Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Cottage Garden planting, 1

Bad Hobbit has a very bad case of blog-lag. Much planting out accomplished in the Cottage Garden but no 'work in progress' photos which is pretty disappointing given that this is one of THE milestone things to happen in the garden recently.

So, retrospectively ... June started off much better than May and with Management away and LP otherwise occupied for the week there was little to distract me from a massive planting session during which every single shrub and perennial purchased recently, plus a few others which have been waiting patiently in pots for far too long, made it into the ground.

Also involved was the tiring and heavy moving of the last of the rotted cow manure which has been sitting in builders' bags, big chunks of slate plus a couple of huge paving slabs.

The "lasagne bed" next to the house has those plants which I hope can cope with the relentless sunshine (no, it doesn't always rain in Cumbria and when it is good this area gets completely baked).

Deeply impressed with the Physocarpus opulifolius "Lady in Red" and must get back to Bennett's and buy a couple more ...

Toad Hall has been installed behind the ferns - a short length of drainpipe half filled with sand, half buried and covered with a lump of tree root and bark chips. A small toad which was disturbed when I was moving something has been shown his/her potential new home but whether it takes up residence or not will remain a mystery!

The roses already in situ are looking wonderful and smell even better (David Austin Gertrude Jeykll and Winchester Cathedral), so much so that I find it hard to walk past the bed without stepping into it and having a big sniff of GJ!

The paving slabs are laid so that I can get to the entire bed (although on occasions it's a bit like a strange version of Twister) but once the roses are larger I will be able to smell them from the other side of the trellis as well. I keep brushing the soil off them and the blackbirds throw it all back again when they mug the bed for worms!

As the rhubarb will never be forced, my 'garden art' (ha ha) is back in place and shows up the red Astrantia flowers beautifully. The strange pot planted next to them is a large hole waiting for me to track down the white rose I want to climb over the arch.

It probably needs more plants in the front and definitely NEEDS clematis over the trellis at the back, but it's a start, and a good one, and I am pleased (which isn't something I say often).


  1. Well, let's see. Today is June 13 and this post just showed up. I never know if it's the transmission, Hobbit being backed up on blogging, or what!! At any rate, delighted to see that the plants have found new homes. I'm sure they will thrive.

    What's happening at the Buffet these days? Mine has slow traffic, only the resident birds -- cardinals, doves, bluejays, chickadees, titmice, occasional house finch and brown thrashers.

  2. Thanks for your comment Sue. As I have said before, blog-lag means I date posts for when the activity took place, not when I publish it.

    The Bag End Buffet is doing well, new babies are eating us out of house and home but I've just not been at the window long enough to take any decent pictures!

  3. I don't know about Blog Lag - I thought you'd gone on Blog Strike! The plants look lovely. Beautiful specimens and a VERY full bed! You must be thrilled to finally be getting it planted up.

  4. Thanks CB, hope you get to see it for yourself soon.

    Many more blog posts to catch up on ....

  5. Lovely to see you planting things out! You must feel that you have turned a corner?

    The plants will soon bush out - what's the betting that in a couple of years time you will struggle to find the stepping stones!

    Now - tell me the thinking behind the ferns in this bed? I know that I don't know much about plants that you can't actually eat, but I did think that ferns wanted damp and/or shade which I wouldn't have thought that they would get here?

  6. Thanks Hazel, yes, definitely 'turned a corner time'. As for the ferns, whilst many like damp & shady spots there are some which do OK in sun - all of these were dug up from the sun-baked front hedge when we first cut it back in 2008.

  7. I have some ferns that have self-seeded themselves in the sunniest spots in the garden, seldom if ever get watered and are thriving better than some cossetted ones in pots. Just relocated some of the pot bound ones into the garden but will buy some more as I do like them in pots and they brighten the area outside the back door which is North facing and dull! If you want another delicious rose I can recommend Sharifa Asma ,,, it has been a joy this year and the scent is heavenly with a hint of apple! One of the better David Austin roses!

  8. PS ,,, fantastic to see the garden coming to life and with your wonderful soil, that actually is soil and not dry dust, it will look established in no time I reckon!

  9. Thanks Jill, we are so fortunate to have this wonderful soil.


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