This Month

This Month November 2016 - Monday, 31 Oct 2016

It has been a great Autumn for working, a little too cool for my liking in the early mornings but the rest of the day without a jacket has made the jobs easier. My wrist has been improving well although I am still avoiding lifting anything heavy I have been digging, weeding, tidying and planting out.

We do have some good new plants, Oplopanax horridus is from the northwest USA, the name conjures us all sorts of images and the plant does not disappoint. It will grow from 3 - 5ft (1 - 1.5m) with large lobed leaves of 8 - 16ins (20 - 40cm) on the top of spiny stems. This type of plant appeals to me and I have planted it above the lake where there are several other plants with distinctive and varied leaf-shapes such as Sassafras and Liriodendron.

We have found the amazing Euonymus Popcorn, it looks like the more commonly seen Spindle but this one has white seed cases, those we already have are in shades of pink and red. I would like to plant it near other Euonymus but there is not the space, in fact there are not many spaces where it can be shown off to its best effect so I will have to think carefully about where it can go.

We also have 3 new Hellebore of the Credale strain, these are planted under the Damsons along with our already large collection. In this area I have also planted more woodland plants such as Podophyllum hexandra, Anemonopsis macrophylla and Patrina gibbosa.

We have given the lake area a very good tidy this year, a bit of a muddy job but it does look so much better. At the moment the lake is more of a bog garden as with so little rain the water is flowing out faster than it is coming in.

I have finally started the pruning and hope to be able to give it my, almost, undivided attention. Some plants have grown phenomenally this year so I know there will be quite a lot of pruning to raise the canopy but I do hope it will not prove to be more than winter time or my energy allows.

The colours were slow to change in early October but later there was a noticeable difference every day with very bright red leaves especially on some of the Euonymus and Acers. I do not remember them being such a brilliant rich red.

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