Tuesday, 30 June 2015

EOMV – June, the joys of a new garden #2

It is hot in London, it’s been nice weather for some time but now it’s really stepping up a gear. With 30-35 degrees C in my garden and no substantial rain for months I am struggling to keep all my potted plants alive, all 700 of them. Well there were nearly 700 to begin with, I am afraid some have died due to vine weevils, some have died due to lack of water and some have actually got too much water and drowned. I can’t possibly go around and stick my finger into each and every pot before applying water to check if it needs water or not, I just hose them down and hope for the best - every evening. It is a relentless work and I am determined to get as many as possible through the summer. But a few more will probably die.

I have tried to do a bit more in the garden, usually very late in the evening when it is a bit cooler. Here is a photo from last month of that huge choycia and the lovely Salix integra next to it.

And this is what it looks like today. I have removed the whole choycia, never been very keen on it anyway and I know it would grow back pretty quickly if I cut it back. I have trimmed off a lot of dead branches off the Salix and snipped a bit on the left and right side. Any pruning should happen in winter or very early spring so I will wait with more shaping, but I can’t really see this Salix ever becoming that tightly shaped lollipop I have seen online, it is too big and neglected to ever look like one. That’s OK, I kind of like the look of this gnarly tree trunk with the unruly hair on top :-)

One tree I don’t appreciate as much is the tree in the middle of the garden. I assume it is a second plumtree, but until the fruit is ripe I won’t know for sure. I don’t have a good ‘before photo’ for you, but before I started trimming it, this tree had branches coming out of it everywhere, in all angles, and most of the branches looked completely different to the fruit bearing ones.

I assume this is the grafting point and that no one has taken care to snip off the branches coming out of here in time. The result was a very strange looking tree, and an even more strange looking tree now that I have cut off all the non-fruit bearing branches with different leaves. It doesn’t matter though, I have decided to get rid of this tree as it is right in the middle of the garden and way too big as a centre piece. Just imagine how big this tree could be in another 10 years’ time, it could take over the whole space here.

But it is intriguing to know what’s happened to it and why, if you have a better explanation please let me know. I am also wondering if this plumtree is necessary for pollination of the other plumtree in the garden, which I intend to keep – I might end up with no plums if I remove this one? As you can see it has lots of fruit so having sprouted a lot of alien branches doesn’t seem to have slowed it down.

I have tried to empty as many crates as possible, the crates were very useful when moving and the first few weeks after, but lately most of the plants have grown so big that it became impossible to keep an eye on them in the crates – all I could see was masses of leaves spilling out over the edges. So most of the pots are out of the crates, and just cuttings left in these 6 crates.

Does anyone have need for 100 crates?? I intend to give them away, if you want them please let me know here! If I can’t give them away here I will do it via Freecycle.

I have continued to tidy the end of the shade garden – which turns out to be not so shady after all. I struggle to find defined areas for shade and sun, it is very different here than in my previous garden due to buildings and trees – and lack of them. Even the shady front garden gets sun in parts of the day, after the sun has passed the big trees in the car park, and today the fuchsias were really wilting in the blazing sun and heat for a few hours. I don’t really have a good solution for that as it doesn’t seem to be any good shade areas for mid-summer apart from right under the big ceanothus’ and I can’t see much being planted there.

But back to the Hot Garden, with hot coloured plants – and it was really hot there today, I must admit I didn’t do ANY gardening, I just took my photos and went inside again even though I was out late evening. There are way too many plants here and this is just meant to be temporarily until they all can get a place in the ground – but just wait to all these daylilies are in flower – this area will just explode!

At the moment it is Hemerocallis 'Burning Daylight' and Rosa 'Ingrid Bergmann' which dominates, all the plants here are in red, yellow and orange tones. Well, apart from that blue clematis, it has been allowed to stay for now!

And on the ground the tones are more shock-pink, with the Angel pelargoniums in full flower and the daylilies soon to open too.

This pelargonium is probably going to be one of my favourites – Apple blossom, I have wanted it for a few years and I bought 5 to have in my window baskets on the wall in my front garden – my PREVIOUS front garden. I no longer have a wall so my window baskets are being used as a stand for the kitchen garden baskets, but these pelargoniums need a better home than the cutting pots soon. I have so many plants that need re-potting, I just don’t have enough hours in the day….

And speaking of which – this is what it looks like when turning 180 degrees from the Hot Garden, I haven’t got around to do anything here yet so it’s rather messy still.

One big decision I need to take soon is what to do with the Parthenocissus on the wall at the bottom of my garden. This is the sunniest part of the garden and the view from my living room window. I can’t make up my mind what to do with it. Keep it? Remove it? Remove just the left side of it and keep the part next to the shed? Just trim it? The plan is to make the bed deeper here, and it would look lovely to have roses and clematis growing up the wall, that is the brick wall under the Parthenocissus – but I am not sure what state the wall is in. And I am not sure if I should remove such a magnificent cover, I know what it looks like in the autumn! But I have to make a decision soon about where to put my roses, they are not happy in the containers and need to get in the ground soon. The Parthenocissus grows from the shed side towards the left and have runners all the way round up to the back door. I am inclined to remove half of it, just as a test, it would at least grow back if the wall behind it looks awful!

Another thing I wouldn’t mind losing a bit of is this huge cherry tree. It is in the corner of the carpark next door, at the community centre but it kind of is towering over my garden. I don’t know if it was planted or just self-seeded and someone just decided to allow it to grow there, but it is way too big I think. When I sit in my garden it rather dominates the whole space and I have cherry seedlings of various sizes all over my garden. I don’t get to enjoy any of the fruit though unless someone has a tip for how to get cherries down from such a huge tree without using a ladder. I am no good on ladders anymore. And hiring a cherry picker is out of the question :-)

I actually have a cherry tree inside my garden, here, this is my cherry tree, but it is behind the shed so I can’t get to the fruit here either. I suspect this was certainly self-seeded, I can’t think why anyone would plant a cherry tree here.

And speaking of trees, this photinia might possibly be in for the chop too, it is growing next to the Salix and it has hardly any leaves on one side. It has probably not been pruned so it is growing in a vase shape from very low – that would make it difficult for me to plant anything under it. I might give it a severe haircut and see if it comes back, if not, well, then it will be off to the council’s composting service.

I’m sorry if I sound ruthless, but I have so many plants waiting for a space in the ground so I can’t keep old things that aren’t looking very well. And here is my plant graveyard, all the pots that so far have died while waiting for me to start planting. It seems like it is slowing down a bit though, hopefully the vine weevil treatment has worked so it won’t continue at the same rate. I have saved all the pots and intend to re-use the compost as soil improver, once I am sure all sign of vine weevil grubs are gone.

But let’s finish with some roses, they are a bit parched in the heat despite being watered every evening. This is 'Scepter'd Isle'.

And this is the new rose I bought for the arch I no longer have - 'The Generous Gardener'. I am not so sure I like the way the flowers open, but that can be the hot weather that does it – they look off before they have even opened up fully and start to drizzle petals at this half-open stage.

And last photo, my Lilium regale have started to flower, I have nearly 100 of them, although I am not sure how many I managed to lift and take with me. I counted all the lilies in total when I staked them, and I have 164, but I didn’t count how many of each. I can assure you these lilies are the strongest scented lilies you can imagine, and one of the easiest to grow. Here in my new garden they have been in pots in the only space where there is complete shade, that’s where they are happiest.

I have made a video this month too, short and sweet, only 3:18 minutes, filmed late Monday evening this week – please adjust settings as my videos are best viewed in HD.




That’s it for today, I am slowly trying to make the round and visit all of you, especially you who have commented on my previous post. I will get to you all eventually, I just have a million things to do still and so many things to sort out with the house. I so appreciate all the comments and tips I got in my last post and I hope there will be just as many suggestions and tips this time. Thanks for all the good help, until next time, take care.

I am linking this post to Helen at The Patient Gardener’s Weblog.

UPDATE, 1st July:
Just a short update about the heatwave we are currently experiencing here in London – a record breaking 36.5 C degrees at Heathrow today, but in my back garden there was 44 degrees C late afternoon due to the tall fences and all the trees and surrounding houses. It was like standing in the middle of an oven, not much sun, just really hot.

I took the photo on the left at 4:30 pm and the bottom temperature is for the outside, in the front garden, which is much cooler than the back garden. That’s where the cat camped out most of the day. And the photo to the left was at 9 pm, when it was still 30 degrees outside at the front. Note also the indoor temperature, the one in the middle, British houses don’t normally have air-condition so it was 30 degrees indoors too still at 9pm. Rather hot! Next week it is probably back to mid-20s, I can live with that :-)

48 comments:

  1. Just Beautiful! both of your old and new garden are inspiring. I ordered fuchsia and daylily, and I've been waiting for the plants, hoping they will come soon and grow well like yours.

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    1. Hi Endah, I hope your fuchsias and daylilies will bring you lots of flowers for years to come – looking forward to seeing the photos on your blog :-)

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  2. Wow--that is hot for London! More like what our temps are usually like in July. We've been cooler than "normal" for June, but that means it has been incredibly pleasant here--24C to 27C for highs, but we're due for a warm-up on the weekend. Sounds like you'll have more of a sun garden now. I must admit I'm a bit envious. I love my shade garden, but I'd like a little more sun. Looks like you're really making progress. Your video is lovely!

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    1. These heatwaves are usually short lived here in London, a few days or a week maybe, and then back to a more pleasant 25C or so. But we have had very little rain this spring and so far this summer. The grass outside is yellow already.

      I am not sure if more sun is a good thing or not, can’t really get my head around it yet – and most of my plants are for a rather shady garden so they are suffering here in my new garden.
      I would need to get some new plants – plants for sun. Hmm, what a terrific idea, having to shop for more plants :-)

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  3. You are making a great effort HELENE!
    That plum was top worked when it was grafted (yuk) and the lower trunk is all rootstock. Often buds form on the rootstock and your picture shows what happens!
    Were you wanting to get rid of it you would have to saw the cluster of re-sprouting growth completely and neatly away. Just cutting back makes it sprout again as you can see. The other dark branch looks suspicious!
    You need to be ruthless with the parthenocissus and get it tight to the wall and take it out completely where its not wanted.
    You comment about pruning in Winter and Spring. For the type of reshaping up pruning you need to do you can do it anytime. I used to sort out clients overgrown shrubberies at any time of the year

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    1. Thanks Roger, I have decided to get rid of that alien looking plumtree as it is right where I want to have a central bed with roses and daylilies. But it’s interesting to see what happens when no one takes care of plants in a garden for more than a decade…
      Interesting what you say about pruning and reshaping, never thought of the difference before. I will wait until I have made a decision about the Photinia on the other side – once it is out, which I suspect it will, I can easier see what to do with the salix.
      Thanks for encouraging me to get stuck in with the parthenocissus, I know it grows like mad and needs vigilante care.

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  4. Your cat looks so at peace and content in your new garden and you've made such a cracking start to your little piece of planet Earth. ☺

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    1. Thanks Jane, my cat will be 15 years old this November and he has taken moving house (and garden) as if nothing has happened. He has still not left the garden, not jumped any of the much taller fences here, and more importantly – when we are together in the front garden he doesn’t even leave through the picket fence even if he could. He just walks around in the garden, gets his cuddles, sleep a lot - and I think he is feeling his age…

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  5. Jeg synes du har fått gjort mye likevel! For mye sol er alltid et problem i en hage synes jeg, for jeg har det selv. Kan du plante flere trær som vil gi deg skygge på lang sikt? Skygge er veldig verdifullt!
    Så søt katt du har :)

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    1. Takk Marit – for øyeblikket prøver jeg å bli kvitt de trær og busker som ikke er noe å spare på, plante nye blir nok litt frem i tiden :-)
      Men det er mange flotte planter jeg kan ha i en solfylt hage, jeg har ofte tittet på blogger og ønsket meg planter som ikke passet til min forrige hage. Nå må jeg bare prøve å finne steder hvor plantene jeg tok med meg kan trives i denne hagen. Er litt vanskelig å få oversikten over hvor solen skinner og jeg har ingen ide ennå hvordan det blir til høsten, og til neste vår. Tror jeg bare må få litt tid på meg, og det er godt alt er i potter ennå så det bare er å flytte rundt på dem igjen.
      Men all vanningen er tung i denne varmen :-)

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  6. I can sympathize about the heat but ducking inside to wait it out gives you an opportunity to plan, which is good. I think you have to be ruthless in a situation like this. Although I felt guilty about doing so, when we moved into our current house I pulled out all kinds of fruit trees haphazardly planted by the prior owner with no thought to either their requirements or mature size. I gave some away but others went into the compost bin. Your garden already has a peaceful feel to it and I'm sure you'll get everything straightened out in time. Best wishes!

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    1. hanks Kris, I am dealing with one piece of the garden at the time whilst having a sort of ‘overall plan’ in my head. Not very detailed yet, but that will come once the garden is cleared of everything I definitely don’t want to keep. One decision I have definitely made: I want a soaker hose in my main garden! I will lay it when doing the planting as doing it later is much more difficult, and why I never got one in my previous garden as I could not see how I could lay one between all those plants and bulbs. Here I will start from scratch and a soaker hose will go in from the start. That will help with cutting down watering time!

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  7. Helene I sympathise with the watering, having built up a sizeable (way too big) pot ghetto of my own. It's taking me an hour and a half each day to do the watering, so I really must prioritise some planting! I have a similar problem in that until I get more land cleared there is nowhere to plant a lot of the stuff. Dare I say it, one hydrangea is coming up for two years in too small a pot.

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    1. I spend just about the same amount doing the watering, and now that all the plants are tall and full of leaves it is not possible to use the sprinkler – I have to put the hose into each pot. That takes time as I am sure you know so well :-) I hope everything is planted by next spring but won’t be surprised if there are a few leftovers that haven’t got a home yet…..

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  8. The courtyard area is really taking shape.

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    1. Thanks, it is all temporary, the plants will be planted eventually. Under the raised area is apparently a pond, but filled with a ton or so of soil. I will need to pay someone to dig it out so that’s not a priority right now. Would be great with waterlilies in that corner though :-)

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  9. Taking out that lopsided tree is a great idea. 700 pots is just so many! I hope the weather cools off and it rains to give you a break. :o)

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    1. The weather will cool a bit next week but there is no rain in sight for the foreseeable future, only a few drops now and then which amounts to nothing really. I guess watering every evening is going to be my entertainment for the summer!

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  10. It's really very hot Helene! Cannot imagine how your plants survive in pots...And is difficult for gardeners as well .Lovely your new rose!

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    1. Thanks Nadezda, it has cooled down a bit for a few days but by the end of the week it’s going to be hotter again.

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  11. Helene, I loved the video with your car stepping out, then pausing to take in the smells and sights of the garden! I know that feeling well. You have made some great progress in the garden, though I know you still see all that is yet to do. I think the decision to remove the choycia was a good one; in fact, a huge improvement. Your salix looks great! I also agree the plum tree in the middle also needs to go, though I think your plum tree does need another tree for pollination. But I would buy another plum rather than keeping the old one, which is an eyesore.

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    1. Thanks Doborah, I am going to chop down that plumtree as soon as I can, the roots will have to be lifted by someone stronger and fitter than me :-) Glad you liked the video, my cat has still not left the garden and wandered off, he just stays inside the garden even when the gate is open. I am quite happy about that, was a bit worried how moving with a nearly 15 year old cat would be but it’s been no problem at all.

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  12. I wonder are you able to source or have some large or decent sized pales or buckets that would allow you to plunge some of your more prized plants and free up some of the time taken to water. I often do this with the plants I have waiting to go in the ground. I find also that it allows them to take up much more water than watering from the top. I understand it's nothing in comparison with what you've got to deal with but may help some of them.
    I think it would be wise to get rid of the plum in the centre of the garden, the leaves falling in autumn might also create a hazard for you.
    We can see the differences you are making and that's a positive Helene. Rome was certainly not built in one day! I hope the temps drop a tad so your plants get some respite.

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    1. Thanks Angie, it’s a good tip to plunge plant pots into water – not sure what I would plunge them into though as I have about 350 pots and containers in the sun that are the most water hungry….that’s a lot of buckets :-) I have got a better system for watering now though, with a lot of the plants now placed into the cleared beds so they are standing on soil rather than on paving slabs. That helps in two ways as it keeps the pots hydrated for longer and when I water them, some of the water drains down in the bed so eventually when I get to plant there, the soil will have loosened up a bit. When I am finished clearing up everywhere none of the pots will be standing on paving slabs, but I have a bit (LOT) more to prune and clear away. A bit cooler today, only 26 degrees and staying around this for now – much better!

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  13. Wow. You really have your hands full, and then the terrible heat on top of it. Hard to imagine London hotter than Los Angeles.

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    1. We often have some heatwaves during the summer, but they don’t usually last for long, a few days or up to a few weeks maybe. Today we were back to 26 degrees C and that’s perfect for me :-)

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  14. Oh Helene that is too hot for me....I could use some temps in the 80s and they are predicting them for this week....we have had too much rain here. I love how you trimmed those trees in the first picture. It looks so much better. I am due to trim a few of ours. You do have such a big job ahead of you, but it seems you are still hanging in there with all your plants....wishing you a few cooler days and some rain!

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    1. Thanks Donna, I am trying to be methodical and have an overall plan, but I must admit a lot of my energy is still spent on taking care of all the plants I took with me from my old garden. I think I will continue to slowly clear the garden for plants I don’t need or want, much of the planting will have to wait until the autumn anyway. Some rain would have been lovely, funny like you have had too much of it again, just like last year.

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  15. Helene, I also found with a new garden that you have no choice other than to be ruthless. Having said that it looks like you have so much going for you in your new place. I am going to be a firm addict as seeing how you progress is going to be a must.

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    1. Thanks Alistair, I must admit I still haven’t got a good plan for what this garden is going to look like, I need to clear away everything I don’t need or want so I can see what I have to play with first and only then can I sit down and make a plan. Today is the first time I have been in the corner of the shady garden – I have finally managed to clear all the rubbish from there and cut down some of the old, spindly shrubs. It was nice to finally see that area cleared – photos will come on the 15th :-)

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  16. I´m so far behind with commenting on these days......and here the same as in London, too hot, best thing is to sit in the shade of a tree with a cold drink and a (gardening)book. Your poor 700 or something pots with plants you have to water will be suffering too. Hope most of them survive. About the old trees and or shrubs, I think I should be rude and throw them out. You have so many beautiful replacements for them like magnolias and roses.
    But first take care of yourself with these extra-ordinary hot days, there will be more comfortable days to garden lateron.

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    1. Thanks Janneke, it has cooled down a bit over here, I hope you have got a bit more manageable temperatures too. My main problem with getting rid of plants and trees is that I can’t manage to dig up anything, I am no good at digging anymore so although I can cut and prune, things start to sprout up again very quickly. I think I need to hire someone to come and dig up the roots of everything I don’t want so I can get rid of them once and for all.
      I hope to plant the magnolia soon, it has suffered in the heat growing in that container, but will probably be fine again next year.

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  17. It looks like you are figuring it all out in the new space. Eventually, it will all come together. I enjoyed your video and could see your white Callas blooming. I tried one in a pot earlier in the year and it just didn't do that well. They were doing great when I had them in the ground, but for some reason, they do not do well for me in a pot. Also, love the Apple Blossom Pelargonium. I've seen this variety before on a web site and was tempted to order one. I recently started to collect the Scented-leaf Pelargoniums. I am in love with them! Your new space is very pretty. What an exciting project!

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    1. Hi Danielle, my calla lily is a Zantedeschia aethiopica which can actually grow as a marginal plant in water up to 30 cm deep. I therefore water my plant A LOT – I run the water into the pot until the water flows over the rim every time I water anything else in the garden, and these days it means every day. Last winter I watered a bit less but still watered in addition to rainwater, as mine was green throughout the winter and never died down. I think it perhaps would like a bigger pot next year, so I am hunting for a larger container but will choose a plastic next time as it doesn’t dry out so quickly. Z. aethiopica only comes with white flowers.
      Do you have Z. aethiopica or do you have one of the tender ones like Z. elliotiana or Z. rehmannii that comes in different colours? They also need a lot of water but not as much as Z. aethiopica and the tender ones will die down in the autumn and over here at least they will need to be lifted and stored indoors during the winter.
      Also, I keep my pot sheltered from the sun, so the pot is in the shade and the plant is in the sun so the roots don’t get ‘cooked’ – a bit like you’d do with a clematis. I just place other pots around it.
      Hope you’d get more luck with yours, it is an absolutely gorgeous plant.

      I have high hopes for Apple Blossom, they are babies still but I have other geraniums I have had for several years so I have hope these will overwinter well too.

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  18. I should also mention, your cat seems to appreciate all your hard work!

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    1. My cat has settled very well in my new place and moving house went without any problems at all.

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  19. Hi Helene
    Such a nice comment on my blog. Thank you very much. I was quite busy too, that's the reason I haven't been here. Wow, moving house and garden is quite a Job! What did your cat think of all that? Is he happy with your choice? Why did you move (yes I know I'm a curious Girl *smile*). I'm sure you will soon have a lovely green paradise again... you did already an amazing job. So nice of you to invite us. I'm sure it won't have been the last time, we were staying in UK. We have been in London at the Chelsea... huu, what a busy city. I felt, I was growing too old for that city :o) :o) :o). But the Chelsea was great... I had chicken skin and tears in my eyes, because I couldn't believe to be there. Have a great Weekend and much fun in your new garden.
    Take care
    Alex

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    1. Thanks Alex, my cat has taken moving house very well, in fact he doesn’t seem bother at all :-) I moved house so I could get to a house without stairs as my old house got too difficult for me to cope with. Here in my new house everything is on ground floor level and there is no stairs out to the garden either. A lot of work loving house and garden but well worth it – and I hope I will never have to move ever again!

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  20. I'm also rather behind on getting around to everyone's blogposts, so I'm glad to find I'm not the only one.

    So much to do in your new garden! I understand you wanting to get plants into the ground, but I would urge you to try and hold back learn more about the garden first, in particular how the sun and shade change from mid summer to mid winter. I know that means waiting which isn't ideal. But I know from experience that if you can, it's worth the wait as you will be putting the plants in the right spaces then.

    The hemrocalis are looking wonderful and clearly some of the plants are doing well in the pots and are flowering well. I look forward to seeing the blast of colour in the Hot bed next month.

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    1. I am going to wait with the plants that can cope with the potted life, but the roses are suffering and will need to get in the ground as soon as possible, along with some of the other sun-loving plants. I will just hope I get it right the first time around :-)

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  21. Wow, that's a job keeping up with all that in the terrible heat! And all the plants in pots, too! I just love those roses. They are so pretty! That is a lot of overgrown trees to deal with. I don't know very much about fruit trees, but hopefully someone will be able to give you advice. I'm sure you are so very busy settling in! Hope it gets cooler for you soon!

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    1. Thanks, I am slowly getting to grips with the garden, haven’t done much inside the house but I am prioritising the garden – of course! The temperature has cooled a bit, but I am still having to water every evening.

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  22. 44 degrees? I can't even imagine how hot that must be. I start melting at 28 degrees, which is what it is here at the moment. The humidity makes it feel hotter than it is. I am sure you will be glad when the cooler temperatures arrive!
    It is a shame you have to rush some of your decisions because of the plants in pots. I can understand the need to get them into the ground though. The vine on the wall sounds to me as if it will be hard to remove. It would probably swamp your roses though if you don't get rid of it.
    Seems like the moves and decisions you have made so far are putting you on track to having another beautiful garden Helene!

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    1. We have cooler weather now Jennifer, although in my back garden I can always add on at least 3-5 degrees to whatever is officially, but around 25 C degrees is perfect for me and that’s what we have now. I have decided to remove at least half of the vine for now, it can just be pulled as it grows from one point on the right side. It will be MANY bags to fill though :-)

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  23. I have heard about the heat wave Europe is experiencing on the news, it's double hard when you're trying to keep your plants alive as well as yourself. Plus, I don't know about you but I lose all interest in gardening at that temperature. I am in admiration of your cut or keep attitude, I really believe a garden benefits from our firm decisions. Hoping things switch to a more liveable temperature soon so you can get on with the planting of your garden!

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    1. Thanks Rosemary, we have cooler weather now, around 23-25 C degrees and that’s perfect for me. I have so many plants with me from my old garden that I have to be a bit ruthless with what to keep here, besides, many of the shrubs here are sorely neglected and would probably not look nice even if I try to reshape them so better to get them out and put in something nicer.

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  24. You are really putting in a lot of work in your new garden Helene and the results are already looking good. Just one thing about your cherry trees they are more than likely the wild cherry Prunus avium the fruit of which is very small and usually taken by the birds hence the Latin name. I have one which is now about thirty feet so they do grow into a substantial tree. I am sure you have done the right thing with your plum tree and that removing the Photinia would be the right move to give yourself some space. Good luck with your endeavours with your experience I am sure everything will turn out just fine :-)

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    1. Gulp, thirty feet?! Well, I hope I can convince the council to prune that tree for me, or at least thin it out for me. When I have done up the garden I will invite them for a survey and they can look for themselves how imposing that tree already is at this size, maybe they will look more favourably at pruning it if my garden is looking really good. The two gardens next to me is just paving slabs and weeds, nothing else, so I can see why they would not have cared much in the past about the impact of these cherry trees, but for me this really matters.

      I have decided to plant my Acer palmatum ‘garnet’ in the space where the photinia is now, next to the Salix integra. The acer is still in my old garden waiting for me to dig it up. I have an agreement with the man I swapped house with that I could come back in November to collect it along with one of the rhododendrons I had. By then I hope to have a space – and a hole for them both on this side of the garden.

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