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My First Shrubbery


Firstly, I’m still getting free plants by the day. Lots of exciting natives and tropicals have seeded themselves in unwanted places around the gardens. Most recently I acquired a Cigar Plant (Cuphea Ignea), so named for its eye-catching red, black and white floral palette which reminds one of a lit cigar. I was delighted to read on Wikipedia these can be perennial, so will be kept safe and warm in the greenhouse. I found a few daturas too, which are blooming their heads off, but sadly only annual.

Due to the white horse chesntuts lining the avenue, currently abscissing,

I have been enjoying 2 hours of leaf-blowing every morning for that past few weeks.

Lots to be done! And all of it fun when Will’s around to make various equipment phallic:

And it’s still mycology season, and it’s still my duty to photograph every shroom I set eyes on. Here’s the most recent, spotted under a lime:

On to the shrubbery!

These healthy, if potbound, specimens were brought down from our nursery, and while I didn’t choose them, this collection includes some of my favourite plants – spotted laurel, that beautiful witch hazel which was my favourite shrub in the nursery, and the little Russian sages at the front. I think I would have chosen a collection and arrangement very similar to this, which is nice to know. :)

The first to go in, and shamefully I’m not aware of its name!

As I was working from the back forwards, that stunning witch hazel was next to go in:

Next, these two, which I didn’t know when I planted them, but had them identified in the evening as Corokia x virgata. They’re lovely New Zealand natives with (particularly when wet) a lovely contrast between the brilliant white new stems and the rich black old wood.

And then this beauty, also sadly unidentified.

A recently cut back berberis, showed how evident its use for the yellow dye berberine really is. I wish my phone had picked up the true colour intensity.

Then a clump of spotted Laurel, which turned out to be around six 1 or 2 year old seedlings. I decided (yes, because I’m actually valued enough to make creative decisions) to split this and balance the other side with another one. Spotted Laurels brighten up the darkest corners, and are possibly my favourite evergreen.

And then there was a little camellia. I’m not a fan, but it won’t be around long. I have removed loads of dead rhododendrons and pierris around the place because no one seems to respect our very alkaline soil.

I am, however, a great fan of Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’, or Russian sage. And I saved the best for last. In the 2nd photo I was pleased to see plenty on possible new growth… which hopefully lasts the winter.

And there’s the planting complete:

Still rather upstaged by this huge berberis:

Or this berry-laden Pyracantha to the right:

A lengthy soak,

before mulching:

That’s a messy edge. Not good enough!
On my way to get a broom my eye was drawn to this Snapdragon that’s popped up in the car park. :)

Edge swept. Task complete:

For the rest of the afternoon I joined Will and we planted up a bare 2 square metres with berberis, daphne, a rhododenron (for reasons mentioned earlier I’m glad it’s not in the middle) and lots of lovely ferns and muscari at the front:

And then we went to the pub. :)

That was a very satisfying day (again!), and I’m hoping for one similar tomorrow. There is more planting to do, so it probably will be. It is tipping it down, finally, so I won’t be watering anything… and since it’s so wet blowing leaves might not be a practical endeavour.

Getting plants in the ground is giving extra structure to the place, which is nice.


More blog posts by tralamander

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Lovely blog. Thanks for sharing. And what a nice way to finish the day, lol.
The first plant you were not able to identify (the big one) looks like Photinia. The second one (after Corokia) is Buttle Brush - Callistemon.

6 Oct, 2011


Very nice blog and photos, welcome to GOY

6 Oct, 2011


a nice project Trala, a pint well deserved

6 Oct, 2011


ups - it's bottle brush, not buttle.. sorry, was not fully awake, lol

6 Oct, 2011


Wow, you've been busy ...
all that planting is hard work but fun ! :o)

6 Oct, 2011


You have been busy and after all that I guess you deserve a welcome drink....

6 Oct, 2011


Smashing blog T.....nice to see you keeping busy and still having the energy to go for a beer afterwards.
Keep on learning :)

6 Oct, 2011


Great blog exciting time for you seeing your garden take shape:)

6 Oct, 2011


Thank you for your kind comments, Kasy, Clarice, Stevietheterrible, Terratoonia, Lincslass, Scottish and Nana_d.

Yes, Kasy, you were right on both plants! Thank you! <3

17 Oct, 2011


you welcome Tralamander - do you have any shorter name? lol

18 Oct, 2011


A shorter name for myself? Well, Caitlin or Cat, but it seems here Stevie(theterrible) has already nicknamed me Trala, so we know who we're talking about. ;)

18 Oct, 2011


thanks:) how about TralaCat? lol?

18 Oct, 2011

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