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So mild


It’s very mild here and the ground didn’t seem that wet anymore so, in an energetic fit, I decided to plant one of my new shrubs that has been sitting outside for a few weeks.

Not only was it very satisfying but I managed to put in all three new shrubs, digging up a hated bush hydrangea in the process. I know many people love them but they are at the bottom of my favourite plant list along with annual red salvias.

All that are now left to plant are two clematis but the place I want them – on the front door side of an overhanging bay window which is north facing – has been covered with plastic and pebbles for a very long time, well before we came here. I know from experience that I won’t even be able to get a spade in the compacted clay let alone dig a hole so that’s a job for Him Indoors. Men do come in useful sometimes!

More blog posts by arbuthnot

Previous post: Winter in the garden

Next post: Still no solution to the huge ash tree



What shrubs have you planted Arbuthnot?

23 Jan, 2016


Yeah, we do come in handy.
"Oi! Dig that hole".
"Oi! Carry that heavy object here, no that doesn't go there, try over here . . . or here . . . or here and while your doing nothing reach that thing down from the shelf that even you have to stand on tiptoe to reach".
Yup, we're so handy.

Peace n love.

24 Jan, 2016


Lucky you to be able to do this in January.

24 Jan, 2016


With my back problem I resemble an ape trying to climb up Sainsbury's shelving to get something on the top which has been tidily placed in a box. Its the box which makes acquisition difficult. Usually a tall person comes along, says ' Can I get that for you ?' for which I am duly grateful. The solution is to buy 5 of everything, which reduces the difficulty by stocking up the larder.

24 Jan, 2016


I'm a little more polite than that Stjohn. I bat my eyelids a bit and ask for help. Usually works, even at my advanced age.

The shrubs were a cotoneaster horizontalis which went (almost) in one of the back corners and under the pergola. The birds should be safe there from the sparrowhawk that circles frequently.
The other two are pyracantha: the yellow berried one in the other back corner to brighten up the fence, and the red berried one on the front side of the house next to a laurel and which is to go up the house wall - if I'm lucky. That area is covered with pebbles too so having spread them round a bit I think we might have to buy a few more now. The laurel and pebbles were there well before we moved in.
I had to hide a smile yesterday. My neighbour was talking to me out of her bedroom window and mentioned that the previous occupant "...loved her garden". She did? There was no evidence of it whatsoever. She wouldn't recognize it now - it has plants in it! Many of them.

24 Jan, 2016


Well, maybe she meant the previous owner just liked to be outside, or your neighbour knows nowt about plants and gardens, or thinks you're spending too much time and money, no way of knowing where she's coming from when she said that really, is there... One of my sisters 'loved' her small garden, but I have to say, there were only about 8 plants in it, though she fiddled about out there for hours on end, not really sure what she was doing, it never looked much different, and she never did any major things like cutting the grass or cutting the ivy back, she relied on me or her husband for that. Mystifying really...

Some photos of your garden as it goes along would be great to see...

24 Jan, 2016


I wanted to add a photo to this blog but didn't know how. I have uploaded a poor one of the garden as it was when we arrived. Can't seem to find it though.
I shall take some of it's growing (!) progress when I can.

24 Jan, 2016


Ah, well there is a way, and you can add loads of photos to a blog - I think we all like to see new plantings and their progress over time, I certainly do.

25 Jan, 2016


I'd be grateful, Bamboo, if you could tell me how to add photos. I intend to go outside right now and take pix of the garden as it is two years after we moved here. Nothing earth shattering, no fantastic designs, but just an easy on the eye scene.

Now I've taken pictures it looks very boring but compared to what it was...... It will look better when Spring/summer comes.

25 Jan, 2016


Oh that's easy Arbuthnot. Click on "Edit Blog" then scroll down a little. Click on "Include Photos." Boom, you are there, "Choose file" follow normal procedure. Then "Include Photos" "Preview" etc. etc. Easy as pie - - apple pie!

25 Jan, 2016


I share your feelings for the pink mop head Hydraengas but they are very popular. I prefer the blue flowering ones but don't see many of those in my area as the soil needs to be particulalry acidic. People seem to let them grow so huge, as well. I know the feeling re the hard compacted clay.I have recently made a start on digging some beds in my front (tiny) garden. It has had slate chips on it for years before we moved in. But, as well as the solid clay, I am digging out huge quantities of builders rubble.

26 Jan, 2016


I've just looked at your profile and see we have very similar circumstances re our gardens. I had a lot of garden at my last house and have moved , in December14, to a very modern house with a small garden at the back .only 60 ft X 21 (at its widest) it was all lawn with no borders at all and just 4 shrubs of which I kept one. The others were all in the wrong position as was the shed (in the sunniest spot and right at the back of garden.) so, I took three shrubs out by the house to put a new shed in(right by the house in the shadiest spot of the garden.

26 Jan, 2016


Hey, you did it! I shall watch the progress through the year with great interest... I'll make a bet with you - I bet your lawn shrinks by at least a third over the next three years from cutting out more space for plants, lol!

26 Jan, 2016


I can't remember if I've posted a picture of my last garden but we've both done the same thing Paulspatch: moved to a tiny garden after having had a large one. It grew (sorry!) to be just too much work because you could hardly miss a day before it all got overgrown again. That's a country garden for you.
I won't take that bet, Bamboo, we already have plans to enlarge the bed along the back fence by curving it even more. So far I've had to curb my tendency to collect plants but.....

27 Jan, 2016


...but, they're irresistible, I know, only too well - I've only got a balcony now, but I still buy plants. Luckily, I usually sell them on to a client...

27 Jan, 2016


From my pictures you can see the dreaded ash tree on the right of the second and fourth pictures. The neighbour has told us she's going to have it taken down so we offered a contribution. It's supposed to be this winter but she's only been there one night to my knowledge since the autumn. I was excited at first but now I'm sceptical. It will be a long wait I fear.

27 Jan, 2016


It's a nice, sunny afternoon so I decided to prune and feed the clematis(s). This is the time of year to do it. What did I find? One clematis (Miss Bateman I believe, or it could have been Dr Ruppel) was covered in lots of big fat flower buds. I've never seen that before in January. Dilemma. Do I prune as normal or leave the buds? I decided it would be cruel to remove them so I hope they open out into lovely blooms.

BTW, what's the plural of clematis?

30 Jan, 2016

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