Those of you that know me will know I like things nice and tidy. . . .
Oh excuse me a minute, I think I can hear The Traveller choking on something.. . .. .
He’s OK, but I had better clarify. I like the garden nice and tidy, but unfortunately it doesn’t really extend to the house. Well , I never claimed to be perfect.
Ever since I wrote a post about the bed at the side of the rockery I have been wondering what I should do about it. Clearly, though nice and green, it was getting in a bit of a mess and your comments indicated that I ought to do something about it before it got worse.
So the other day I decided to try to tidy it up a bit. The vinca was easily sorted as you could cut the tangled stems and pull up the roots without difficulty. I decided just to leave a few bits that could hang down over the wall. Similarly the wild strawberries at the bottom of the slope were easily removed. I hope to replace these at some point with a proper Alpine strawberry which is supposed to be less rampant.
But then I needed to do something about the Houttuynia. I first started digging around the hebe which was being invaded. As I dug I realised the huge problem that I had. Hidden under the ground was an immense tangle of white roots. I think I have just saved my whole rockery from an imminent takeover. The roots were spreading under existing shrubs and were even going under the steps soon to appear on the other side.
So I dug, and I dug and I dug. It took me the best part of three afternoons. And I am not at all convinced that I have got all the roots. Plants like these really ought to come with a health warning! “WARNING – this plant is likely to seriously damage your back”.
I did relent though and planted some of the Houttuynia back in pots under the Photinia Red Robin. It was probably rather a silly move as those roots are more than capable of finding their way out the holes at the bottom of the pots. I shall have to keep my eye on them.
It had taken a lot of work, but the good thing was that I now had some empty space. And I had some plants needing homes. Don’t you love it when a plan comes together?
You may remember back in August I was given a present of a wonderful Ceratostigma. I now had just the spot where it could tumble down a sunny slope.
I am hoping it will thrive and look like this specimen we photographed in France recently.
I had also recently bought a couple of grasses from the bargain bench at the garden centre. These will look great at the top of the slope where they will catch the wind and show off their wonderful foxtail flowers.
The label called them Pennisetum hybrid and also had a sticky label on it with the name ‘Metallicum Rubrum’. Pennisetum Rubrum is not totally hardy and yet the label says the plant is a ‘hardy clump forming perennial’, so time will tell whether they survive the winter here. However, I am already enjoying watching them blowing in the wind.
I then filled quite a large area, just above the Ceratostigma, with Allium Christophii bulbs. I have never grown alliums before, but the producers of these bulbs just knew they had a ready market in all gardeners with sons called Christopher!
My rockery is now looking a little bare for the moment, but it is certainly a lot tidier and I am sure that at least the hebe will be grateful for less competition. Now what can I put in the remaining space at the bottom. . . . .