My beehive shaped compost bins got completely emptied this week and had produced about 15 bags of fantastic brown crumbly stuff, full of worms and little creatures. Every handful was teeming with life. I filled up my pots, chucked it all around the garden and spread it deep on new areas for planting. Making compost gives me a huge thrill of satisfaction – it’s the wonder of science in action. I’m even in a Facebook group called Keep Calm – Keep making compost. Yes, it’s that bad.
Some gardening help took out two stumps with a pickaxe for me and that has given me a whole new exciting area for planting. The two old shrubs had outgrown their space and were not providing much value so out they went. That’s the thing about small town gardens – if I have to look at something every day it needs to be beautiful or useful. If it’s neither then it can go and something better can go in its place. There are no hidden corners for ugly plants to hang around in a compact city garden. Everything is on show all the time.
At the RHS Urban Show I bought three golden yellow pots. They are now grouped in the front garden, matching the colour of the front door, and I’ve filled them with compost and some grit. I plan to put a lovely golden Japanese fern in each one along with tulips. When the tulips are over I will pull them out and put in some other perennial or some summer colour. At the moment the ferns are sitting still in their pots while I see how they would look. They are dryopteris erythrosora “Brilliance” and will look this good pretty much most of the year.
I want to highly recommend this purple basil, also known as African basil. It won’t survive the winter but goodness it is fabulous all summer long. I use it for colour and scent and it’s been flowering for months. I haven’t tried to eat it. I bought it from Laurel Farm Herbs and Edibles.
Earlier in the year I nearly took this grass out because it had got so huge and is almost out of proportion in the border but gosh, I’m glad I didn’t as the flowers now look stunning especially with low sunshine through them. It’s a miscanthus of some kind. Before it gets any bigger I will lift it in early spring; chop it into pieces and replant a smaller piece, giving other clumps away.
This viburnum is waiting to be planted. It’s viburnum bodnantense “Charles Lamont” and it will produce tiny pink flowers from now until next April. I fell in love with it because the flowers, although small and sparse, have an incredible scent. It takes me right back to primary school because I think the scent is the same as that funny white glue we were allowed to use to stick bits of paper without glueing ourselves to the furniture or each other. It’s a funny vanilla smell. One whiff and you too would be right back there trying to keep your colouring inside the lines. I shall put it somewhere down the front path so I smell it each time I pass. That way I need never grow up.
Six on a Saturday is hosted by the propagator so see his link for more blogs on this topic.
6 comments on "Six on a Saturday"
I have the fern, Dryopteris Erythrosora and it is very rewarding, and forgiving. I love the Miscanthus – try the Knoll Gardens site for identification help! Bravo with the compost – looks marvellous!
Hi Candy, yes that fern is lovely isn’t it. I have some in the back garden. This new one is a variety called “Brilliance” which apparently is even lovelier than the ones we already have. We shall see. I tend to cut them down in Feb and fro nowhere they regrow quite quickly. I will look at Knoll and I am wondering if it could be Karl Forester. I am SO thrilled with the compost!! best wishes Julie
I like that basil very much, must look out for it in the spring. I’m totally with you on your item two ruthlessness. There’s no room for ugly, useless plants in any decent garden, though I dare say I have things that other people would describe that way.
thanks Jim. I’ll see if I can find the nursery I bought it from. It was a winter flowering honeysuckle that I had to take out – it had got huge and although the scent is wonderful through the winter, let’s face it they are no oil painting the rest of the year. The other thing these tough strong guys dug out was a huge acer stump that had been there for years but was too hard to get out. They dug and dug and now I have this fab new open space.
I like your William Morris attitude to gardening (beautiful, useful)! Lovely garden
thanks Gill, what a lovely compliment. Beautiful and useful – that’s us!