Thursday, 3 October 2013

Furnishing the Exotic Garden

Mon 12th Aug
Weather: Fair
Maria Castro who is the current HBGBS trainee at Fulham Palace and my peer has come to work with me at Dixter this week, and it was great to have someone with so much energy. We did more staking in the Exotic Garden - more Eupatorium capillifolium, Amicia zygomeris and Dahlia australis. And took out overly brown leaves of Musa basjoo and Tetrapanax papyrifer. The routine has started now, where every gardener is assigned an area to brush up and deadhead up until the garden closes again for winter. My responsibility is the Exotic Garden - a full circle to where I began when I started my scholarship. After that we staked up some Amaranthus 'Autumn Palette' in the Peacock Garden - this is a great amaranthus, as it starts off a light rusty orange and goes deeper, darker and more prominent as it matures.

Maria staking Amaranthus 'Autumn Palette'

Tues 13th Aug
Weather: Hot, bright and sunny.
We planted in the last layer of the Exotic Garden to 'furnish' it. First we laid out a selection of plants underneath the cow shed next to the Exotic Garden, mainly from the greenhouses, so we could see what we had for our palette.

We planted in Hedychium sp, Tibouchina urvillieana, Musa Basjoo, Tagetes lemonii 'Martin's Mutant'. ferns including Adiantum sp.

Planting of Tibouchina urvilleana

Weds 14th Aug
Weather: Changeable but comfortable, moments of sun and overcast. Up to 20°C.

We carried on with more planting in the Exotic Garden, using more Tibouchina urvilleana & Tagetes lemonii (they're a great foliage plant), Persicara virginana 'Tobara'...

Persicaria virginia 'Tobara' next to what I think is a type of Dasylirion  

- Begonia metallica and a Phormium cookianum subsp. hookeri 'Tricolor'

We also replaced a Impatiens bicaudata, as the previous one that had planted had become sick and dying.

The beds in the Exotic Garden is like mounds, so when we are planting at the edge, we dig a sort of diagonal hole down and tip the plants forward, so that it sits more naturally.

We helped Fergus but mainly observing him plant out Gazania sp. and Tagetes cinnabar in the High Garden. It's always a pleasure being able to see Fergus at work, as he's so fast yet precise & intuitive. He trimmed the Tagetes in a way that created an undulation which is highly unusual, but it works!


For a section next to it we brought up some Tagetes patula 'Cinnabar' from the garden stock in the nursery, and positioned them out ready for planting, using stakes and string to make a temporary structure to prevent them from falling down.

Thurs 15th Aug
Weather: Warm. Up to about 22°C.

We planted in the Tagetes patula 'Cinnabar' we had 8 or 9 plants and had to bring up almost the double again, space always absorbs more plants than you think.

The patch of Tagetes Patula 'Cinnabar' that we planted.

James gave a talk on his Japan exchange at the Millenium Park Forest over lunch.

Then we weeded the much needed back of the Education Room, where it is still a rough space, where excess garden & nursery stock has been temporarily planted, and where students like me can use to grow their own - I have been using it as a space to grow a few bits of my own vegetable and to do plants experiments (growing things that I have never grown to see how they grow).

We weeded in the education room but left nice self-sowers like these magnificient
Dipthrascus fullonum

Fri 16th Aug
Weather: The nice summer weather continues.
I started the day with my morning routine of brushing up and deadheading the Exotic Garden. As we had finished the last main level of planting in the Exotic Garden we put all the unused plants back. Then we repotted some Begonia grandis subsp. evansiana.

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