Over the last couple of years having more time to give attention to the garden has brought certain underperforming plants to my notice, plants that have barely managed to switch themselves on, let alone shine brightly. Two climbing roses in large pots are examples of things, chosen with the intention of climbing over the sheds but which were largely forgotten due to their total refusal to do anything other than just keep their heads above water. Creative thinking last year saw both of them moved to more amenable positions, (still by the shed) and the bottoms cut off their pots, allowing for greater movement of roots; both roses gave a thumbs up to their changed circumstances by providing a token flower or two later that year for the first time.
Other later evidence that a change can be even better than a rest are the above very promising buds On the left are the very chunky buds of climbing rose ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’, planted against the picture gallery fence by the main herbaceous borders in 2007. For the first few years the ground at the base of the fence was covered in slate chippings with large pots, all of which were removed and a new border created at a later date. Neither the rose nor the plants added to the new border really thrived so last year I took everything out and added large quantities of compost and manure which certainly seems to have paid overall dividends and has given ‘Souvenir de la Malmaison’ a new lease of life.
On the right there are equally chunky buds, this time of Clematis ‘Josephine’, which had been planted at the base of the wisteria a few years ago and had an odd flower or two for the first years but nothing since then. I untangled it last autumn and replanted it in the clematis colonnade but not having replaced the label I forgot which post it had been planted against so was thrilled to note the appearance of three chunky buds which I recognised as ‘Josephine’, clearly also more than happy with the change.
Some things may not be as fortunate, and change for them means OUT – like the ‘red’ wallflowers, which were enjoyed to a degree once they started flowering but were too tall for their position, and anything else which is not of sufficiently endearing quality as the garden is rapidly filling up!