sweet. Do you grow annual vines on your fences? I had no idea that cats love Actinidia.

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    1. You know Jason I never grow many annual and have certainly never tried vines/climbers perhaps it's time I did.
      Oh yes, those cats love them, when the leaf buds are fat and juice is the worse time. The one in the corner I have managed to rig up some tube trellising around the base to save the cats killing the plants altogether. Apparently once they are mature the plant will withstand all the attention. I live in hope.

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  10. I love Cotinus, although I don't have one myself. However, my neighbors across the street do. It does well growing in full sun so maybe moving yours to where it gets more sun and solves the cat problem is a good idea.

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    1. There in lies my issue Kris. I have an ideal spot for the Cotinus on the sunnier side of the garden but because that area suffers occasional flooding I loose them. I've tried twice already! I can be even more persistent than Travis I have put in means to aid the Actinidia to maturity.

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  11. Swapping the shrubs is an interesting idea and seems like it might solve two problems, but not something I should weigh in on since I'm still trying to get my nerve up to move another rose bush... ;-) I love the way you've used the snowdrops as edging for the trellis!

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    1. My only concern with moving both shrubs is the length of time they have been in the ground Amy. I have the rest of the year now to make up my mind. I've already persuaded myself not to be hasty!

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  12. I'm looking forward to seeing how your shadier borders develop Angie. Where are the weeds? I can't see any. I hope that the snowdrops get some sunshine soon to tease them open. Glad to see that Blonde Inge is thriving. She clumps up well. I had no idea that actinidia kolomikta is a cat magnet - it's useful to know. I want to plant a climber to cover the greyness of a gabion wall. That was on on the list :)

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    1. There are a few weeds there Anna, believe me! The cats are a problem. Of course I did not find this out before I planted. I read that this plant does better in sun but the specimen that grows over the front at my local nursery is in quite a bit of shade which was the reason I chose it. I can also suffer if there is a late frost. It is not without it's issues!

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  13. Sta proprio cominciando la primavera, non vedo l'ora di vedere le prossime immagini!! Bellissimi anche gli ellebori! Complimenti :)

    Un saluto :D

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  14. If that's your idea of a weedy border, I fear you would despair of my garden Angie! I find cotinus does a lot better in a sunny position, leafing out earlier plus you get that sun-through-leaves thing which can be so beautiful. I'm just not sure that swapping the cotinus with your Actinidia kolomikta will stop the cat attacking it, though I suppose the camellia would be safer! Look forward to watching your borders develop over the year.

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  15. I love Continus, it is late to come into leaf but well worth the wait. Every time I see your garden I am impressed how neat and tidy it looks and you have some lovely plants; always something interesting to look at.

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