Autumn Project 3 Completed.

I have long held the view that autumn is the beginning of the gardening year, preparing the garden and the plants for their winter rest before the explosion of spring and summer glory.

The main autumn project, this year, has been to move plants into their correct positions!

I am sure many of you can relate to the gardener’s curse of initially positioning plants in the wrong place.

Two of the first candidates for moving were the Cytisus, ‘Golden Cascade’ and Albus. While they produced wonderful spring colours and scent, they had become far too tall, even with some pruning.

I did not want to completely lose them, following a hard prune, I have moved them to the rear of the borders and hope with generous watering they will successfully establish. This has freed an area, which has been planted with Lupins and Foxgloves to flower in June for the open gardens. The lupins will be treated as annuals, in the Great Dixter way. Colourful exotics such as Dahlias and Cannas will follow.

I have for some time had a yearning for a Cornus Kousa ‘Miss Satomi’. After ordering one two years ago, I planted it in the garden. Sadly it died during the winter. The nursery that supplied it kept promising to replace it. When visiting Pershore College plant centre, they had some very reasonably priced Cornus Kousa ‘China Girl’. One was purchased, then planted in ‘Miss Satomi’s allocated position. Soon afterwards the nursery rang to say they had a replacement for me, although they could only obtain ‘Milky Way’. I decided this would have to live in a large pot, on the patio by the entrance to the oriental garden, while I decided where it was going to live permanently.

This turned out to be an ideal position, we could see it from the dining room windows. Three slabs were consequently lifted from the edge of the patio to provide a permanent home. Ironically the flower colours are more like ‘Miss Satomi’ than ‘Milky Way’, The nursery has not returned my email asking if there could have been an identification error!

Several years ago I was given a Rhus hirta Staghorn sumac. Because of its reputation for suckering, it has been residing in a pot on the patio where we could enjoy its beautiful autumn colour.

Last year we inexplicably lost a five year old Snake-bark Acer from the middle of the blue border. This completely unbalanced the border, there is an Acer griseum on the opposite side. Not wishing to risk another reasonably sized, quite expensive tree, I decided to plant the Rhus there, after seeing one looking stunning with it’s autumn colours, in a Piet Oldoulf garden.

I may pot up any suckers to sell on our open days. I think it looks very colourful in its new home among the Asters and grasses.

Moving the plant theatre in project one, freed up an area. This provided a space to plant a Greengage tree that I had purchased as a young bare root tree two years ago. It had been growing on in a pot, now it is planted along with the rhubarb, emptying more large pots.

Having admired large pots packed full of colourful exotics and annuals in other gardens, all these freed up pots will provide an opportunity to do the same.

Now to plan filling these!

16 thoughts on “Autumn Project 3 Completed.

  1. This is my sort of gardening, Brian (and today I am going to take advantage of the rain and move one of my witch hazels!) – good to see you are equally willing to move things that just are not in the right place. I have hankered after these cornus before but the price has always deterred me, especially when I wasn’t sure if there was anywhere to sensibly put one – I hope both of yours give you great pleasure. Oh, and well done for emptying those pots, something I have been far too slow to do recently!

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    1. The Cornus can be expensive depending on size, another reason why I wanted to make sure it was planted in the right place. The one from Pershore College nursery was half the price of the other one.

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      1. I bought a very reasonable Daphne ‘Jacqueline Postill’ early this year, more than just a stick, but don’t expect it to flower this winter so would be thrilled if it did!

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  2. You have just described the reason gardening is one of my favourite things…great plants, ‘recasting’ and changing the scenery, etc…maybe a little dramatic at first as plants are removed, and new plants placed more sensibly…I would hate for the garden to be static, wouldn’t you?

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  3. This is the never ending fascination of the garden – the constant re-positioning. I love the Kousa! I never have considered Lupins as annuals and given up on them as they do not do well here. Thinking of them as annuals might change my mind. Those empty pots are talking to you. Amelia

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    1. I gave up on lupins as perennials years ago because of the aphid attacks. I read in One of Christopher Lloyds books that for that reason they grew them from seed in summer to bed out in the autumn to flower the next early summer and then replaced them with something else.

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  4. You have certainly been busy shuffling the furniture around this autumn Brian. What a lovely splash of colour those wigwams of rhodochiton make. Are they in pots or in the ground and when do you sow them?

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  5. I happen to be pretty good about getting plants into the right place. The more common problem is that the right place sometimes changes. We planted a few forsythias (which are rare here) a while back, only to be informed that a paved walkway will be going where they are. Elsewhere, many sunny places get shaded as trees grow. In our forests, it is not easy to predict how or in which direction some of the trees will grow.

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