The greenhouse extension is done, all that remains is to sort out shelving and staging. It won’t last but at the moment it actually feels spacious. Building has meant that apart from watering, all other gardening has been neglected, so I’m keen to wrap it up and get back to weeding, planting, pricking off, potting and so on. Going round looking for six things to showcase here is the first time I’ve had a proper look all week. There’s quite a lot going on.
Let’s get the greenhouse out of the way first. Here is a kind of before and after for the whole top corner of the garden. One image was taken just after I took the poly tunnel down in late September. The other was taken quite late on thursday evening. It’s changed more than a little and I will write it up in more detail in another post. The glasshouse is now 18 ft by 10 ft 6 ins. I imagine the re-organised interior will feature here in the near future.
I may have been mildly disparaging about tulips last week. Just before Christmas I ordered some reduced bulbs from Peter Nyssen, they seemed a bit of a bargain at half price. I was expecting them to be a little taller but they’re doing their thing out there in the front garden, in 20L pots plunged where Alstroemeria ‘Indian Summer’ was last summer and will be again as soon as the tulips are finished. ‘Synaeda King’, somewhat obscured by Allium ‘Ambassador’, the foliage of which is already looking ropey.
Camassia leichtlinii. I moved these bulbs up onto the bank at the back of the garden last year or the year before. They’re doing what I wanted them to do, providing colour at height and when the foliage goes over it can hang down over the sleeper wall where it will do no harm and will look no worse than the sleepers. What I then need is something very drought tolerant to do the summer shift.
Dryopteris wallichiana ‘Jurassic Gold’. Gold foliage is not well represented among ferns, verdant greenness is more their thing. This one, one of my more recent fern purchases, is looking to be a good’n though. I shall have to keep a close eye on it for a time of day when the light catches it to advantage. Even if it fades to green later in the season it’s great at this time of year, though neither fence nor wall provides much contrast.
Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ is a very good plant if growing well and I have it in a couple of places. It also seeds about a little. This plant is one such seedling and what it has lost in silvered leaves it is more than making up for in robustness and flowering.
Camellia ‘Nightrider’. This is a fabulous plant, really dark red flowers and dark red glossy new leaves. I was singing the praises of Os Blumhardt just three weeks ago for Camellia ‘Fairy Wand’ and this is another of his. It’s got rather a lot of sooty mould on its foliage from scale insect attack last year or the year before, I may try to spray it this year, see if that helps.
In all probability the cuttings for my plant of Camellia ‘Nightrider’ came from Tregrehan Garden, where there is a bush that is very probably among the earliest of its kind in this country. Tregrehan had a business selling Camellia cuttings, still do but on a small scale these days. They sold them by the hundred, not ones and twos. I went down there yesterday to see Tom, the owner, to try to resolve the identity of a wrongly labelled Camellia in the Mt Edgcumbe national collection. It was what I thought it was, ‘Olga Carlyon’, who was mother of Gillian Carlyon, who bred it and who was Tom’s predecessor at Tregrehan.
I mention this because it is not unlikely that many people will take a holiday in Cornwall this year, travel further afield being tricky, and Tregrehan, though less well known than some of the other Cornish gardens, is one of the very best and my favourite by a big margin. We had a rather truncated sojourn round the garden and I took a few pictures. The place is just amazing. Every other tree seems to have a Champion tree label, all things I’ve never heard of. His Agathis australis is starting to produce cones, there’s Fuchsia colensoi with trunks six inches thick and don’t even get me started on tree ferns or Schefflera. So apologies for exceeding my six but here are a handful of the things I saw. If you get the chance, go there.
Which just leaves one thing to say, Jon and his tulips, you’ll be wanting to check what the main man and the rest of his acolytes are up to.