Monday, 7 May 2012

Bank Holiday hedging, and other planting

The aim for the long weekend was to get as many plants out of pots and into the ground as possible.  I may be blessed with a large and sheltered nursery area but it doesn't mean I like plants that are containerised, in a very unnatural environment and needing watering and attention every few minutes.

Thanks to LP thoroughly digging the bed next to the magnolia tree, putting in a dozen hornbeam plants was relatively easy.  When I bought these last Autumn the ground wasn't ready so I potted up the whips and buried the pots in a raised bed to over winter.  I'll definitely try that trick again because the plants are growing strongly both above and below ground and hopefully planting them out caused little or no root disturbance.

We've never had a very clear picture about what to do with this corner but putting these plants in shows that the hornbeam needs to be continued all the way to the house.  Thankfully I bought 30 whips, I think I only lost one, so there are plenty in reserve.  I'll ask LP to dig over the ground once we've added more willow screen to the new posts.

The area behind the top pond needed a lot of work, the Blue Holly I put in last August was not at all happy.  The plants didn't seem to get established before the winter and have been thrashed and trashed by the wind.  I decided to lift them all and pot them up until I find a new home for them (which completely contradicts my disliking having plants in pots).  Another hedge 'problem' is the laurel we planted outside the sitting room.  The plants are lovely and growing well but they are too dark and solid for this space plus they're too big and catching the laundry every time I hang washing out.  I hate moving plants which is why it sometimes takes me ages to put new acquisitions in the ground - I want to do my best to get things right first time.  This was not one of those times so three out of the five plants have come out and moved opposite the kitchen window.

Together with two others which I found at Bennetts nursery recently I now have five Prunus lusitanica which hopefully will grow to make a good hedge.  Ironic really, seeing as this is where the plants started before we got completely confused about which laurel variety they are (and I'm still not convinced that both sets of Portugese laurel really are what they say they are ... )

From this angle the gaps show badly but I'm constrained by tree roots as to how closely I can plant.  From the seat, however, it's a completely different vista.

I added a David Austin rose, Generous Gardener, to the bed next to our bench.  It is a climber with really strong scent and over time it will scramble up the silver birch which provides a little shade for this seating area.   


  1. Fabulous ,,, a simple word for so much work but it's how it's all looking :-)

    Hope you had a good day yesterday Bilbo, a belated Happy Birthday!


    1. Thank you Jill. It often seems the more significant the work, the less there is to write about :{

      Good day yesterday and your lovely card arrived safely :}

  2. Once again, I'm enthralled and amazed at the progress. Here's a question. I looked up hornbeam on Wikipedia and it seems to me that they are rather large trees. Or are your plants some variety of shrub with the same name because you seem to be spacing rather closely...

    A birthday? Really, Hobbit? YOU actually AGE? Say it ain't so!! :-P

    1. Kris, believe me without LP my progress wouldn't be a tenth of what it is these days.

      Hornbeam can be grown as a standard tree (and very beautiful it is too) but I am growing it as a hedge. It is similar to beech in that it holds its old leaves through the winter but does better on clay soil (beech prefers chalk) and should cope better with the cold.

      I only age on paper - my timeless beauty and paper-smooth countenance doesn't look a day over ninety!

  3. Seating area - when do you ever actually sit down?

    1. of course I sit down Sue, you don't think I write all these lists standing up :}


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