Garden Blog - Blog Post

Snippets – Part 1


Here are a couple of pictures about the garden that I took with no particular theme, relation or intent other than the fact that they may be useful for a blog post.

The Camellias in the back garden, have finished flowering now, they’ve given a great show but now the ground around them is littered with spent flowers; however, the ones in the front, which remain shaded by the house until the sun comes round in the afternoon, are in full flower. These are large established shrubs, many years old and one of the shrubs has given a wonderful show of splashed flowers, while the other has taken a year off after it was traumatised by ants, black fly and dry weather last year. I’m planning on giving these Camellias some attention this year by rejuvenating the part of the front border they’re planted in. With the additional rocket fuel, I’m hoping that next year’s display will be award-winning.

Splashed Camellia - 2016

In a previous post on the front border, I wrote about how we took down a terrible-looking, long-suffering white ornamental cherry as we were completely re-working this border, replacing everything in it with drought-tolerant plants. So we removed the tree and hacked it to pieces. We saved the trunk for something, at the moment it’s resting against the house under an overhang. This is not how one should take hardwood cuttings.

Trunk of the white ornamental cherry

The patio staging is currently being used to hold the pots that we’ve taken out of the greenhouses. These are from the nomadic patio pot collection but I’ve not put placed them out on the patio yet as most of the pots need dividing into at least two and probably three. It’s mainly hostas and irises and when I divide them, one piece will go back into the pot and the rest will end up in the garden, somewhere. I’ll need to do it soon though, before the plants become too advanced, so that they have time to re-establish their roots before the heat of summer arrives, eventually.

Patio pots on the staging

Last year, after yet another abysmal year for the Clematis that were growing in six trugs at the front of the house (they had become infested with vine weevil, among other things), I took them all out and planted each one against a fruit tree in the back garden. With the trugs now empty, we wondered what to plant in them this year. We eventually settled on sweet peas, mainly because we were given a couple of free seed packets. We sowed them last year, they over-wintered in the greenhouse and now they’ve been planted into the trugs. We ran out of pea netting and only have four of the six trugs planted up so far but we’re hoping for a stunning summer sweet pea show, I’m hoping they do much better than the Clematis, it shouldn’t be hard.

Sweet Peas in trugs

In the previous garden we had a set of arches, either side of which we planted roses. The year they were due to produce a fabulous flower show, we chopped them back hard, dug them up and moved house. They remained potted while we created the borders in the back (although one pair were planted in the front and one ended up on Magnolia Hill). When Magnolia Hill, the Crescent and Fruit Avenue were complete, the two arches went in and one hosted a Rosa Graham Thomas (front left) and the other a Rosa Gertrude Jekyll (front right). After recently clearing the front border, the second arch has now been planted with a Rosa Gertrude Jekyll (back left) and Rosa Teasing Georgia (back right):

Rose arches planted

Graham Thomas has a clematis planted by it, I think it was “Jackmanii Superba” and it got off to a great start, until it was munched on by deer. Teasing Georgia has Clematis “The President” planted with it and that was doing great where it was originally planted in the front, until I moved the rose and took the Clematis with it, cutting it back down to the ground. It’s still smaller than when we originally bought it as a small plant from £3 from the supermarket over a year ago. Oh well, my record with Clematis continues; we’ll just have to see how they grow (or die) over the course of this season. I’ll try and remember to report back in the autumn.

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Sunil Patel

I'm Sunil Patel, this is me. I created the Garden at 13 Broom Acres and I open it to visitors. I also bake and write blog posts giving a "behind the scenes" look into what it's like to maintain such a garden.

Visit the blog, then come and visit the garden. We can have a good sit-down, a jolly chinwag and a relaxing cup of tea with a sinfully generous slice of home made cake.

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lynngator 08/05/2016 - 9:35 pm

Sunil, I am sorry I have been slow to leave a reply about your garden and postings. My mother passed away somewhat unexpectedly and the last month has been quite demanding. But I wanted to say don’t give up on the clematis, I’ve had two come back this year I thought were dead and they are blooming! Love the striped camellias! I had two in Maryland but it is too cold for them here. Lots of buds on the roses. I’m expecting a big show in about three weeks. Take care!

Sunil 09/05/2016 - 8:17 pm

Hello Lynn, I am very sorry to hear of your mother recently passing. As for the Clematis, we’ll have to see how they get on. They’re looking good at the moment. The newer ones are rather spindly, but the ones that I have had for a few years (and moved around) should finally be settled and I am expecting a reasonable summer show. I will have to report back either way. Take care and and hope things return to a reasonable “normal” soon.

susan maclean 08/05/2016 - 11:00 pm

I too have Gertrude Jekyll and Graham Thomas (amongst others). In both cases I think they have been planted where other roses were before and don’t do well. Having seen your Graham Thomas going away there! I have taken the decision to cut them both back hard at the end of this year and give them new homes. I know from other roses in the garden that some of them are happy and working hard for me but it’s obvious to me that these two are not happy (particularly Graham, who does his best but – you know!) and I know that you should never plant roses where others have been. But in a very old garden, you just don’t know, do you?

On the other hand last spring I planted a Zepherine Druin (forgive spelling) which didn’t do much and I thought I would have to move that too. Examining her this week I see that she has settled nicely and is going for it.

I can’t wait to see your arch in full bloom – don’t forget the camera!!

Sunil 09/05/2016 - 8:23 pm

Hello Mrs Mac, the two roses on the second arch that I moved from the front are looking very ill. with many new leaves crisping up and dying. I’m not sure what’s going on, I’m hoping that it is transplant shock as they were moved well after they woke up from dormancy (I acted too late). I’m hoping they will be able to grow through it but the cold April with its late frosts has not helped. I’m watching these two like a hawk; at the moment its a waiting game to see if the roots can regrow and recover before the whole thing dies. The heavy wet soil will hopefully help. Graham Thomas has put on so much growth it is actually scary, rather annoyingly though, it has caught orange rose rust. You will have to watch Zepherine D. as apparently, it catches all rose diseases under the sun, but does very well in shady conditions.

susan maclean 09/05/2016 - 11:01 pm

Well, fingers crossed for your transplants…. and for my Zepherine Druin, as I don’t have a shady corner in the entire garden, and she is in full sun! Had a few flowers last year, and many buds forming this, so we’ll see.

Alain 09/05/2016 - 11:09 pm

Good luck with your clematis Sunil. The garden is starting to look very good!

Sunil 10/05/2016 - 8:42 pm

Thanks Alain, the Clematis are looking good right now, no sign of wilt or Vine Weevil damage. I’m looking forward to them continuing to live, flowering is a bonus.

gardeninacity 11/05/2016 - 8:50 pm

I look forward to seeing your display of sweet peas. I think your Camelias lookpretty good already.

Sunil 11/05/2016 - 8:57 pm

Hello Jason, I’m afraid we haven’t been able to look after the sweet peas as much as we’d like so the display might end up being as embarrassing as the clematis. The Camellias are due for some TLC this year, but then I said that last year and never got round to it!


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