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Developments continuing at Shadowlands


Dear All,

Work has kept me away from the computer and the weather away from the garden. I have been out a few times, but we are now in the reainy season which will hopefully break in a week or so and leave us with hot, mixed, weather.

I continue to be astounded by the shear bio-diversity here and the fertility of the soil. If I planted carrots I should think I would end up with orange turnips!! The biggest problem is actually keeping up with the pruning (things need to be pruned even in the growing season because of the growth rate). I’ve planted two red honeysuckle and found a nice wild Japanese honeysuckle in the wods at the back. I think it will probably be white when it flowers, but who knows? It is certainly laden with flower buds. I’ve also some across a couple of beautiful shrub-like pants that have leaves a little akin to a nettled (though they are shooting off hardwood), currently it’s about the size of a reasonably sized hydrangea. The flowers are a kind of cross between hydrangea, nettle, and elderflower – with a slight fragrance. The photo perhaps does not show the colour well, but it is a very light (almost luminescent blue). In the shade at the back the colour ‘pops’ and it is stunningly beautiful. Anyone know what it is please ?
I’ve never seen it in the UK. It’s hard to tell whether it’s wild or has been planted there in the distant past. Anyway, I thought it might be of interest.

The kids have had their first strawberry (and I mean singular) of the year. Apparently very sweet. They are both enjoying the garden now and like to take flying leaps off the robust bench.

Just bought a weeping plum (not sure of the variety – the label is in Japanese). I really want to espalier it because the branching structure is perfect, but hopefully next year we are having an East facing wall built aling which will go peaches (momo) and apricots. So I’ll have to grow it as a full tree. I’ve found a sunny enough spot for it. The fruit trees in geenrall, though only now in the ground a year or so are growing prolifically, and perhaps I might see some blossom next spring. I live in hope.

I’ve also come up with a cost efficient way of making a path in the woods at the back. I have some conifer trunks left over from the thinning last year which are about 8-10cms in diameter, and so I’ll be banging some of them in to a height of 20cms. I also have a huge bamboo screen — for exterior use — which was with the hosue when we bought it. I am going to separate it into sections of 5cms and then wind them tudor hurdle-style along the edges of the woodland walk. It should not be too much work, doesn’t cost me a penny, and will hopefully look attractive.

Enjoy the photo below and if anyone knows what it is, please tell me.

Best wishes to you all. Have a relaxing weekend in the garden.


More blog posts by ptarotuos

Previous post: Wild Pitcher Plant at Shadowlands and other things....

Next post: Typhoon hits Shadowlands (again)



Hello Peter, it sounds like a very busy time for you and you really are finding some real treasures as well as planting your own to add to them, I like the sound of it all, the chidren are obviously having a funtime in the garden, how is the lawn doing?
Would you believe it but we are also having a rainy season here in the UK, the powers that be are calling it a drought!!!! the wettest one on record and NO !!!!! I`m not joking, weather is appalling, our gardens are very confused and we are suffering from a lack of sunshine as well as our plants, lol.
Will be waiting for next blog, hope you get to find what the plant is called, take care and enjoy your gardening..

16 Jun, 2012


Thanks Lincslass,

Yes, relatives tell me it has been wet in the UK recently. The problem here in the wilds of Japan is just the speed with which everything grows. Every weekend I am producing the equivalent of a skipful of just tree prunings and weeds. Normally I would burn it all but it is so damp and also being in a national park I don't think you are allowed to have bonfires like we would have in the UK.

I did purchase a strimmer a week or so ago, and it has been a godsend. The only way to do it is to fight specific weeding battles. I have set beds which I want somewhat manicured, the rest is just strimmed short every other weekend- when it is not too wet to do so. But the infrastructure is slowly coming and we are hoping that this year we can get the studio rebuilt into a Japanese bath house with traditional engawa (external corridor). Lots to do.


17 Jun, 2012


Oh, and GOY readers, as always the above blog was written quickly on my iPhone and auto-correct has done it's worst: of course I have not come across 'shrub-like pants' (I would be slightly concerned if I did) - I meant of course 'shrub-like plants'. Ptaro

17 Jun, 2012


Ptaro, have been given some magazines by my sis-in-law and there is a photo of 'new' plants and the one above looks very like 'virburnum plicatum 'kilimanjaro' !! Not sure if it is, but worth looking up. i do love reading about your garden antics and really look forward to some photos of the plants you are finding. That conifer path sounds good, have fun outside now maybe join the kids jumping of that bench.!!! Also I like the idea of 'shrub like pants!!!' Lol

17 Jun, 2012


Peter, I am intrigued with your plans for the new path. It does sound like it will blend in with the surrounds very nicely and as you say, the price is right...zilch! :)

I wonder if Grandmage has been able to label the mystery plant for you? To me it has the look of hydrangea but what would I know, inexperienced gardener that I

Happy trimming and chopping :)

18 Jun, 2012


Just saw you here Whistonlass, had to say hello, how are you, have not seen you in a while?

18 Jun, 2012


I have been without a camera for a few months now and not been in too great of health so kept a low profile, Michaella.

I got a message in my emails today to say I had a message on GoY so thought I'd check in and now an hour later I've got to tear myself away...too much to catch up on. Serves me right for being absent for so long.

We have some sunshine today which is most welcome...too much rain and the lawn is so in need of a cut and border trim (and there are some pesky weeds that just will not stop appearing too!).

Hope all is well with you, Michaella. I'm sure everything in your garden is coming up've got such green fingers :)

18 Jun, 2012


Hi Whist, how are you? Nice to have you aboard.

18 Jun, 2012

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