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Plants at last :-)


By samjp


As you may have guessed from the title, I have plants in my garden :-D YAY – can you tell I’m happy lol.

We got so fed up digging the blasted lawn (you wouldn’t believe how much mares tail root we’re pulling out) yesterday we decided to dig one trench and give up. So instead we had a trip out to the garden centre. Several very happy hours later we came back with a plant or three. I’ll introduce you to the stars if I may; in no particular order we have:

Picea glauca ‘Alberta Globe’

Diosma Pink Fountain

Arenaria Montana (AGM)

Primula veris (AGM)

Ajuga Burgundy Glow (x3)

Crassula ovata Hobbit

Scented Viola Columbine (for some reason I didn’t take a photo of this one)

Scented Viola Jackanapes (AGM)

Veronica Repens

Dianthus Mystic Star

Dianthus Pop Star

Dianthus Arctic Star

Saxifrage Peter Pan

Saxifrage arendsii Highlander

Saxifrage Elf

Armenia Nifty Thrifty

Sagina subulata

When we got back from the garden centre I spent several hours placing the plants and planting. There were a couple of set backs when I realised I couldn’t dig a deep enough or wide enough hole on a couple of occasions, but I’m really pleased with the end result. Still needs a couple more plants in places, but I’m going to wait so I can get plants for interest later in the season.

While we were at the garden centre I also picked up a pyracantha that was 75% off! It needs repotting while it waits for me to sort the garden out. I’m thinking of planting it along the border with next door, where I’m thinking about putting some trellis up. Only downside to my bargain is there was no plant label (other than the price tag) so I’ve no idea which pyracantha I’ve got. Not exactly a hardship though is it.

I had a lovely surprise when we got home. My neighbour had been splitting one of her hardy fuchsias and gave me a piece. Apparently she got the plant as a cutting from another neighbour some years back. How nice is that. Since the garden isn’t ready for planting I’ve potted it up for now. It looks quite sweet sat on the patio even in the old plastic pot I found.

I wasn’t going to plant until the lawn was sorted, but yesterday has done me the world of good. I feel so much happier and much more positive than I was digging yet another trench yesterday morning. I think this pretty little spot will really help me to keep going and keep my spirits up.

More blog posts by samjp

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Well done Sam ... I've added your blog to GoYpedia.

22 Apr, 2014


Thanks Terra :-)

22 Apr, 2014



22 Apr, 2014


Very tidy and Elegant looks great

22 Apr, 2014


Looks lovely Sam :-)

22 Apr, 2014


wow, awesome variety. how long did it take to get them all in?

Can't wait for updates over the season, watching their development.

Like the stone in the bed, what is it?

22 Apr, 2014


Thanks Scotkat and Simbad. I keep finding myself looking out the kitchen window at it and grinning lol.

Thanks Fran. I think it took about an hour or two to plant. The soil was a pleasure to plant in after all the work we put in, made life really easy digging holes. The stone is plum slate.

We're just debating whether to mulch the rockery and if we do what with. We were going to use the plum slate gravel but I don't think it would work. I'm now thinking either the old bark mulch we've got in the garage or maybe a light coloured gravel.

22 Apr, 2014


bark mulch might add something to the soil over time - lol proied it's "new old" with no risk of weed seeds - though we bought cheap sacks of bark chips from B&Q years ago for the communal garden project, and they gave a lovely green carpet

If the soil's going to be disturbed by new planting etc, bark might be better; otherwise the gravel might get mixed up

but sure you'll make the right decision for you

22 Apr, 2014


A wee shopping trip was just what you needed me thinks! It really has lifted your spirits hasn't it.
Watch that Ajuga burgundy glow - it will swallow up everything it's planted next too in no time at all. It's easy to pull out the bits that get close to other plants.
I took my eye off the ball last year and lost a rather gorgeous Saxifraga!
Good luck with the rest of the digging :)

22 Apr, 2014


When we landscaped our front garden we had the same problems with the lawn Samjp, we had all intentions of sorting it one saturday morning untill we hit huge roots from the cut down tree!! Hub who is deffinatley not a gardener looked at me and said, do you want to go plant shopping, knowing i would say yes :))) So i know how much it has brightened your mood, we tackled the lawn another day..Your garden is looking great, i love your rockery area, that slate is gorgeous. I "once" had a pyracantha which grew huge, tree-like from what i remember but can't remember which one, it never did get berries and im sure it had thorns, anyway it took some gett'n out when we landscaped the back garden, do your research before you plant it as it will need some room :)

22 Apr, 2014


It looks very pretty and must have encouraged you a lot. If it cheers you up at all I've grown a pyracantha against a fence and one against a wall without any support simply by training it strictly to lie flat - I put in a few canes where necessary to keep young branches back and removed them once the wood had set and hardened. If you do use trellis remember it won't last as long as the pyracantha!

22 Apr, 2014


You never can tell what your going to get can you Fran. The mulch is in 3 big unopened bags my OH brough eons ago. Well one is open, we opened it the other week expecting to find compost but it's still mulch! I've got some pea gravel I use in the bottom of pots so maybe a test run is in order lol (on top of something solid to make it easy to remove).

Scottish your spot on. I don't think there's anything more therapeutic than plant shopping and planting your purchases. Ooh thanks for the warning on the Ajuga, I'll keep my eye on that one.

Thanks YDD, glad you like it, you should see the slate when it's wet, the colours are fabulous. Hehe great delaying tactics from hubby. My OH has recently learnt the same tactic it seems lol - no complaints here lol. This pyracantha definitely has thorns, found the little beggars putting the plant in the car. Wow that is some plant you had. Fingers crossed I haven't got one of those lol. I'll have a good hunt see what I can find. With any luck I'll get flowers or berries to help me out before I plant it.

22 Apr, 2014


Thanks stera, it has helped me feel better about the garden. Be glad when the lawns down though. I was planning to run trellis all along the neighbours fence, but have had a rethink. I'm now contemplating have trellis by the main patio for a bit of privacy and follow it on so every other panel is trellis. I could always use the pyracantha in a none trellis spot.

22 Apr, 2014


I found that where the bark chips were piled deep, they stayed weed-free - presumably the seeds in the bottom could root but not reach the top, and the seeds at the top couldn't get rooted. it was when we apread the bark thinner cos we were running low that the problems started. so, lol, pike it deep!

23 Apr, 2014


Thanks for the tip Fran. With 3 big bags we shouldn't run low in a hurry - well not on the rockery at any rate.

23 Apr, 2014


you might think of weed control fabric, but I've read that it can be a drag, cutting holes in to put plants in, and no use for seeds etc, or plants that "move"

I did think of taking sheets for my pots, cutting to the centre and cutting a hole for the plant to grow through, but again, a bit of a drag.

24 Apr, 2014


Lovely selection of plants Sam - one of our neighbours has plum slate in his front garden - and you're so right about the colour change when it's wet - stunning! It's all coming together, bit by bit, now. :o)

25 Apr, 2014


Weed control fabric won't stop weeds germinating in the layer over the membrane.Fran's right, it doesn't seem to be anything more than a waste of time and money in beds where you might want to alter anything later.

25 Apr, 2014


Thanks Shirley. We're getting there slowly but surely. Be glad when the lawns done though.

Mom has weed control fabric in the front garden. It does keep the weeds down but as you say doesn't stop anything germinating in the top layer above the fabric. Took a few years to do this mind. I wouldn't use it, it's a pain to dig around or plant or move plants and no good for seed. Plus as I found in my nans front garden it goes really slimey and horrible.

27 Apr, 2014


What a wonderful selection of plants Sam . . . no wonder it has cheered you up . . . made me smile too :))) I'll have to look up that Diosma - a new one on me.

On Gardeners World on Friday, Monty was planting some alpines, and put gravel between them all: he reckons it "sets them off nicely": we have a gravel bed and any weed seedlings are really easy to pull out. LOVE the colour of the plum slate . . . why do you think plum slate gravel wouldn't work??!

27 Apr, 2014


Thanks Sheila - I copied the information from the Diosma label to the plant record I created on here if you want to have a look. I'm keeping my fingers crossed with this one as I dont think it's fully hardy.

I haven't got round to seeing the last episode of GW yet. I'll have to watch it, sounds like a good week.

After setting it up we both think the plum slate gravel will be too much of the same colour and would look better with different colours. I may still try it. I've got plenty of it left lol. May run an experiment - try bark mulch, pea gravel and plum slate and see what looks the best. If I lay it on some paper or a plastic bag it shouldn't be too hard to lift.

27 Apr, 2014


Hi Sam, starting to look really nice. I haven't read all the previous comments so this may already have been said. If it was me I would try an area with bark, to get a nice contrast with the slate (and see if I liked it). Eventually over the years this will need topping up with fresh bark, which is easily done. If you use slate, then eventually this could get mixed up with the soil, I would suggest you put some sort of a liner down, which would be tricky, now you've started planting. Gravel of course is another option, you can get some really nice colours. Keep up the good work !

28 Apr, 2014


Thanks Sam . . . the Diosma is SO pretty, but apparently prefers acid soil, so I'll have to pass on that one (though I do have one or two spare pots around, so maybe!).

28 Apr, 2014


Thanks Alan I'm still stopping to grin at it every time I walk past - even in the dark lol. I'm going to try each of my options on the rockery (small area) before I decide what to do. Bark sounds simpler for planting in. Don't think I'm going to use a membrane. They just annoy me, plus they eventually go slimey (as I discovered the hard way - yuck).

No problem Sheila. Ooh where did you find that about the Diosma preferring acidic soil? It didn't say that on the plant label. Not sure what my soils pH is yet, waiting on OH. Oh well, just cross my fingers and hope for the best eh.

30 Apr, 2014


Sam, I'm not surprised at the plant label's dearth of information! Many don't tell us about hardiness, and hardly any specify conditions. I now Google things I like, and if I love the plant but have the 'wrong' soil type I put it in a pot (e.g. Loropetalum is happily in a pot of ericaceous compost). I Googled Diosma :)

Possibly the growers are reluctant to be specific, because plants aren't ALWAYS so fussy . . . for example, I have Acers in my alkaline/neutral soil, which are doing OK, but I do give them a drink of Sequestrine occasionally.

1 May, 2014


I sometimes wonder if it's because the growers think they would have fewer sales if people know their soil was unsuitable - an unworthy thought but it makes you think.

1 May, 2014


The lack of information drives me dippy. Thank god for smart phones and mobile internet eh. I had googled the Diosma but hadn't come across the acid soil bit.

I don't get it. I really think growers miss a trick. If there isn't enough information I often walk away (not as often now I have google on my phone). I think i could argue they are committing an offence by failing to give basic information. It can be misleading - hence me and the Diosma.

2 May, 2014

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