Sunday 7 July 2013

A birthday treat

Fri 5th July

The tempo of the garden has gone up quite a few notches, so I have barely had time to even think about blogging. I will still be putting my month(s) old posts up though as I do have to do it as part of my scholarship, plus it's useful for me too and nice to share with others. But here is a special more current post in between.

Me left, Makiko right. Photo courtesy of Perry Rodriguez.

It's my birthday and I couldn't have asked for more - glorious weather and a juicy bit of planting, whilst eating peas straight from pods at lunchtime. Here is me and Makiko (a freelance gardener designer from Japan who has come to volunteer for three weeks) tackling one of the patches of bedding that gets changed over once the spring interest has finished, ready for summer up to late autumn interest. Here we had purple Hesperis matronalis & Tulipa 'Abu Hassan'. We are changing it over with Dahlia 'Emory Paul' and Nicandra physaloides - the shoo-fly plant. The latter is used as a filler really until the dahlias get going. I can't find any written material about it but I heard it is good for warding off white flies.

With Hesperis passing over. 

The rate of people coming through to experience & work in the garden has also increased and from this I have realised that demonstrating something as basic as planting is not so straightforward, especially if one does not have much practical experience, it can be a little bit of a shock. Dixter has such a particular but commonsensical way, from how the hole is dug, how a plant is staked to how it is watered. It's not a task you can just switch off to but involves a constant state of thinking (which is also why I love it). The more you practise these steps and have tuned into that intuition (how a plant should be placed, where its foliage is tending towards), it just flows as one long action, instead of lots of staccato bits, and it is pretty much foundational stuff that helps make you a great gardener. Makiko my lovely assistant did a sterling job and hopefully gained a deeper understanding of everything.

We always lay out our planting to see what it's like before planting it in. We keep stepping back to see that the planting is still going ok. The shoo-fly plant being a filler is less priority than the dahlias, so these are planted and repositioned if necessary at the end. We have been planting up the Exotic Garden, so when I put these posts up I will briefly go over the whole process step by step that we go through when planting.

Dahlia 'Emory Paul' which will be huge plants with dinner plate like flowers, are well staked to anticipated their growth. 

1 comment:

  1. Happy Birthday a month later!
    I enjoy reading about Dixter's "particular but commonsensical ways". Thanks!


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