Continuing the theme of random garden pictures for the purposes of assembling a blog post, here are the next set of headline horticultural items.
The Zantedeschia have over-wintered fine. They were left outside in their pots that filled with winter rain. The frost did hit them a couple of times and they did turn horrible and mushy, however, with the worst of the weather out of the way, the crispy and mushy parts of the plants have been taken out, the pots cleaned up and they’re now getting going again, with a couple of early flower spikes already well-advanced. Keeping these plants in pots with no drainage holes and a pipe to see the water level has been a great success. The plants have loved staying wet and I love how easy these are to keep watered.
Zantedeschia ready for another soggy season
The garden is surrounded on the two longer sides by established hedges, both at the front and the back. One of our neighbours kindly cut the front beech hedge back hard. It had grown so wide and taken up so much space that when it was all cut back, there was enough space to park a second car in the space that was cleared. We’re expecting the hedge to take a few years to recover and it will look ugly in the mean time, but right now I’m enjoying having the space back after putting the hedge on a crash diet. I’ll give this hedge some TLC with a good mulch and feed later on in the year.
Hard-pruned beech hedge
The Banksiae Lutea rose is making a bid for World Domination. Planted in the corner last year, it is sheltered in the winter and a sun-trap in the summer. The rose not only survived the winter unscathed (they can be tender in their first season until established) but is happily growing along the eaves, under the window and over the Camellia. It has bushed out all along the stems and I’m wondering what I have let myself in for. Not only that, there is actually a wisteria growing with the rose too. With the rose being evergreen, it has a great head-start on the wisteria, but I’m glad to see that after a nervous few weeks, the wisteria is also showing signs of life and its buds are starting to grow, with some leafing out already. I’m hoping for a good growing season for these two plants as they’re expected to grow together along the full length of the house. The wisteria will not flower this year, it may not the next. I’m not sure what the Banksiae rose will do for flowering, it seems to be only concerned with stems and leaves at the moment.
Banksiae Lutea Rose after its first winter
My rather patchy record with Clematis continues. The famed, Clematis “President” had to be moved from the front to the back, following the rose it was growing up. It had a reasonable season last year where it went from a foot in height, down to the ground (don’t ask) and then back again. It was just getting started this year too when I had to cut it down for the third time in less than a year. I’m happy to see that is has made a recovery, but it has several years to go before it rivals that of a certain Clematis “President” that I’ve seen in a blog, which inspired the purchase of this feeble one.
Clematis “President” with some catching up to do
Finally we have the Phoenix Canariensis making a come-back to the patio, having successfully over-wintered in the greenhouse. The pot is still covered in bubble-wrap because the roots have grown so much that the root ball is almost half a foot above the rim of the pot. It is actually pushing itself out of the pot from the bottom up. Last year I had to give it a root prune as it did this. It seems that all the effort came to nothing because here I am in the same situation again. I can take a hint and that’s why this plant is planned as the centre-piece for the front border, which we are planning to re-create this year. The Canariensis is large enough to have a good chance of surviving the winter and as the bed is raised like the others, I’m hoping that it won’t get too wet and too cold and rot. It will be strange not having this Canariensis on the patio but fear not, there is another, smaller canariensis, sheltering inside the house, waiting to take its place.
Phoenix Canariensis on the launch pad