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A Mountain of Stewed Rhubarb (and other free plants).

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Yes, that’s right…Stewed Rhubarb in my garden and, some of it was free!
I speak, of course, of this Sedum ‘Stewed Rhubarb Mountain’ of which I purchased 5 at Merriments Gardens/nursery last month. But, whilst planting, a piece broke off so, I plonked it in a pot in some compost(a mixture of seed/cutting and general purpose) and added a little grit then placed in my cold frame.Within about three weeks, there were new roots and, quite a lot of them. I will probably keep it in the cold frame over winter before planting out next spring. My new garden still needs some plants, particulalry for the front of the borders where there are gaps. But, I will wait till next spring to see how the other plants have spread before adding new ones.

The ladybirds and Bees seem to like it as well !

But, this Sedum cutting is not the only ‘free plant’ I have in (and to go in) my garden.
If I tell you a secret , you won’t tell, will you??……promise?
Well, I visited the beautiful RHS Hyde Hall ( my local RHS garden and one of my favourites…..I would go every weekend if Julie would let me especially, as we live even closer now ! But, as we walked around the fantastic Dry garden( a new addition since we first went to Hyde Hall quite some years ago but, very well established now.) I noticed, growing up in the paths around the garden, some Stipa Tennuissima self seedlings. Now, strictly speaking….if you subscribe to the view ‘a weed is a plant in the wrong position’ …..I think you get my drift and know where this is going.Well, what a good chap I am….I did some unpaid weeding for them!! And, I usually charge £11.50 an hour to do gardening for my customers!
Well, would you believe it………these little fellas are in my cold frame!

Now, I had on my shopping list, a bronze fennel but, showing them to Julie at Merriments, she really didn’t like them(they can get a bit tatty looking) and, as it was going to be planted very close to the patio doors, I felt compromise was in order. I really did do well when purchasing my plants ,over a couple of months, and stuck pretty much to the shopping list apart from the odd change when I was unable to source a particular variety of a plant.
I wanted a contrast to all the strappy, thin grass and Agapanthus foliage so, I thought the feathery Fennel would be just right. So, I saw this plant and bought it , a bit on impulse, really.Julie agreed it was a good compromise from the Fennel. But, I had very little to go on….only the details on the label(and, let’s face it…they are there to sell the plant) So, I took a chance and this is it….Eupatorium capillifolium.It can be seem in the foreground of the border from this view.
It is quite a tall growing plant ( approx 6 FT) so, just what I wanted, really.
But, when I returned home and googled it, I found that it is treated as a weed in the dry areas of parts of the USA.I wonder if any of our friends from across the pond may be familiar with it. It seems that as well as self seeding, it send out suckers. So, I decided to try and restrict it. I took one of my potato planter bags and dug it into the soil, then planted the ‘Elegant Feather’( a common name, evidently) into the bag. I will keep you informed as to whether this keeps it in check over the years.I have a feeling it may not last too many years in my garden (if the potato bag doesn’t restrict its spread, it will get the old Heave Ho ) but,I do like the effect it gives.

Another plant purchased at Merriments is this Achillea ‘Terracotta’ which isn’t a particularly big grower.I feel it fblends in well with the grasses which are the predominant plants in my borders/beds.


It’s nice to see some other ’ free’ plants doing well in my new garden.These are plants (mainly seed grown, including self seeds and divisions as well as pot grown plants …all from my old garden) are helping to add some colour and as in the case of these Verbena Bonariensis, bring in the Bees.
The Agapanthus are all but finished flowering now (as are the Crocosmia Lucifer and Sea Holly but, I was thrilled to see that this Kniphofia ’ Ice Queen’ ( a small division from the main plant in my old garden) has two flower stems just coming (only one visible in this picture)…a real bonus, I had given up on flowers from it this year.

Another import from my old garden is this Japanese Anemone (Windflower) ‘Whirlwind’ , a fairly tall growing (approx 4ft) plant with semi double white flowers.It’s mother plant grew(probably still does) by my driveway in the side garden at my old house.

This Japanese Anemone is, I think( and hope) Queen Charlotte) a fairly small growing plant with double pink blooms. I’m hoping it is Queen Charlotte and not the much bigger(single flower) September Charm as that one spreads quite vigorously, which was ok in my old garden but not in this much smaller one.I was confident I had taken a piece of Queen Charlotte but, the buds look to me like they could be single flowers. but, it looks more the size of Q C so, we’ll have to wait and see!

My old Wisteria has taken a real battering but, seems to be happy in it’s new home , clambering on a wall at the back of my garden. I have had this plant for quite a few years but it had always been in a pot. A seed grown plant(not grown from seed by me) as opposed to a grafted specimen, it was reluctant to flower and took about 4 or 5 years to oblige(not before I spent two years nurturing by pruning each side shoot to five buds in late summer and then two buds in late winter…oh, and fed it regularly from spring to summer with liquid Sea Weed). I had decided to send it to the garden centre in the sky if it didn’t flower one year but gave it a reprieve.Good that I did as the next spring it produced a few flowers then an increasing number each year although, as it was sited in such a windy spot (that was one down side to my old garden) a lot of the flowers dropped off. Then, last year, it didn’t flower at all. And, I am ashamed to say, it got very badly neglected last year as we concentrated on selling our home and finding our new one…boy, that took some time!! I reckon it went without water for some weeks which, is not good for a potted plant and I honestly thought we would lose it but, decided to be optimistic (unusual for me ), cut off some dead stems and brought it with us. And, here it is….whether it will flower next year and whether any flowers will stay on , remains to be seen but, it certainly looks healthy at the moment and is putting on lots of new growth! It obviously prefers being in the ground!


This pot also came from the old garden and the Clematis ‘Alpina Constance’ is certainly thriving in its new home (it just keeps flowering) along with the Eucomis (Pineapple Lily)


This Dahlia ‘Bishop of York’ was only planted in the garden (from it’s pot that it travelled in) very recently but has bulked up and produced lots of flower buds!

And , now a couple of random photos taken in the garden today!

So, a lot of promise in my first summer with this garden….I am very pleased and also, excited to see how it develops next year.Although it is a very different style of garden to my previous one, I’m happy to have incorporated so many of my old plants!

Have a great weekend (not much gardening for me as Footie tomorrow and, I believe, more rain Sunday.)
Happy gardening

Paul.

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Comments

 

Let's see...‘a weed is a plant in the wrong position’ Does this mean my "milkweed" really isn't a weed at all? but a true plant? I've grown milkweed from seed for the Monarch Butterflies since their numbers are declining and that's the only plant they go to for egg laying. Can I just call it "milkplant" or butterfly plant?

21 Aug, 2015

 

It's yours Bathgate.....call it what you like ha ha...I know what I'll be calling this Eupatorium if it spreads too much...and I won't be able to repeat it on GOY.
I didn't say that I subscribe to that view but, some do.
Is this Eupatorium, a plant you've heard of ?

21 Aug, 2015

 

You're right Paul, its come on amazingly in a short time and it sure is very different from the old one! I hope you'll put on a photo of the semi double anemone when it opens - I didn't know there were any! That "rhubarb" sedum looks very like one Bloomer sent me - hers looks really good next to a silver variegated shrub - possibly a euonymus, I can't remember.

21 Aug, 2015

 

your garden is looking wonderful Paul. Some lovely plants. I will be keeping an eye out for the Stewed Rhubarb as I think it is wonderful.

21 Aug, 2015

 

Yes Eupatorium is quite ubiquitous over here, mostly seen growing in open fields and lots. Nice job on those borders.

21 Aug, 2015

 

Your sedum looks like one Bloomer gave me too, Paul. I'm sure she said it was called Crimson Emperor. You've done really well to develop your garden in such a short time. I'm not sure about a weed being a plant in the wrong place, but well done with your bit of volunteer weeding!

21 Aug, 2015

 

I was fascinated by the Eupatorium...it reminds me of Mare's Tails! lol! So I Googled it and this came up on Crocus website:

Sometimes known as the dog fennel this is a foliage plant from south-eastern USA. Totally dissimilar to other members of this family it has wand-like 150cm stems clothed in filigree bright green foliage, an emerald foil to more colourful perennials. Insignificant flowers appear in November. Hardy only in milder southern counties in sharply-drained soils.

Thought it was funny that it is known as 'Dog Fennel' when you originally wanted Fennel! :) It is also called Hemp Agrimony, which I have heard of before but am not familiar with....well, it wouldn't survive here anyway.

21 Aug, 2015

 

should survive here Karen....we are in one of the mildest parts of the UK.yes, we chose it as it had similar foliag to fennel but a bit denser.
Yes, Stera and Waddy , I had a sedum at my old hose called Either crimson emperor or maybe purple emperor but it had larger leaves than this, darker flowers and the plant was a bit tighter, if that makes sense, this is a bit looser and floppy. Mind you, there were three or four red leaved varieties there , all fairly similar.
And , I'm pleased you're I,pressed with my voluntary work, Waddy!!
Thanks SBG...I picked it as I like the darker Sedums and I think it blends well with the grasses and , of course, is good at attracting insects.
Thanks Paul, yes, that's what I read....I hope it isn't as prolific here! If it starts to spread, it will be ousted.And, I think I will cut off flowering stems well before they produce seed!

21 Aug, 2015

 

I love the darker sedums too Paul. I have Purple Emperor and also Matrona. I love Xenox too, it has blue-green foliage. Very nice :)

21 Aug, 2015

 

Yes, Stera...I will put up a pic of the Anemone Whirlwind.....it's the same colour as Honorine Jobert but semi double !

21 Aug, 2015

 

Paul, I feel very much the same as you about seedlings and seeds. I have had some great plants from paths in my local park often by asking the gardeners but not always. I think one seed pod is ok.....in fact I took some yesterday and am looking forward to planting them. The plants will be cut back in the autumn and will all end up in the compost bin.

21 Aug, 2015

 

There were loads seeded all over the borders/dry garden but, I wouldn't dream of taking those even though some will be weeded out by the gardeners but, The seedlings on the path will be walked on.

21 Aug, 2015

 

With Stipa ten. I don't think anyone would mind. It seeds like crazy! I could have sent you some. :)

21 Aug, 2015

 

I only brought one with me then found another seeded in one of my pots and Shirley sent me some which I divided into 4 but, I wanted a fair few so these should do it although I have bought some seeds to sow next spring as well.

21 Aug, 2015

 

:))

22 Aug, 2015

 

Love your plants,Paul,and my Sedum is Purple Emperor,with, as you say,tighter flowers..yours has greener foliage,but it's very nice :o) I like the Achillea too..I saw a nice terracotta one at Tatton flower show..I made a note of the name somewhere :o) Mine are the tall yellow ones..but I shall look out for a couple of smaller ones..I prefer the single Dahlias,especially for the bees..and your grasses are coming on a treat..:o)

22 Aug, 2015

 

You have some really lively plants, Paul, and the garden is coming on beautifully. You must be very pleased with it!

22 Aug, 2015

 

your garden is coming along nicely Paul, and I love the Sedum Stewed Rhubarb such a pretty coral. Loved your blog I often help with the weeding when visiting gardens ;-)

22 Aug, 2015

 

Bloomer, thans for the name, I'll make a note of it. I looked again at it and the flowers are a lot redder than Paul's.

Paul, great - I love Honorine Jobert - lost mine and am bringing on a baby one.

Just remembered re thinning out surplus plants in pubic access gardens - I still have the descendants of a spider plant that came from a greenhouse in Sheffield's museum garden in the late 1950's - felt guilty about it for years!

22 Aug, 2015

 

I should have known you'd spot my mistake Bloomer, sorry I should have got it right as you gave it to me. Purple Emperor of course.

22 Aug, 2015

 

Its all looking wonderful Paul you little pirate offering to weed voluntary. 😂 What a pretty plant your stewed rhubarb is . I like the one they class as a weed fits nice where it is. Your Wisteria has come along leaps and bounds do you prune it I have nt a clue how to prune mine.

22 Aug, 2015

 

Yes, Dawn.........each side shoot pruned to 5 or 6 buds in late summer(end August/early sept) then to 2 buds in late winter (Feb/early March)

22 Aug, 2015

 

Thanks everyone...it seems this Sedum is quite popular...I am very pleased with it....hope it bulks up over next year or so.
I had Achillea Cloth of Gold at last garden, Bloomer but far too big for these little borders/beds although, I notice I have brought some with me(self seeds in some of my pots) but, I don't think I'll use them. This one is much daintier and more in keeping with my small grasses borders.
Brilliant, Stera, to be able to trace your current plants back to the fifties!!!
We are real heroes Teds, doing all that free weeding, apprentice we? We should get recognised in the New Years honours list fr services to open gardens..lol!!
I am pleased , thanks Melchi and , quite looking forward to seeing how the beds look by this time next year...Have I over planted??? Or not enough plants?? Will the plants look right together once established....Who knows but it's good finding out!

22 Aug, 2015

 

Your garden is shaping nicely Paul. You accomplished a lot in such short time. Nice collection of plants (which ever way you've obtained it).

23 Aug, 2015

 

Thanks Klahanie.....
I bought most....honest!

23 Aug, 2015

 

Its all looking great Paul and I had to smile about the "plants in the wrong place " ! I love all those grasses in your border too ! My friend is a landscape gardener in N. Ireland and is always sending me plants. I have the Stippa Pony Tail grass and Blue Glauca ! I often have self sets, so if you need either of these, I will send you some !
I love the Dahlia Bishop of York . Do you get plagued with earwigs ? I have a cutting garden on our little allotment and the flowers have been beautiful, but some of the petals have been nibbled ! So annoying !
I love your Sedum too ! You obviously have green fingers after successfully moving a lot of your plants ! When we moved just over 2 years ago from large gardens, I couldn't bear to leave much behind, so there are many shrubs and trees in pots which have to be watered daily, but its worth it !

23 Aug, 2015

 

I wish now ,Rose, seeing how the new owners have allowed my garden to go to ruin, I had brought more with me but, just not enough space.I've not had too much problem this year, not seen any Earwigs although something is nibbling the Bishop of York flowers. But, at the old garden, I had terrible problems with earwigs, particularly on the big, Cactus varieties .
I have some seeds of Stipa and a few others to sow next spring just to fill any gaps.

23 Aug, 2015

 

I know the feeling Paul ! If I had known I could widen the borders as much as I have, I would have brought far more than I did ! At the time, we needed to leave (I won't go into detail, but I did tell my goy friends at the time ! Willow Cottage blogs ! )

25 Aug, 2015

 

I can't remember the details but I'm sure I remember blogs about Willow cottage.

25 Aug, 2015

 

Aaaah yes I see now Paul that sedum is lovely and you've done so much in your new garden already, looks great :-)

7 Sep, 2015

 

Thanks simbad!

8 Sep, 2015

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