Nip and Tuck

I have become aware over the last few months that the garden will increasingly need regular maintenance to curb its exuberance as it matures whereas I will need greater discipline to restrict what I would like to add to it.

IMG_2178Meanwhile, despite the recent damp (well, sometimes more wet than damp) weather I have made a point of spending a couple of hours most days on those little nip and tuck jobs – like potting on and planting out, tying in and deadheading, with a fair bit of admiring thrown in as well (those roses…..!). I am afraid to say that some of the aquilegia we exclaimed over a few weeks ago have been removed (too tall, too blue, too ordinary…) but the borders look hugely better for their removal; meanwhile, in the greenhouse I have plenty (ie too many) named aquilegia seedlings waiting to take their place. The sweet peas are all tied in and looking good, the autumn sown ones in bud – one of this year’s success stories as far as seedlings go, but I will write about that another time. Here is ‘Purple Pimpernel’ in the bold border, having just been rescued from potential takeover by Hydrangea petiolaris which required cutting back (potential vase material? must rescue my trimmings and try them out in water).

I had thought that I would stake some of the alliums after the inch of rain we had on Saturday, but in the absence of any hazel stems (recycled too soon!) to provide a less obtrusive support I think I might risk leaving them without. This grouping was the most affected, surprisingly so with the gallery fence behind them, but there was no real damage done anywhere I am pleased to say.

allium.stakeHaving realised that the Tête-à-Tête foliage had now died down, tackling the streamside grass where they were growing became a must-do job. Tidying the shed, the Golfer realised we did indeed have a sickle which has now been sharpened and today made inroads into the swishy swashy grass – not sure about my technique, but at least my hands and feet were intact! Clearly it will need a lot more attention but at least it has a chance to dry out a bit before the next cut. Meanwhile, we have connected the stream to a timer on the premise that if it only runs for six hours a day it will only lose water at a quarter of the rate it did before – this seems like an acceptable compromise.



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21 Responses to Nip and Tuck

  1. pbmgarden says:

    Good for you for staying on top of the maintenance Cathy. I like your sweet peas and Hydrangea petiolaris.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Susie – but I couldn’t really say I was entirely on top of it, just very aware that I need to be (otherwise I will get up one day and there will be an impenetrable jungle)!!

  2. Annette says:

    Quite a job to try and stay on top of things as everything seems to grow at a frightening speed these days. Just cut our grass this afternoon to make it nice and tidy for garden visitors (and possible clients) on Thursday. Did you make the plant support yourself? Lovely alliums, mine have finished flowering but the seedheads are just as nice.

    • Cathy says:

      I missed cutting my little patch of grass I have for Tai Chi before the rain so it will have to wait 😦 Hope your visitors become clients, Annette! Which plant supports did you mean? I have made hazel obelisks before, and we have plants for a metal framework for the fatsia, but the ones in the pictures were purchased.

  3. rusty duck says:

    Everything is growing like crazy after all this rain. The secateurs are working overtime here.

  4. No sooner are we nurturing our plants and wishing them to grow, than we are watching them burgeon out and attacking them with secateurs. It’s all so fast and frantic at this time of year. I’m fascinated by your gallery fence! Have you any more shots? Your support for the alliums is so colour co-ordinated! Like it!

    • Cathy says:

      Your comment made me smile but it is so true, or certainly once a garden starts maturing. I meant to show a picture of the geraniums under the clematis colonnade, which were isolated dots of plants last year, but most have really filled out and have begun to give the effect I wanted (and next year they will probably need a good trim!!). I have noted what you said about the gallery fence..

  5. Renee Pasman says:

    I second the comment about the gallery fence. That is pretty cool… Would love to see more pictures if you’re willing to share.

    • Cathy says:

      Hi Renee – I will try posting later in the week about the fence and some other ‘arty’ bits. Thanks for your interest

  6. Christina says:

    The grasses here in the garden and those in the countryside are twice as tall as usual; some are not supporting themselves and I can see a general removal of a lop of Stipa tenuissima quite soon. Restraining oneself with new plants is the price we pay for a mature full garden!

    • Cathy says:

      I am struggling to find spaces for seedlings, so will have to have a good think about what was successful this year before I buy seeds for next year. As the garden was virtually ’empty’ when we came (despite being an old property) almost every plant is one I have put in, and despite several partial revamps I have never got to this stage before which is why I am pleased with how well it is beginning to mature. It will be strange to be in the position of it being ‘full’….

  7. Anna says:

    With blog post titles like your last one and this I’m getting concerned about you Cathy 🙂 Glad to read that you are managing to get out there despite the wet stuff. We’ve been lucky the last couple of days but it’s pouring down this morning. Oh the paintings on the fence behind the chives look most attractive. Selfies?

    • Cathy says:

      Selfies? I suppose that will have to be my post title when I write about the pictures, as I have been requested to do… The Golfer didn’t play golf today so that means it was wet here too!

  8. Chloris says:

    I would like to do some nipping and tucking myself but no chance at the moment. Pouring rain yesterday and everything hanging soggy and dripping today. The poor roses! I would like to know how your Souvenir de la Malmaison is coping with this. I bet you’ ve been out there with your hair dryer.

    • Cathy says:

      Every time I look at S de la M I think of you Chloris, so perhaps I should do a daily photo check to feed back to you – I am really keen to know myself, as it has not flowered properly before but I couldn’t say if it was because of wet weather. It has certainly never had all these big fat buds before.

  9. Pauline says:

    It’s all go at this time of year, so much to do, things to plant, things to pot on, weeds to see to and yes tying in stragglers, it all seems never ending! At least when rain stops play, I can catch up with the housework!

    • Cathy says:

      And I agree with you on that Pauline, that a completely rainy day brings the opportunity to catch up on inside things although in my case it probably wouldn’t be housework.

  10. croftgarden says:

    I’m sorry but it is our turn for the sunshine.
    H. petiolaris is easy from cuttings and it is a great favourite of mine. I’m currently nurturing a young plant but I’d be surprised if it survives the winter – but ever the optimist. Love the pink obelisk.

    • Cathy says:

      My Mum has a H Petiolaris taking over her back steps which I subtly cut back when we visit – it’s not on the seaward side of the house though, but it is certainly rampant. She was telling me on Saturday about her sunshine too! A fair exchange is no robbery, I suppose..

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