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Open Garden Sunday 7 August 2011


Open garden Sunday 7 August from 10-5. Admission £3 for adults.

Note: there are some steps.

26 Buchanan Road, Walsall, West Midlands, WS4 2EN.

Proceeds shared between the Mayor’s Charity Appeal and Walsall Citizen’s Advice Bureau.

Summer interest: acers, conifers, begonias, perennials, jungle

For directions see:

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1 Aug, 2011


What volume of losses have you experienced this year because of the hard winter and have you had to rethink or revamp any areas because of it ?

2 Aug, 2011


oooooooooo i love it , wud love to see it , but tooo far !!!
one day.............

2 Aug, 2011



2 Aug, 2011


Good luck with your open day.

2 Aug, 2011


Louise - "Natural pruning" is what it's called!!

Yes, we did lose 5 tree ferns (one was over 8ft high) and 5 New Zealand Flax. We have replaced the flax but will wait a year or two to see what sort of winters we are in for before committing to such an expenditure.

We had severe damage to some camellias but took this as an opportunity to do some radical pruning. Over the years they have got quite lanky but the time when we should have been pruning them after flowering coincided with our busiest open garden time - so they never got pruned. This year we pruned them hard quite early because many flower buds were blackened. Some bushes lost all their leaves, but many are now covered in new healthy growth. There are some dead branches, but most have survived.

The agapanthus in pots all died, but I had managed to put many of them in the ground and they are now flowering well.

All the hebes in pots died.

Some surprising survivors were little blue "balloon" flowers and also several clumps of gladioli in the ground which, despite not having any flower buds, seem quite healthy.

Some of the larger acers have more damage than usual. Verticillium wilt is a fungus that is very common in A. palmatum cultivars, in fact it's very difficult to buy "clean" maples. There is unfortunately no cure for the wilt. It becomes active when the plant is stressed due to cold or drought - both conditions have happened this year.

All in all, though, the garden survived very well and doesn't look affected by the weather now that the summer growth is in full flow.

2 Aug, 2011


That's good then, that the garden's looking as good as ever.
It seems that you're not alone in all those losses of your Phormiums - many people did too - as too the Tree ferns.
Will you replace the Hebes, and if so will they be potted or out in the ground ?

3 Aug, 2011


The hebes were in smallish terracotta pots on either side of 12 steps leading up to a balcony. Those on the side where the sun reached them were able to thaw out sufficiently during the day to be able to absorb moisture. Those on the side that was in shade most of the day never thawed out and the plants shrivelled up. Dessication it's called - drying up because they can't get to the moisture. The roots also become squashed by the frozen soil. A combination of clay pot and cold wall and steps meant they didn't have much of a chance.

In hindsight, I suppose we could have swapped them from one side to the other on alternate days - but it was viciously cold and also dangerous on the frozen steps. I have managed to save some plants (poor specimens of their former selves!).

I may pot up hebes, or pansies, for that location but will probably put them in an unheated greenhouse and bring them out in early spring. Frankly, we don't really need them decorating the steps in the depths of winter since we can't see them unless we venture out.

The Met Office website gave no encouragement: a third, fourth or fifth severe winter is possible because of various factors influencing our current climate!

3 Aug, 2011


Re : your last paragraph, i also look at meteorlogical sites and they DO warn of that, to ignore it, certainly as a gardener, is the silliest thing we could do.

I now won't plant out after July because the establishment period just isn't there.

3 Aug, 2011

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