We went midweek to visit Wildside garden at Buckland Monochorum. This garden, created by Keith Wiley with a great deal of inspiration from his late wife Ros, is as close as any garden I know to my idea of a perfect garden. It is packed full of good plants, all planted in a naturalistic way in a landscape heavily sculpted to create a range of different conditions. At three acres, it is on a different scale from my garden and my head has been full of thoughts about how such an approach could be scaled down.
Back in my own garden, by friday evening the wind had died down and an appraisal of the very minor damage made. We had a useful amount of rain, provided it doesn’t immediately turn hot again; I don’t think it’s due to. I have a hunch that the “a” word may make an appearance in the odd blog this week, meaning autumnal. There is a sense of a corner turned, of the beginning of a long downward slide. I’m cutting the odd thing down, collecting seeds here and there, thinking about bulb and seed orders.
Here then are half a dozen things that caught my eye this weekend:
Muehlenbeckia astonii. This has been one of the most asked about oddities in the garden when we’ve had visitors. I have been waiting for it to flower so that I can point out to people what are likely to be the most underwhelming blooms they have ever seen. They’re greenish white and less than 4mm across. The bush is now about six feet tall and growing vigorously, I keep chopping it back so I can use the path.
Roscoea x beesiana ‘Monique’. This is the furthest on of the several Roscoeas I have, and the only pale one. I have quite a few seedlings that need planting out; that’d be a good job for today. They don’t like to be too dry but don’t want to be in full shade either, which narrows my options.
I have a lot of ferns but don’t mention them very often. Paesia scaberula has had a very good year, meaning it has spread enthusiastically and is looking green and lush. It is somewhat like a very fine textured bracken, putting up its fronds on stiffly upright stems that arise from thin, wiry surface rhizomes that can fairly motor when they’ve a mind to. There was a time when I didn’t regard it as wholly hardy but for better or worse, that seems to no longer be a concern.
Dahlia ‘Jim’s Best Red’. This is another of my seedlings, grown from open pollinated seed that I think came from ‘Orange Cushion’. It is semi-double, though it takes several days to reveal its centre and it is as good a red as any I’ve seen. The dark stems add a little extra too. The yellow to its left is the seedling I put in last week, producing a very good display. The others are things I paid money for.
Phyllostachys aureosulcata ‘Spectabilis’. I wasn’t expecting much of this bamboo by way of growth this year because it seemed to be too dry. There must have been adequate moisture when it was needed as the new shoots are the tallest it has ever produced by around three feet. I reckon it’s about 17 feet tall now. Several people have asked me how I keep it under control and I’ve been able to tell them that for the most part I haven’t had to. The conditions it is growing in have kept the brakes on adequately, though I am planning to remove some of it this year. That’ll be fun.
When our garden visitors arrive, they go round the side of the house to reach the back garden. It is something of a utilitarian area, housing the dustbin, shredder, wheelbarrow, ladders, water storage barrels, hoses and so on. The water barrels have a wooden shelf on top of them and a woven willow panel concealing them, mostly. The idea is to distract people until they’ve passed through the messy bit.
It’s sunny this morning so I shall have a coffee and go up to my allotment for a bit. When it was too dark to take pictures yesterday evening I went out to check on something and found a Clematis flowering that I wanted to put in, so I went out this morning and it looked less impressive; next week maybe. I see that The Prop is still on his hols but has dutifully done a post anyway. Unstoppable.