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The Best Laid Plans of Mice & Siris.


By siris


Not everything in the garden is rosy.
I was trying to disguise the sheds by growing plants up the fence.
Photo taken 2013.

The Orange Berried Pyracantha has really grown on the left side since then.

Unfortunately after years my Actinidia died, (the white bits in the above pic on the right fence). Judging by the girth and gnarled appearance of the stem, it was on its way out for a couple of years.
You can see the gap left by the deceased Actinidia.
The evergreen Clianthus I planted to fill the gap was decimated by something, slugs? Ratty? I resorted to digging it up from 2 positions and putting in a pot stood in the middle of the lawn to isolate it from predation.

I eventually put in cuttings of Trachelospermum, a Cistus incarnus and a seed grown Billardia longiflora to train against the fence, all evergreen. They are doing well. Patience required!

Unfortunately one of my neighbours, Shed Man has moved his shed to the right by a couple of feet and closer to the fence and is in the process of putting a bigger shed at 90 o behind it. It will look dreadful this winter when the deciduous Cotinus has shed its leaves.

The photo above, taken a couple of days ago also shows how awful the pergola looks now the Clematises on it have died back for the winter. I wanted to keep the pergola looking airy to let light filter through, but that’s just ridiculous.
I think I will try a seedling of Eccremocarpus in the centre of two of the legs and a Maurandya barclayana between the other.

Replacement Actinidia, a gift from Amy, in August. First pic a couple of weeks after receipt, the second pic growing on in its pot for the moment.

The Clianthus puniceus failed the snail trial on the back fence. I am now hoping to put it against the bungalow wall in the front garden, where snails can’t drop from foliage above it.

The rest of the garden is to my liking. I don’t want to wish my life away but can’t wait for next years growing season.

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Siris your garden is so interesting I don't think anyone will waste time looking at the sheds. Lots of sympathy for your snail problem. They are easier to collect in the winter when they are glued together in clumps aren't they , lol.
The Actinidia looks very healthy - it obviously likes you. Have you told it how fast you want it to grow? We have no place for a wall or fence shrub here, sadly.

17 Oct, 2017


Thanks Stera. I don't think I've ever seen clumps of snails in my garden, only sneaky individuals. They know if I see them I put them on the stepping stones and tread on them. It took me a whole season to discover it was snails doing the damage to the Clianthus. I put slug pellets, gravel and egg shell around the base, nothing, but still the terminal leaves were all eaten. Wrapped the pot and 1/2 way up the plant with kitchen foil. A small pot filled with straw at the ends to capture earwigs, nothing, then when I put it under the carport (as in the picture) I discovered a huge snail, so now I'm on the job.

17 Oct, 2017


Wise words from Stera. Your garden is filled with fascinating plants and next door's shed will not be a feature!
I hate the damage caused by snails and they are so ruthless. In our garden they seem to destroy the whole plant! Lupins and delphiniums always fail even though I scatter the blue pellets is when I turn my back and forget!!!
Enjoy your new planting.

18 Oct, 2017


Haven't forgotten the time I cheated, and placed a small plastic pot with plastic flowers on the patio of the little house in my miniature garden. Snails ate the flowers, and most of the leaves. Unbelievable!

Agree with Steragram, Siris. Your plants are far more interesting than next door's shed.

18 Oct, 2017


Thanks Wildrose and Eirlys for your kind words, but once ones got a bee in the bonnet about something, well...
Wildrose, I gave up on Delphiniums, but Lupins don't suffer from snails here.
Hope the snails got indigestion, E.

18 Oct, 2017


Siris snails tend to hibernate socially. They glue themselves often in large groups under or behind hard surfaces so if your garden is very tidy they might not have any hiding places - not a problem in my garden! Any dark corner will suit them - between a ceramic pot and the inner one (if you plant containers like that), under anything you've left lying about, and I've even found them in the spout of a left out watering can - wondered why it wouldn't pour....
When we moved into the last house we had (it was a modern vicarage with a big neglected garden) I collected two plastic carrierbagfuls the first winter we were there. I put them in the wheely bin, telling myself that as they were asleep they might not notice...

18 Oct, 2017


I agree with everyone about the sheds and sympathise with your continuing slug and snail wars. Nowhere is free from them. I don't get many snails, mostly slugs but just down the road, my daughter's garden is full of snails. I really despise those bu****s!

18 Oct, 2017


They are beautiful in their own way though...

18 Oct, 2017


I do like the little humbug Snails (colour of the shells look like stripy humbugs) smaller appetites luckily.

19 Oct, 2017


How did I miss this one? well you know how I feel about sheds........dont get me started, how many years has it taken me to hide that huge shed next door, I hate to think!!
I must admit I never notice the sheds in your garden, too busy looking at all the other delights......

14 Nov, 2017


That's kind Dd. Maybe the Buddleia was in the corner when you visited or watching where your feet were placed so you didn't trip into the borders. My stepping stones need to be replaced with wider paths really.

15 Nov, 2017


I agree with all the comments that you have such a lovely selection of wonderful plants the sheds become almost invisible, only there if you look for them.

Now I have a suggestion for your arch - how about wrapping it up in Christmas decorations for a few weeks. May as well use it.... could look fabulous! (so long as the snails don't eat them! :D :D)

I had some beautiful snowball marigolds in pots one year - I had only just bought them. Next morning they were ALL gone, eaten by **** snails! I used to throw them over the back fence across the alley into the playground of the school that was there :D Could hear them hitting the ground :D

15 Nov, 2017


Siris I think you are fretting for nothing, those sheds really aren't that noticeable, your garden always looks lovely and thats what people will look at.
I feel so much better now I've found someone who openly admits to treading on biddy snails, they're alright here if I don't actually see them but if I do its the order of the boot and as Stera says they do hide in clumps, I refuse to go out looking every night like some people do, usually use pellets, however this year with having a puppy around I haven't put those down, they've had a field day, it won't last though, munch on my plants next year if they dare, their reprieve will be over by then.....

16 Nov, 2017


Thanks Pam, I do have some plastic oranges and lemons. We used to get a clementine in the toe of our Xmas stockings as kids!
Lincslass, I only put slug pellets under something e.g. 1/2 used grapefruit skin, because of hedgehogs, then only around the molluscs preferred plants. Squashing snails on my stepping stones is recycling, food for my black birds. Actually they never clean them up! Admission ... don't squash slugs, because they are slippery under foot, but chop them in half, if I have my secateurs to hand ....and no they don't regenerate into two individuals.

16 Nov, 2017


Oh my! More memories - years ago I was staying in a house and went to the kitchen in the night to get a drink, and I trod on something in my bare feet - turned on the light and it was a giant slug, about 6 inches long and half an inch thick that must have come up the drainhole thing in the kitchen floor. Ugh it was such a disgusting feeling treading on it like that.

I can't use grapefruit skins now because I have just been put on some meds that don't allow me to eat grapefruit anymore *cry* I love grapefruit! I can't even have the juice now :(

We also have a family tradition of having the small citrus in stockings and I like to put an orange on the plates for starters like in the breakfast in Little Women, and oranges just make me feel so appreciative of so many good things that we have.

I'm hoping to host Christmas dinner this year if my daughter will come and help me prepare it, so will have to make sure I have enough oranges. I think there could be 9 of us :) The most I have done Christmas dinner for is 12 so I am confident about it. Have done for less than that several times. This would be first time in this flat though. Some of us might have to sit Japanese style with cushions on the floor round the coffee table :D Would have used to have been able to move the table in from the hall but not now that it has my aquarium on it.

16 Nov, 2017


If you haven't heard a hedgehog crunching slugs and snails you haven't lived! :O)

17 Nov, 2017


missed this blog ....

looking good to me , I thought too cold/frost for most of the UK to grow Clianthus I did have two both gone now ...
originally I saw growing in Cornwall but that was very close to the coast and no frost ...


19 Nov, 2017


Gg, the Clianthus overwintered outside during its first year. It was the moluscs that were destroying it. It is at present in a pot under the carport and has tripled in size. The snails still like the tender end shoots though. Can't wait to see if it flowers in 2018, red flowers.

19 Nov, 2017


I've gained a slug collector this year, name of Harriet, now the dark evenings are here none of us are in the garden except for doggie walks, I keep finding slugs on my sittingroom carpet, YUK!!!!. Harriet thinks its good to bring them inside to play with, we never notice them until Madam lets them free, nope I'd rather they were left alone than have them brought indoors, obviously I do not squish them....

19 Nov, 2017


Lincs, I think I've got Leopard Slugs, so I've stopped squashing those, as they are supposed to be beneficial to the garden, eating dead plant material. At least I'm hoping it's them.

21 Nov, 2017

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