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Large Clumps and good intentions!


Now we have had a bit of rain everything is looking a bit happier, including me!
The Yucca on the first photo’s has a history going back to the early 1980’s. Way back then, pre my 2nd husband, I was visiting a water mill in Suffolk and bought a small potted Yucca which travelled with me through houses and relationships, one stable thing in my life!
It was planted in every garden and when I moved again the whole plant was either taken with me or one of the off-shoots. Eventually the plant was given to a friend when I moved again, then she moved and part of it came back to me. When we moved here it was plonked into the only available space that was weed free, one plant about the size of the normal Cordyline plants you buy, with the intention of planting it somewhere else eventually.
As you can see it now has grown into a massive clump at least 6 foot square and will probably have to stay there!

The following photo’s show an even larger clump of Teasels (Dipsacus fullonum) which self-seeded from one lone plant, itself came in from the wild, which I kept for the bees. These seeded in the end of the gravel path and the intention was to transplant them while they were tiny and they grew the long tap root, but of course that didn’t happen! So now they will stay and I shall be able to see the bees from the bedroom window, I look forward to those and the Goldfinches which also love teasels.

Other plants which have made huge clumps and will need to be sorted out are the Blue Globe thistle (Echinops), another bee plant, Bears Breeches (Acanthus) and the Bottle Brush (Callistemon) which takes up more room than expected and mingles with the Buddleija, also in the wrong place!

The climbers/rambler roses on the old fir tree stumps have gone mad and put out masses of new stems. Now I know these should be replacing the original old stems, but how do you disentangle the old ones from the netting around the posts? Or do I just hack the whole lot down and start again?

Some clumps are well behaved like the pretty white Astrantia.

But who know, I might be fighting my way through a huge clump of that later? And.. we won’t get on to the clumps of nettles, burdock and thistles on the field, all left while they flower, for the bees, and all forgotten, until after they have seeded!

You can see where the good intentions of the title comes from!

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These are great -they are more showy in big clumps anyway. Nearly everything in my garden is in the wrong place, even if sometimes its only a couple of feet but somehow when Autumn comes its easy to forget what you meant to do. You organised types will say write it down, but then you have to remember to look at the list...

8 Jul, 2015


Honeysuckle - I think your plants are very happy with their lot - they look magnificent - I bought a bottle brush bush at a reduced price from Wyevale at the weekend - but I think I shall keep that one in the pot - Jane

8 Jul, 2015


Well I think you are so lucky to be able to grow such beautiful plants Honeysuckle. I am green with envy.

8 Jul, 2015


Thanks for being understanding Steragram! There are so many things that need to be moved, pruned or divided that perhaps a list would be the way to go. Sadly having done this before the list gets longer and more depressing, I usually give up and go back to my old ways!

For Jane - I think they are happy, so I shouldn't complain. Some of the plants are not happy, so I should just concentrate on those. The one that springs to mind is the Gunnera which got planted near the pond, then moved as I decided it would get too big there, now where I would like it to be is miles too dry and it looks as if it's about to pop its clogs! Another job very, very soon before it does!

For Linda - Thank you for your kind words, I am not sure that you would be quite so envious if you saw the state of the garden the majority of the time. This week I was up at the front pulling bindweed out from the Pyracantha hedge trying not to dislodge the berries when I disturbed a Ghost moth. Pretty little white tattered wing moth - which breeds on bindweed! Big guilty conscience going on as I pulled it all out.

9 Jul, 2015


Bindweed - now that presses the sympathy button!

9 Jul, 2015


So many loveLy plants.I love Teasels and Astrantia.
And, the Yucca is of my costimers has one that is flowering like this but last flowered 3 years ago.Does yours flower each year?

9 Jul, 2015


Thanks Steragram for the sympathy, I assume it is for me having it in the garden, rather than for the moth. It was here when we came, but studiously digging it out has weakened it over time and I have high hopes (live in hope) that it will one day be gone. It was only in one place, but... OH moved some soil and took the bindweed and ground elder (yes we have that too!) with the soil, so now I have another place to look.
For Paul - I love teasels too, such a subtle colour when they come out and the bees adore them, then later we get Goldfinches which is about the only time you can see more than the odd one. The Yucca flowers every year, I think it had two last year, but this year is the first time it has had so many, it's obviously settled in. The Astrantias are somehow just a bit alien and I like them too, did find two today smothered in weeds and very stunted so have moved them to a (hopefully) more happy place - well I move house, so they might as well too!

9 Jul, 2015


Love it when I read blogs like this, I too have many mistakes that just never to seem to get corrected, it all looks very happy and healthy Honey so leave well alone, lol.....The Yuccas look stunning and all the roses are fabulous, get the shears out in the winter if you think its a bit top heavy but only if you really feel you must......

9 Jul, 2015


Thanks Lincslass a bit of empathy goes a long way. I might have a big garden, but when I look at this site and see the wonderful, tidy gardens that everyone seems to have, I do tend to despair! I don't think that mine will ever be that tidy, as soon as you turn your back there are hundreds of weeds popping up or a plant has taken over more room than intended (even if I do read the label and decide that it has enough). I might not weed something for a while as there is a bird nesting close, or as this week the wild garden (literally) was being thinned out only to find hundreds of ladybird larvae, so those plants got left!
Roses are a bit of a mystery as I have never really grown those, so all the training and replacing of old stems with new seems very daunting!

10 Jul, 2015


Everything's obviously happy Honeysuckle and the wildlife are loving it so enjoy, that's way more important :-) I have bindweed and ground elder too and have given up worrying about it I pull it out when I see , it never seems to get any worse from year to year.
Your roses are stunning ;-)

10 Jul, 2015


My garden is a happy lived in one shared by dogs, cats birds and anything else that finds its way there, no way will it ever be pristine and thats the way I like it, good job this year as I cannot care for it as much, Mother Nature isn't helping by trying to turn my lawns brown, hubby thinks its great though as I've stopped him cutting it weekly to help the grass survive...Typical isn't it..

10 Jul, 2015


What big clumps. They must like your garden.
Your roses are pretty :)

10 Jul, 2015


Very very tidy gardens make me nervous and feel incompetent. Lets face it I'm not very good at keeping the house tidy and the garden has priority even over that so if that's a mess there is no hope really.

10 Jul, 2015


Thanks Lincslass makes me feel a lot better, my garden tends to be very wildlife friendly, but I do have to draw the line somewhere and cut some grass and pull some weeds! We are on clay and though this dries out in the summer, the grass tends to stay green, perhaps because it is more weed than grass?
For Hywel - The clumps are huge and still spreading! The Yucca is in a very dry spot which is sheltered from the wind by the Elder behind while this is in leaf and the stems tend to 'cut' the wind the rest of the year.It then has the sun for most of the day and obviously likes it. The Teasels I always associated with damp places, but they grow by the roadsides here so probably not! The roses are a picture at the moment, bought from Beales Roses. Having told them I wanted climbers/ramblers with open flowers for the bees, they never told me that these all only have one flush of flowers - so it's enjoy them while they are there. They do get hips later, but no-one seems to eat them!
For Steragram - You sound very much like me, garden first, dusting etc., whenever! It's only when you know there is someone coming to call (who you can't keep in the garden) that panic sets in and you have to do dratted housework!

11 Jul, 2015


How true - we are having people next week with a cat dander allergy so its thorough vacuuming all round on Monday unfortunately!

11 Jul, 2015


Pity about the roses, but they beautiful while they last.
Have you thought of having a clematis or something to climb through them ? It would add colour after the roses finish flowering.

12 Jul, 2015


Thanks Hywel, just goes to prove that you should do some research before you buy! I have actually planted some clematis but they are not particularly happy as it is quite dry up that part of the garden. Just this minute had a quick downpour, so perhaps that will help!

12 Jul, 2015


What a lovely blog & so good to find someone that doesn't have a neat & tidy garden, lol. Like Stera, neat tidy gardens make me feel incompetant & quite depressed about my own. My garden now is small compared to what I had in another life but I'm still battling the bindweed, nettles & ground elder.
My house also takes 2nd place when it comes to sorting out - I call it 'lived in' but do panic when a caller is coming & I have to manically clean up.
Honey, just enjoy your lovely plants & be as happy as they are.

30 Aug, 2015


Thanks again Green finger, the garden is looking a bit past it's best now we are creeping towards Autumn. Rain, and lots of it today, but did manage to trim back the Roses on the stump trellis at the top. Took me all day and lots of ripped fingers, hands and clothes - lots of swearing too and confusion on why I planted roses rather than something without thorns! Except perhaps it is rather dry for Clematis and roses do love the clay soil we have here.
The bit at the top which was left for wild flowers, looked good earlier, but is now quite tatty looking, but did harbour Ladybird nymphs, unknown caterpillars and I saw a lovely white Plume Moth when I was doing some weeding. Their larvae feed on bindweed so it does have a purpose.
Trying to grow some Lady's Bedstraw as the Humming Bird Hawk Moth larvae feed on that - more weeds, but someone has to help them, no help in the farmer's fields these days!
Nettles are the food plant of Peacock butterflies, so there's your excuse, Ground Elder not so sure about, I try to get rid of that too.
Talking of tidying the house, must do some of that as I am expecting visitors from overseas this month, just a visit, not to stay thank goodness - can't be that tidy!!!

31 Aug, 2015


It rained here too - most of the night & pretty much all day.
Apparently you can eat ground elder, picked before it flowers & flash fried with a knob of butter, goes well with a spoon or two of raspberry puree or just washed & eaten as salad leaves.
Most plants / weeds are a food source for something, honeysuckle & night flowering ones are particularly good for moths.Variety is a good rule of thumb.
There's no chance I could ever eradicate all my weeds, I have plenty of wild areas plus the huge unmanaged hedge but I would like some borders to be at least weed free-ish, lol.
I had a teasel turn up which I hoped would multiply but it didn't, never seen it since.

1 Sep, 2015


Don't know if I fancy Ground Elder, I always thought it was poisonous, so I shall have to look that one up - always something to learn!
We only had one or two teasels and they took a long time to spread. Sitting in bed reading my book and drinking my morning tea, there was so much chittering outside I had to get up to look. There on the Teasels was a young Goldfinch shouting to be fed, while the adult was on another. That's what the Teasels were left for, the Goldfinches and hopefully the Long Tailed Tits when they come over in little flocks. Just goes to prove you need some weeds, you wouldn't see the Goldfinches feeding on some of the hybrid plants - not that I'm knocking them, but you need the native stuff as well.

2 Sep, 2015


I thought so too, Honey, that's why I looked it up to see if 'is ground elder good for anything'.
This link is interesting:

I was hoping the teasel would increase for the goldfinches too, I even bought a packet of seed but still no joy.
Years ago I used to use a teasel to brush up fluffy jumpers after they'd been washed & looked flat.

2 Sep, 2015

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