I took advantage of an offer of 4 acers suitable for growing in pots at the end of last year, and took delivery of them in early March. As the leaves gradually unfurled over the weeks following the late snow it looked likely that one of them had failed to thrive. I left it a few more weeks to confirm its lack of life, then telephoned for a replacement. Surprisingly, bearing in mind they were not particularly cheap, I was told they would have to replace the whole collection, the downside being I would not receive them till October. I was particularly pleased that the poorly one was being replaced as I had bought matching pots especially, but I had not bargained for extra plants!
Despite what I had been told, the replacements turned up alast weekend, looking very healthy and apart from the one on the right (‘Butterfly’), looking quite different from the originals. OK, second from the right (‘Little Princess’) does look more alive, but I guess that ‘Orange Dream’ and ‘Katsura’ (left and second left) are in the process of transforming themselves from spring to summer colour. All-in-all they are bigger and bustier and healthier than the originals, but I need to decide what to DO with these extras now!
For those asking about the wall the tomato hanging baskets are on, I built this early in 2001 to replace a split bamboo screen we had erected to split the fruit and veg area from the rest of the garden. I had just re-read ‘The Secret Garden’ by Frances Hodgson Burnett and decided I wanted A Wall with a gate to add more of a surprise element to the garden, so I built the wall, and we also introduced various ‘faux’ gates into the fence at around the same time. Looking at the photos, it shows how easy it is for us to forget the original extent of the grass as this has all gone with the gradual sub-division of the garden; interesting to see in the lower picture the ground cleared ready for the woodland edge border – naked as the day it was born!
Today, the two hot borders have the wall as a backdrop, whilst behind the wall the fruit cage is to the left and the greenhouse and small veg beds are to the right. I had never considered utilising the ‘back’ of the wall before, but after hanging the baskets there this week I have begun considering what other crops I could grow this way as there is space for more baskets. Strawberries, of course, would work on the ‘fruit side’, but I prefer soft fruit that doesn’t need a lot of attention and I couldn’t be sure I would remember to water them!