Pictures and Stories 2

This post continues on with the theme of pictures and short stories. Here is another set of five; again, in no particular order with no particular pattern we have foliage with hostas, something to look forward to with a growing army of Delphiniums, striking foliage colour in our first acer for the new garden and we finish with a pair of flowering shrubs that we inherited. Scroll or slide for your five-course horticultural banquet.

Enjoy:

Hosta Leaves

The hostas have all emerged and are in full leaf now, with their endless combinations of various greens, whites, stripes, bands and what-not. I have tried to keep the leaves hole-free but when the snail-eye view of your dinner looks this sumptuous, it’s impossible to resist! Many of the hostas are still in pots on the patio and – after this growing season – are due for an autumn divide and possible plant-out depending on what areas of the garden are ready. I’m not precious about holes in hostas and it’s a good thing too – given how many slugs and snails I’ve come across hiding in the most unlikely places.

Delphinium Seedlings

Here’s a group of Delphinium seedlings that were sowed last summer and have come through the winter. They’re so tiny right now but it’s amazing how quickly they will grow and form substantial plants in the next few years. I have enough here for an impressive display; the only trouble is that I don’t know where I want that display to be. I hope these seedlings don’t grow away too quickly as there isn’t anywhere in the garden ready of for them yet! This was definitely a case of “sow now, think later”.

New Young Acer

This strikingly coloured Acer is a new addition to the garden. The froth of blue forget-me-nots in the background is by accident but it looks like such a good combination I think I’ll keep it. Curtesy of the local supermarket, there may be more Acers to follow to create a small “Japanese Zone” in the garden – somewhere. For now though, I’ll probably pot it up into something more comfortable and set it among the patio pots, meaning it effectively joins the back of the queue for plants waiting to be domiciled out in the garden.

Inherited Choisya

This stout Choisya Ternata (Mexican Orange Blossom) shrub is an inherited plant and one of the original garden inhabitants. It is covered with a profusion of fragrant white flowers, but I don’t think it is altogether happy. The soil in this original border is an untreated, incredibly heavy clay that is always wet and airless. You could make cannonballs from it and I think the roots of this shrub are having a hard time trying to breathe in it. Attempting to move it might just finish it off so when it comes to treating, reclaiming and re-jevenating this border, I could be gentle and work around this shrub or be brutal by ripping it out and trying to re-plant it. Choisya is a common garden shrub and I’ve no sentimental connection with this particular one so I may go for the latter – just to make the job easier.

Red and White Azaleas

In a scratty and very overgrown border at the back of the garden, well beyond my sphere of influence and outside my attention are these two magnificent red and white azaleas growing among the brambles and self-seeded trees. They put on a stunning show given the conditions they grow in. I look forward to this display, I’ll just have to ignore all the mess around them but with a display that’s as eye-catching at this, that’s easy.

10 Comments


  1. You have a better grocery store than I do if it sells maple trees! That acer is beautiful! I grew too many seedlings this year, too, and gave away many of them. What are your plans for the area full of heavy clay?

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    1. I too loved the acer – such lovely colours together. Both of mine are all red, but I will be adding more, so will look out for something different next time.

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      1. Hello Mrs Mac, I’m planning to add to the collection as a single acer for the entire garden is a bit mean. I might go the whole hog and get a stone lantern and a tea house!

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    2. Hello Tammy, it was the supermarket, so they tend to have (usually dried out or dead) plants around the entrance. You have to get them fresh as they don’t tend to water them. You’ll have to wait for a future blog post to see the plans I have for the area that is full of heavy clay – which is basically the entire garden, so watch this space!

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  2. Those Azaleas go together beautifully! Very striking. If I were you I would be dreaming of masses of blue Delphiniums in anticipation of your seedlings coming to maturity.

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    1. Hello Jason, It’s going to be quite a job to weed around those azaleas given how wild and overgrown that area is. I’m wondering if they can get cut back and dug out when I come to work on that area and then planted back once I’ve finished.

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  3. Wow, that’s a lot of delphinium. It will make a wonderful display. I have never tried starting my own from seed; I let my local nursery do that and I buy the plants from them almost ready to bloom. What strain of delphinium seed do you find works best in your climate?

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    1. Hello Jean, I find Delphiniums germinate easily from seed and there’s no need to buy pot-grown plants unless you’re in a hurry. I haven’t kept track of the varieties I’ve sown but “Pacific Giants” come to mind as well as “mixed”. I would hazard that any delphinium variety can be grown in the UK – they’re a staple herbaceous border plant and the climate must suit them as they are very common.

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  4. A very satisfying five course Sunil. I also pulled out a Choisya,kind of wish I hadn’t now, they flower really well here, not so in Aberdeen.

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    1. Hello Alistair, I’m glad you liked the “meal”! Choisya are common shrubs but their light foliage and white fragrant flowers means there will be room for at least one or two in the garden. I’m likely to replace mine to make rejuvenating that border easier. They are large shrubs but there must be dwarf/small varieties available now that you could look into for a replacement.

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