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An opportunity.

35 comments


I don’t know if it was the winter or old age or what, but the prostrate Juniper on the stream bank decided to give up the ghost, all of a sudden.

This is it in its heathy condition.

But – just look at the state of it! It was getting worse by the day, so immediately after all the open days, we set to work on its removal – with secateurs, loppers, pruning saw and a chain saw.

It took two trips to the tip to get rid of all the branches.

The roots were like tree trunks – OH cut them off with his chain saw, and we have a pile of logs to burn in the winter.

So – here’s the huge space left after the debris was cleared away. It was about 11′ × 6′. The branches have killed a patch of grass which will have to be re-seeded. I dug the area over and added compost by the barrow load.

I thought about replacing the Juniper with evergreens, but the concern is that if it died from a virus, it wouldn’t have been wise to plant any conifers in the same area. I’ve sent cuttings of live, dying and dead pieces off to the RHS to see if they can tell me why it died, but I haven’t had any news yet.

So I made plan ‘B’. I spent a while on the net, and ordered some roses – seven of them! I chose colours ranging from amber through to tawny.

A set of exciting boxes arrived within two days, and the rest followed after the weekend. Such lovely colours!

This is the palest – ‘Easy Going’ – an amber shade.

And ‘Hot Chocolate’ is the darkest colour.

My absolute favourite is this one – ‘Tawny Tiger’. I just love it, and yes, it does have a scent.

At the edge of the bed, I’ve planted Lavandula ‘Hidcote’ which has very dark purple flowers. They’re just starting to flower now. I wanted to ‘pick up’ the colour of the Clematis at the bottom edge of the bank – ‘Gypsy Queen’.

In between the roses, I’ve planted Achillea ‘Terracotta’,

Rudbeckia ‘Autumn Shades’,

and Helenium ’Sahin’s Early Flowerer’.

At each side of the Heleniums, I’ve planted Geranium ‘Rozanne’ which will spread across the bank and flower until the first frosts. Here’s a flower – isn’t she beautiful!

It wasn’t easy, planting on a 45 degree slope, and my back suffered. I couldn’t believe that there were still such large gaps after I’d planted everything.

So having thought about what else I could add that would also look good in the winter, I went off and bought three Heucheras.

‘Autumn Leaves’

‘Marmalade’

and ‘Golden Zebra’.

Well – that improved it, but I shall have to think how to complete the ‘new look’ bank – it does look different, doesn’t it, but not quite right yet. Grass up to the edge will make it look better, of course. That’s the next job.

I’ll miss the Juniper in the winter months, but I had to look on its demise as an opportunity. I admit I enjoyed planning and replanting it – all except for my poor back, that is!

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Comments

 

It's certainly a lovely and very interesting bed now!

31 Jul, 2011

 

What a shame it died Spritz. Still your 'new look' is looking good. Those roses are gorgeous. You'll have to put more pics on when it's completed.

31 Jul, 2011

 

What a shame the juniper died, such hard work to get it removed too . I hope you find out the reason. I thought my garden was steep in places but this area of yours is really sloping. Hope the back and legs feel better now. The new border you have created looks so different now. I love your choice of colours especially the Helenium and roses. It's going to look magnificent when everything's settled in. The last pic makes the area look almost flat. Deceiving.

31 Jul, 2011

 

I just love all the plants you have chosen for the new bed Spritz......It will look fabulous when they mature a bit....Roses are gorgeous....

31 Jul, 2011

 

I just love your 5th picture delightful view of a very English country garden must be a pleasure to work in it B.... can you tell me which variety of Birch tree you have planted in the lawn please?
The border looks just wonderful a great choice of colour well done, hope the back is recovering now.....

31 Jul, 2011

 

I'm sorry you lost your lovely conifer, they stay around for so long, you wonder what's wrong when they're not there! Just right to look on it as an opportunity, and you've done a beautiful job! The colours are lovely, the rusts of the roses and achillea and the blues of the geranium and the lavender are just gorgeous together! Your garden looks glorious from above Spritz, it's a credit to you. Hope your back soon improves, just take it a bit easier for the next couple of days, and give it a rest...and some ibuprofen!!

31 Jul, 2011

 

No wonder your poor back suffered but my it was worthit! The colours you have chosen are beautiful I particularly like your speckled rose and the chocolate one too ! Oh and the heucheras are beautiful too! simply lovely well done.

31 Jul, 2011

 

simpley stunning , love all the colours you have chosen .. shame bt your back as libet says , rest up !! i have hot choc , carnt wait till it flowers ............. lovely

1 Aug, 2011

 

Lovely warm colours n those plants spitz - a lot of hard work removing the dead Juniper how strange that it died, it'll be interesting to see what RHS say.

1 Aug, 2011

 

Thank you all for your lovely comments. I'm enjoying the new view from the upstairs windows! I had a thought - I think I'll add Salvia 'Caradonna' in the gaps. :-D It's a dark purple and the 'spikiness' will add something - I hope!

My back's still painful, so I'll be on light garden duties this week, I suspect.

Dd - the Birch in the photo was here when we came, and it's the wrong shape for this garden, as it's very tall. We planted three B. utilis jacquemontii 'Doorenbos' close together to make a multi-stemmed tree about four years ago. When they're big enough, the tall spindly one will go.

Homebird, yes, that photo is deceiving - many's the time I've slid down the bank on my bottom while weeding on the bank! LOL.

1 Aug, 2011

 

Shame about the juniper ,but the new bed look's lovely worth all your hard work, the Tawny Tiger rose is such a lovely colour,hope your back is feeling better.

1 Aug, 2011

 

i really like that helanium and the rudbeckia.

1 Aug, 2011

 

Thanks - I'm indoors this morning, apart from walking Henry. I'm not planning to do much outside - maybe a little dead-heading which is much needed!

1 Aug, 2011

 

Lovely selection of plants there. I especially like the colours of the roses.

1 Aug, 2011

 

I think its great that you`ve chosen something completely different for your replanting, its what gardening is all about being able to rethink and renew, and your choice of plants will look wonderful when they all fill out and establish themselves. Those tawny shades especially if you do add the dark purple spikey salvia will definitely be a WOW .

1 Aug, 2011

 

What a great job!!

1 Aug, 2011

 

Lovely especially love your heucheras:)

1 Aug, 2011

 

Lovely photos and blog, Barbara . . . I do admire your energy and your taste! What a gorgeous combination you've chosen - they will certainly cheer you up - and the Salvia 'caradonna' will complete the picture. x

1 Aug, 2011

 

Oh, thanks muchly - I'm glad my new 'brainwave' sounds good to you. I'll have to look round for some Caradonnas now - what a good excuse to go off to GCs! ;-)

Thank you all - I'm so pleased that it looks good to you as well. :-))

1 Aug, 2011

 

You've done a splendid job there, Spitz! :-)) It looks really great now! I'd be interested in knowing what killed your Juniper.

1 Aug, 2011

 

How about one or two stipa tenuissima in there spritz? They would provide a contrast to the more 'solid' foliage of the other plants

1 Aug, 2011

 

I wondered about grasses, Andrew - I did look, and spotted a great Carex - but the label said it might need protection from frost. That was that! I have Stipa tenuisssima, in fact, I have a 'spare' one, so I'll see what it looks like in one of the spaces. Thanks for the idea. :-)

Balcony - I wish the RHS would hurry up! I'm pleased that you like the new planting.

1 Aug, 2011

 

What a shame about your Juniper. They may only be green/blue but they make a lovely statement. I do like your choice of replacements. As you say no point in crying over spilt milk it is an opportunity and a challenge. I hope your back is feeling better. Take care of it, no replacements available in that department. How about lots of cyclamen bulbs to give an evergreen carpet under your roses which can be in flower most of the year. Coum Dec to March, Repandum April then Europaeum July to September and Neapolitanum August to November.

2 Aug, 2011

 

I'll look into that idea, Scotsgran. Thanks. :-)

2 Aug, 2011

 

I think you're at your happiest when you have a project...all that planning..the excitement of choosing the plants...aching muscles a small price to pay. I love your colour choices and sahins early is my favourite helenium. I bought 3 last year and eagerly awaited their emerging shoots in spring ...as did my slugs and snails. I had seen them in Fourseasons garden with aucuba picturata, they looked fabulous so I bought one to go with them and added some verbena bonariensis which are now flowering. The aucuba pict is looking lovely, but all I have to show for sahins is a few spindly stems:-( How do you protect yours? I don't want to use poison. I'm really looking forward to seeing this bed next year when your newbies have grown...in person would be best, but your wonderful pics will have to do:-)

3 Aug, 2011

 

You were considering grasses for your bed. I have just posted a photo of my Sylvaticus Lazuli. It has a basal clump with lovely grass seed heads standing up above the evergreen foliage which has a very narrow yellow stripe down the edges of the leaves. I can send you some plants as I will need to repot this one soon. It is not invasive and will grow anywhere.

3 Aug, 2011

 

Lovely blog and pics. I really like your choice of roses. Who did you buy them from?? Can you post the website.

Thanks

3 Aug, 2011

 

I can indeed, Grannyb:

http://www.roses.co.uk/ and

http://www.fryers-roses.co.uk/

Ba - I haven't had to protect my Heleniums, but I probably should have in the hot border, as I seem to have mislaid one called 'Red Jewel'. :-( As Andrew said, slugs and snails enjoy the very young growth in the spring, so a few slug pellets will be placed in 2012! You could try the other anti-slug methods like beer traps, copper tape etc. You are right about my pleasure in planning and planting projects! ;-D)

Scotsgran, as I have all those ornamental grasses a few yards away (if you remember)I've decided not to plant any in this area. Thank you very much for the kind offer, though. :-)

3 Aug, 2011

 

Enjoyed the blog, Spritz. Sad to lose such a lovely specimen as the juniper..will be interested to hear what the verdict is from the RHS. It's a lot of fun to 'branch' out, so to speak. All that colour...wow! Challenge keeps you going too...even the back difficulties will be over soon and you have such a great creation to show for it! You mentioned walking Henry. How's the fellow doing?

3 Aug, 2011

 

He's fine, thanks Lori. A little less 'bouncy' than before he had the fits, but that's the medication of course.

I'm still waiting to hear from the RHS - it's lucky I had a plan 'B' isn't it - or the space would still be empty!

(I prefer plan 'B' anyway. lol.)

3 Aug, 2011

 

I've taken to using copper rings to protect vulnerable plants from slugs and snails. They are available from www.greengardener.co.uk - not cheap but very effective

3 Aug, 2011

 

That was a lot of work Spritz, no wonder you have an aching back. You sure have the knack for placing the plants, it looks good already but next year it will be stunning, I love the colour choices...
I`ll be very interested in any answers you get as regards the demise of your Juniper, mine at the back of my pond was dying last year, I cut at least half of it away to see if I could save it, we planted them over 30yrs ago so obviously I didn`t want to lose it, I seem to have stopped the die back and pleased to say its sprouting new growth in various places, even though people told me it would never do that, another conifer in the same area was also suffering where the juniper had been touching it, I`m still very concerned about that one and think I might have to remove it...

3 Aug, 2011

 

Thanks for the lovely comment, Lincslass. I'm sorry to hear about your conifers. As you saw, mine couldn't have survived. I do hope yours does! I'll tell you all what the RHS say when they get back to me.

3 Aug, 2011

 

Thats ok Spritz. I know you are enjoying the challenge and it is fun to see how members tackle problems.

3 Aug, 2011

 

I'd like someone to tackle my back too! I thought it would be better by now. :-(((

4 Aug, 2011

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