Thursday 3 October 2013

Gardeners get the best perspective

Mon 29th July
Weather: Windy & rainy.

Right in the midst of the jungle. 

It was very windy and we had to do emergency staking all around the garden of plants that would be affected and that we had not got round to staking yet. So we went round stabilising all Verbascum olympicum & Verbascum 'Christo's Yellow Lightning'. It was a rare opportunity to go into the middle of the beds at this time of the year, which are so dense that it was quite a feat to go in and out of them and for them to remain looking undisturbed. It was great to see the border/ garden from a perspective that one usually doesn't get to see - gardeners get the best perspectives.

View within the border, well and truly surrounded and encompassed by plants. 

For the stakes we malleted in short chestnut poles, recycled broom handles or thick canes, then tied two sets of tarred twine around them, using the clove hitch knot and figure of 8 technique around the plant.

Tues 30th July
Weather: Similar to yesterday

We finished staking all the verbascums (there's a lot of them!)
Then I went to stake a Cosmos bipinnatus 'Purity' & Rudbeckia sp. The rudbeckia was actually fine, but we were just pre-empting its need for support soon. With these we used the usual staking method (just with usual green twine and a single string around the plant). We don't use many varieties of Cosmos, only tried and trusted ones, as we demand from them to be tall and evenly floriferous, and not many are. 'Dazzler' & 'Purity' are good reliable ones, and I have seen 'Candy Stripe' doing very well at Gravetye as well.

Cosmos bipinnatus 'Purity' on a good day, with its billowy grace. 

Weds 31st July
Weather: Fairer, more still weather.
We decided that the string tying I had done on the Cosmos & Rudbeckia was too high and now as it was easier to see (not fighting against wind and drizzle) I went to adjust them. Then work started again in the Exotic Garden.

Thurs 1st Aug
Weather: Really hot up to 28°C.

In the Exotic Garden we are now preparing it for the third and last layer of planting - thinning out more Mysotis sylvatica 'Royal Blue' and Verbena bonariensis and staking Eupatorium capillifolium & Impatiens bicaudata.

Weds 7th Aug
Weather: Cooler, up to 20°C. Cloudy & overcast most of the day, slightly humid but not uncomfortable.

More weeding around the Hemerocallis trial bed. Many have had their moment now and are over.

Thurs 8th Aug
Weather: Up to 22°C but felt hotter.

I did some planting throughout the Long Border and plugged some gaps with the Dixter classic Tagetes patula 'Cinnabar' and some Geranium × riversleaianum 'Russell Pritchard'. I cut back some spent Geranium pratense leaves, and took out some spent Centaurea cyanus 'Blue Diadem', that still had a lot of colour going for it and had only just turned.

Fri 9th Aug
Weather: Similar to yesterday.

Some tall Silphium perfoliatum at the back of the Long Border was leaning onto the yew hedging. So I drove some tall stakes at intervals behind the mass of plants and threaded a none slip rope between them, to prop the silphium up.

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