Sunday 13 November 2011

13.11. Incredible weather

It was 19 degrees mid-day in my garden today! A lovely day for doing a bit of tidying up and preparing the garden for the coming winter. As usual I took a few photos and will share them here with you.

But first, I had a look at some old photos the other day and found some early photos of my garden. What a transformation! The first photo is from December 2001, just after I moved in, apologies for the poor quality of the photo but this is a scan of a very dark photo. Still, I think you can see that most of the back of the garden is pretty overgrown and that the branches of the tall conifer are reaching all the way down to the ground. (Click to get a larger photo.)

The second photo is from about a year later, autumn 2002, after I had started clearing the garden, had found that a path was running along beds on each side of the garden, and that there was a small, pretty conifer among the brambles at the back of the garden. I had also started cutting off branches of the conifer. And the third photo is from summer 2003, now the wood edges on the flower beds were in place, more plants had arrived and I had put in the first arch I had – which rusted in only 3 years and had to be replaced with the current one :-)

And here is my garden today, with the new path and bigger beds. I am so pleased with the way it is looking now. Next spring I need to get a few more plants in to fill up the bed on the left side, as it is a bit empty here and there at the moment. But I do have quite a few herbaceous plants here that are doing their winter sleep now and will come back as soon as the spring has arrived so I suppose I will only need around 5 plants or so to fill up the bed properly. I am going to try to find some unusual plants, some with all year interest and preferably some scented one – a tall order for a shady side, but I am sure I will be able to find some if I spend a bit time on the Internet searching :-)

Do you remember the Loropetalum chinense I wrote about last month? It is in full flower now, so it wasn’t just one flower going off too early, it’s got 12 flowers now, and that’s probably all it will have this season – although this plant’s flowering season is not until the spring so it will be anybody’s guess if it will flower again next spring! The flowers look spectacular, really unusual, as strips of curly paper in bright magenta. Still no scent to detect, even if I stick my nose right into the flowers. That’s a bit strange, because I have read several places that these are supposed to be scented flowers.

But scent or no scent, the flowers look magnificent and extraordinary, exactly the look I want for my garden :-) I can’t wait for this plant to put on a bit more growth and become a bit bigger, although that’s going to require a bit of patience as this plant takes 15-20 years to reach full maturity! Fortunately it seems to start flowering even as a small specimen, not like for example most magnolias, which doesn’t start to flower until they are mature, typically after 20 years or so. I have wanted to have a magnolia in my garden, but firstly, I really don’t have the space for it, and secondly, I would have to wait an awful long time to get enjoy any flowers. It is often said that you plant a magnolia for your grandchildren to enjoy…although you can get some types of magnolias that start to flower after only 5 years or so. They still take a lot of space though…I need a bigger garden!

That’s it for tonight, next week we will get a bit colder weather, certainly not 19 degrees, but perhaps more like 12-14 during the day. There are still plants in flower in my garden so perhaps there will be some more photos at the end of the week, until then, take care.

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