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When we moved into this garden, 24 years ago, there was a very nice large ash tree at the end of it. It made a feature and the garden around it made a natural shade garden for trillium, corydalis, hepaticas etc. By the summer of 2012 we realised that the tree was far too big and casting both light and rain shadow over too much of the garden. I resolved this problem in December 2012 with the aid of a chain saw and neighbouring farmer. I was aware that the shade garden was now about to become much more exposed but left the plants and bulbs alone to see how they got on.
What I hadn’t thought about was a small ground cover plant behind the tree. This Pratia had been planted some fifteen years previously and just formed a small mat of pretty blue flowers. When the tree was removed the Pratia suddenly remembered that it was actually a sun lover and has expanded rapidly. Pratia spread by producing a mass of rhizomes that quickly choke out all other plants within reach and I realised that I had to do something about it.
As it was a nice day today I was down on my hands and knees with a hand fork prising chunks of this plant out and trying not to hurt others. Some bulbs are shallow rooted and I had to rescue lots of Cyclamen cilicium and Corydalis malkensis corms from the tangle of roots. Trilliums are much deeper rooted and I only had to be careful not to damage new growth on these. The hepaticas probably needed moving anyway; this was done carefully and they were immediately replanted in the shade of an acer.
Today I ‘cleared’ about half the area needed but, with there being so many bits of root, I will have to keep going back over it all summer removing new growth. The cyclamen and corydalis would still be OK in that habitat but I don’t want to keep disturbing them so they will have to be potted up temporarily in troughs. This is not the right time of year to do these things, but needs must and, hopefully, it will be dry again tomorrow.

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Hi Bulba, I used to have 2 big ash trees at the bottom of my garden, but they got so big that they put most of the garden in shade by about 4pm even at the height of summer, so I bit the bullet and got them down, 1 to ground level, the other with a stump about 5ft because it had all sorts of metal bits in it where fencing had been fastened to it over the years, it's now in the process of rotting off, but in the meantime makes a high bird table, Derek.

19 Feb, 2014


I'm sure that with both your care everything will be just fine. It's often easier to do something when it's fresh in the mind rather than wait til it should be done. I know I do.
My C. Malkensis are just about to flower. They get sun in my garden because the Cornus they grow beneath is still tiny.

19 Feb, 2014


that's one task that seems never ending. Glad you managed to get so much done. Lets hope it stays fine for you tomorrow.

20 Feb, 2014

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