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"The Haven" (2)


By david


I had a very enjoyable full day in my adopted garden on Tuesday, even though it poured with rain non-stop! Cleared the last-remaining overgrown border of ground elder, “sticky willy” and, even, giant hogweed! I was sure I could hear the shrubs sigh with relief!

A weeping cherry, which last month was blooming marvellous, is now looking very unwell. Lots of dead twigs, only green leaves on a quarter of the branches, and blobs of amber jelly very much in evidence. I need to decide whether this is drying sap, or canker. It is a clear amber colour, rather than “milky” and has a definite jelly consistency, but is all over the “dead” branches of the tree, although not on the trunk. Hmm,,,,,,,,,

I am enjoying this Wisteria, in bloom now.

I would love to have one in my own garden, but have never had the space/location to grow one.

Unfortunately, however, the future for this one is uncertain. Behind, and under it, is a very old touring caravan, which has somehow got well and truly stuck, and has for years been used as a store for those things “you don’t need now but might, someday”. The plan is to dismantle it piece by piece,, but we have been told that it might well contain asbestos. Lorries, etc., cannot get up the mile-long track to here, and the caravan is between an ancient dry-stone wall and this Wisteria, which long ago outgrew its trellis supports and is resting on the roof of the caravan.I am currently relying on this Wisteria as the basis for a small garden area with a hint of oriental. Hmmm………………….

Well may YOU laugh!! I love this mischievous-looking “elf!” I call him Peter, as he reminds me, in a way, of Peter Pan and our own garden theme.I’m not sure what the shrub he’s sitting next to is, though. Hmm………….

My first new project, the “Fernery/Hosalry/Woodland walk to Nowhere” is beginning to look good, even if it is new.

We bought 3 Hostas, then divided them and planted up separately. Transpanted some ferns from elsewhere in the garden. I decided to include some Heucheras, too, for colour contrast, and brought along some divisions of “Chocolate Ruffles” from my own garden, which are doing well in the semi-shade, and now have flower stalks. I love the mossy stones from a collapsed wall elsewhere in this garden. Couldn’t really submerge these, due to tree roots, but willl top up now and then with more compost, etc., and the plants will grow and hide part of them.

A month ago, this part of the garden was full of rubbish and bags of broken slate. It seems, also, to have been an earlier dumping ground for the grass cuttings, etc, and so the soil here is a rich, crumbly loam, such as you would expect from a good compost heap.

The rain finally stopped at 5pm, just as I gave up for the day. Had a quick coffee before leaving, and admired the surrounding countryside views from here. This is one of them……………..


But, taken on an earlier. better day! Hmm………..

Whatever the Weather (as the saying goes)!! :-))

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you can borrow my garden anytime, you are doing such a lovely job!

10 Jun, 2010


Great stuff David.......your are obvously enjoying your new venture....and we will enjoy reading about it. That wisteria is a "bobby dazzler".....ah....can just make out that caravan....pity you couldn't just leave it; the wisteria will eventually completely hide it?

10 Jun, 2010


Hi David...
Interesting to see the improvements you are making.
I recall on GoY last year a Question about a poorly ornamental cherry tree weeping all kinds of jelly type sap.. Don't know if you would be able to find that Question and the answers... If not... you could put a new Question on GoY about it...

Be wary of the asbestos... just in case it has spread to any other parts of the garden...

I like the heuchera planting you've done... :o)

10 Jun, 2010


Hmmm ... ther's a lot of Hmmms going on here David ! Im sure you'll think of a way to either disguise or dismantle the old caravan. The Wisteria is gorgeous and your rockery area with the Heucheras is very pretty, well done on your work so far. Typical of the rain to stop just as you'd finished.

10 Jun, 2010


Your garden is really lovely

10 Jun, 2010


Hi David I copied this from BBC Local Lancashire "ask the Gardener " programme.Hope it is of use. If not maybe you could take a sample in to one of the garden centres.

Mary Clay asks...
I have a yeodensis ornamental cherry that only got planted a few monts ago and is around 6-8 ft high. It is bleeding sap in various places up the truck and on some branches. What is wrong with it and what can be done?

Bill replies...
If there is orange gluey liquid oozing from the trunk and branches Mary the symptom is synonymous with bacterial canker - which is an air borne fungal disease which enters Cherry Trees through damaged branches and wounds in the tree. The other disease which your tree could be suffering from is Gummosis which is a physical disorder which causes patches of gluey gum to appear on the surface of the branches and trunk and both Cherry and Plum trees are very susceptible. You do need to check your tree carefully Mary and if the gluey substance is appearing from damaged branches if could well be canker and you will need to cut out the infected areas and treat the wounds with Aborex. If there is just patches of glue gum on healthy stems and shoots it could well be Gummosis for which there is no specific cure but applying a good general base fertiliser in early will help to improve the vigour of the tree.

Having decided it was hopefully Gummosis, I found this link with a photograph of said disease -

10 Jun, 2010


Lovely Fernery / hostary and heuchary David, love the Wisteria and Peter looks happy sitting next to the pretty bush
I hope the wisteria survives the caravan removal for you and the cherry is not too seriously poorly
A super place to work David rain or shine and getting better with your every visit :o)

10 Jun, 2010


glad your enjoying doing the garden.... hope the wisteria survives its so pretty.....

10 Jun, 2010


Many Thanks for the feedback, folks.

Would love to, Georgiamum, but the travel costs are too prohibitive and time-consuming, lol! :-)

Yes, lots of "Hmmms", Shirley, as plenty to think about. The garden owners are getting into the "swing of things" now that things are happening, so taking onboard what they talk about.

Am wondering if I could start erecting a kind of pergola-style support for the part of the wisteria resting on the caravan roof, prior to its dismantling. Actually, have just had an idea for using those wooden washing line props/stretchers to temporarily support it. I saw some extra ones lying around there, and there are some in my own garden, which I don't use! Eureka!!

The owners are maintaining that the caravan must go - I wanted to try moving it into the adjoining field where the "allotment" will be created for next year. I thought that it would make a great "howff" (as we say here) i.e. a bothy for teabreaks and snacks, also for starting off seeds? The husband agreed with me on this, but Mrs had the last word (of course, lol!).

Many Thanks, Scotsgran, for the link to Gummosis. I copied and pasted it and, with that pic, am pleased to say that this looks exactly like what is on the cherry tree. Have texted to say to have some kind of wound sealant in the garage for me for Monday - they will be pleased, if it saves their lovely tree.

Am looking forward to seeing how the Fernery/Hostalry/Heuchary grows and develops.I daren't mention a variety now, but I get the reply "Oh yes, get me one of those, and I'll refund you". I was talking about Japanese painted ferns and green and white Hostas at the time, lol!


10 Jun, 2010


I'm so glad to have helped. I hate losing mature plants. I think if the Wisteria has to be almost cut out it should regenerate. Maybe Bamboo or Andrew R one of the other professional gardeners can help. Just do not allow that root to come out before you make sure it has to go.

11 Jun, 2010


Scotsgran has asked me to read this blog regarding the Wisteria in particular - I don't see that you're intending to take it out at all, but cutting it right back will cause no problem to the plant, it'll just be smaller.Wisteria can actually be grown in a large pot if its pruned rigorously and still produce flowers every year.

11 Jun, 2010


Thanks for that Bamboo. David said its future was uncertain because of the need to get rid of the caravan. Two heads are always better than one especially if one of them knows what they are talking about. It is a beauty and I'm so pleased for David and the owners to know it will recover even if they have to prune it back very hard.

11 Jun, 2010


Thanks again, Scotsgran, and Thank You, too, Bamboo. The wisteria will definitely not be dug up and discarded. Will try to save as much of it as possible, but some of it is bound to get damaged during the caravan removal (not a job that I shall be involved with, Thank Goodness!). Great news to know that pruning means that some of it will be saved. :-))

Incidentally, the garden owners got "carried away" with enthusiasm yesterday, and felled a 10ft high conifer next to the caravan, where we are planning to have a small raised pond. As they dragged it clear of the site, a nest with 2 chicks fell out!! Aaargh! I told them to leave this area alone until end of the season, as there is no way I'll have time to make a pond before then. Luckily, there is a bird rescue centre only 3 miles away, and the chicks (don't know what kind as haven't seen them) seem to be okay.

11 Jun, 2010


<<Wisteria can actually be grown in a large pot if its pruned rigorously and still produce flowers every year.>>

I love Wisterias if they will take to heavy pruning & still live to produce flowers, I could have a go on my balcony!

11 Jun, 2010


Seems that you can, Balcony! This would be a marvellous addition and talking-point on your balcony. :-))

11 Jun, 2010


Glad to hear you are not going to be involved with moving the caravan. It will need licensed asbestos removers and will need to be taken to a special tip. Hope baby birds survive all right.

11 Jun, 2010


I was, too, lol! I was wondering if Fife Council might offer help/advice on removing the caravan, so will check this out. Apart from the old dry-stane wall, wisteria, etc., there is a problem with access along the mile long track to the house, especially for heavy vehicles (even the bin lorries don't come up it, no home delivery grocery vans, etc.) I can't even bring bags of sand, cement,etc along it in my little Nissan Micra, or I'd get bogged down, or lose the exhaust!!!

Just something else for me to think about, lol!

11 Jun, 2010


Then how on earth did they get the caravan up there in the first place???

12 Jun, 2010


aha, Balcony. I wondered myself, and asked. The caravan was brought here 24 years ago. At that time there was another, better road through a field with a gate on the main road. This road is now a mere right-of-way footpath through long grass, and the field was sold off and is now a dense willow plantation, grown for commercial purposes. The caravan was installed in the garden before the garage, carport and shed were built, when only the old wall was standing. I can only just get the wheelbarrow through the gap to the lane,now. A few yards to the right of the wisteria, the ground drops as a steep embankment to a fast-flowing stream, then up again into another cultivated field, both banks now with fairly dense woodland. :-(

12 Jun, 2010


That means to remove the caravan it will have to be dismantled by specialists in asbestos removal. Who will pay for that or is it the local council's obligation being as asbestos is considered a dangerous product & a public heath risk?

13 Jun, 2010


I love your "Peter Pan "he looks so happy near that very pretty plant

14 Jun, 2010


Hi just picked up on this blog! Heap big panic when you mentioned ASBESTOS! Beware. I was diagnosed with Mesothelioma in 2007 and it is believed to have been caused through the job I had when I left school i.e. I was training to be a Medical Laboratory Technician and some of the apparatus used was lined with asbestos, also the mats for the Bunsen burners were asbestos plus the building was very old with lagged pipes and partitions to make extra rooms so a pretty hazardous place what with exploding test tubes and autoclaves, open ended pipettes for sucking up medical specimens, a dodgy fume cupboard, no gloves, face masks,or eye shields and no Health and Safety in operation. Just a few ignorant juveniles learning the ropes with a lack of supervision. I must have breathed in some asbestos fibres and they can lay dormant for up to 60 years before causing trouble. It is when they travel through the lungs to the pleural cavity (lining around the lungs) and start a cancer that it is called Mesothelioma. DON'T TOUCH THE CARAVAN EVEN WITH A BARGE POLE!
Loved all the photos and account of what you are achieving. Our little pad is beginning to bloom and we hope to enjoy basking in the sun one day soon.

16 Jun, 2010


its looking lovely david and i love the elf to ;o))

27 Jun, 2010


i agree wth san fab job .love the wisteria as well just prune it down and it will b fine they grow very quik . i have 2 of em . every things comeing on a dream

7 Jul, 2010


Many Thanks, folks. Will NOT touch the caravan, must ask on Friday if there is any progress on this. So very sorry to read about how you got your ill health, Lynn. Hoping that you are having plenty of sunny, dry days to be out in the garden, even if just to sit and enjoy your achievements. :-)

Thank You, Sandra and Cristina. I will, perhaps, tackle the Wisteria on Friday when I'm there. :-)

7 Jul, 2010

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