Six on Saturday | September’s a Charm

A funny old week weather-wise. Some sunshine, some cloud, some rain. And for me a surge in energy that has been lacking for several weeks now. Reading about gardens on the blogs and in magazines I was reminded of the fact that you shouldn’t have anything in your garden that you don’t love. Especially when it is as small as mine. So on Monday I set out to clear the patch of ground next to my ‘Zen Patio’ which has irked me for the last couple of years. Here grew Iris pseudacorus a British wild native marginal iris with sword-like leaves and striking yellow flowers, a couple of Arum lilies, a mass of Filipendula ulmaria (Meadowsweet), some type of water mint and clumps of Japanese Anemones. Bindweed and brambles also interleaved themselves throughout and I couldn’t reach the fence to sort out the climbing white rose. I have always felt that there must have been a small pond here as all these flowers are the kind you find around a pond or a bog garden, but having cleared most of the patch I found no evidence of one.  Most of the irises hadn’t been flowering well, the Meadowsweet was pretty but crowded and the mint invasive, though the bees like it at this time of year. However, it all had to go. Along with the Buddleia alternifolia (weeping butterfly bush/ fountain buddleia) which was growing too big and sprawling everywhere despite my best intentions in pruning it back after flowering. Although a mature specimen (it can grow to 4m wide and tall) can look very beautiful, I found that despite the clusters of sweet-smelling lilac flowers it never attracted any butterflies.

(1) Gone – the sprawling fountain buddleia, irises, mint and meadowsweet. Hopefully now the little peach tree and the fuchsia shrub have light and space to grow properly.

(2) Hemp Agrimony Eupatorium cannabinum) is also under threat. Last year I pulled a lot of it out and I usually give it a Chelsea chop in May to prevent it growing too tall, but this year I left it alone. It grew too tall. Usually it is smoothered in butterflies, especially Red Admirals, but hardly any this year. it overshadows my pots on the patio so I think I shall be attempting to remove more of this shortly.

(3) Japanese Anemones – The tall pale pink ones have spread over the past four years and although I like the flowers a lot I don’t like all the foliage, especially as for some reason a lot of mine becomes very diseased looking with black blotches. I shall be removing all but one clump of these once I have some space in my waste bin!

In the raised beds however I have a couple of different types – ‘Pamina’ with lovely dark pink double flowers and ‘Wild Swan’ which is white with a pretty lilac-pink reverse stripe and apparently not invasive. They do need moving as this bed also requires a revamp.

(4) Selinium wallichianum (Wallich milk parsley) also grows in the raised bed. A perennial umbellifer bearing broad umbels of white cow-parsley like flowers, held above delicate, fern-like foliage, from July and into autumn. The seedheads are supposed to be interesting too, but this is the first time it has flowered (planted spring 2019) so I will wait and watch.

(5) Yarrow – this pretty lilac-pink flower has just appeared in the Cornish hedge. I guess from the same pack of seeds that the ox-eye daisies, the musk mallow and the wild carrot appeared. I have the common white one in the garden, but this is a very pretty addition and I shall be happy if it spreads.

(6) Restio Chondropetalum tectorum is a Rush-like plant forming an ornate erect tussock. Also known as Cape Thatching reed it comes  from the Western Cape region of South Africa. It’s not fully hardy and supposedly likes to be kept on the dry side in winter, but it’s survived so far in my bee and butterfly raised bed, even coping with the Beast from the East! I like its lovely coloured stems.

I wonder if I will regret being so ruthless, but time will tell. I have a few ideas as to what I want to plant in the vacant space, but I shall wait until next spring to decide. A new clematis definitely and I might move one of my roses to the back of the border. And it could be a good spot to grow sweet peas.

As always, if you want a peek over other people’s garden walls then please pop over to our host, the lovely Jon, AKA ‘The Propagator’ where you find links to many more wonderful garden enthusiasts from all over the world.

See here for the participant’s guide.

Six on Saturday

45 Comments Add yours

  1. Catherine says:

    You’ve been doing what I’ve been doing today – actually I’ve been clearing out a border for several weeks, but finally took the last of the planting out today. Some went Into pots for the moment, as they’ll be replanted later.

    A non-invasive anemone is something I must investigate! Exciting – and it looks a nice one.

    The achillea looks very similar to A. ‘Lilac Beauty’. If it’s the same, it’s a beautiful plant. I lifted mine today and put them into pots until the border is ready to be replanted. You’ll have to share your ‘energy surge’ secret – I could do with some!

  2. Heyjude says:

    The achillea was in a packet of wild flower seeds so I guess it’s not a named variety. I’ve just bought a red one, wondering how that will do! As for energy, it comes and goes! 😂

  3. restlessjo says:

    Never ending work, Jude! Good job you love it. 🙂 🙂 Presume you have a compost heap?

    1. Heyjude says:

      Not really. I use the green waste collection and have just bought a brazier to burn some of the prunings.

  4. Su Leslie says:

    I’m so glad you’re feeling more energetic Jude. You’ve certainly been busy and I look forward to seeing your garden makeover when it happens

    1. Heyjude says:

      It’s a small bed, but I’ll think of something. Pretty much run out of space now 😊

      1. Su Leslie says:

        I’ll have to get to work on that teleported — you’ll have plenty of space in my garden to transform

  5. March Picker says:

    Watch out, Cornwall! Jude is feeling very energetic! So glad Wild Swan made the safe list. She’s lovely.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Wild Swan is, lucky for her, in a different bed. She is very pretty.

  6. Cathy says:

    Oh well done Jude, I am sure you won’t regret removing any of these, especially when you have worked out what to do with your extra space – not a decision you need to rush into at this time of year, although you may be like me and have ideas toing and froing in your head for weeks and months and then suddenly they fall into place!

    1. Heyjude says:

      It’s a small space so I won’t do my usual thing of planting too many things which then get overcrowded and die. There are a few perennials in pots that I’m thinking about, but as you say, no need to rush.

      1. Cathy says:

        It’s a hard lesson to learn, not overcrowding our plants!!

  7. Murtagh's Meadow says:

    That yarrow is a lovely shade. Mine is very white and a bit boring!

  8. You certainly have been hard at work Jude – admire your enthusiasm 🙂 I love coming up with ideas for our garden but Monsieur does most of the weeding! I feel like I a need a surge of energy myself. Love the idea of your “Zen Patio” – it all looks so lovely and relaxing 🙂

  9. I find it takes a while to pluck up the courage to have a plant sort out and then it’s very easy to get carried away. Looking forward tossing the new occupants in the spring.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Haha, yes, I think you are right. I’m on a roll now with cutting things back.

  10. Oh it is good to revamp garden beds once in a while, especially when you are not satisfied with the look of it! But it does take oodles of energy to clear sometimes. Good luck with the revamp! I love the colours and pattern of the Restio.

    1. Heyjude says:

      I have been short of energy lately and I’m really not in good shape for doing lots of digging – have to watch the back – if only I was 20 years younger! But it felt satisfying. Just those anemones to remove once they stop flowering.

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