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Moving in


Well – there’s many a slip twixt cup and lip! As you know I was planning to be really virtuous and transplant a number of perennials when we moved house last month, but then along came the snow…. and though I managed to get some plants moved there seemed little point in transplanting anything that was then going to die with its feet in ice!

Still we are installed, the snow has gone, it was at least 7 degrees C at lunchtime, and since I was meant to spend the day lining curtains I sneaked out into the garden instead.

My official verdict? The new garden is heaven. Sorry I want to shout that from the nearest tree tops. It is heaven Heaven HEAVEN. Still dont believe me?
Take a look……..

In the Christopher Lloyd book I’ve just finished he points out that there is often more than one opinion – his and the wrong one. So if you would rather grow escholtzia and garden on sand you may want to turn away now, as there are more pictures of trees and shade coming up.

Not all of the garden is shady. It faces south and is on a fair slope so the top should be sunny after the sun has got its head above the trees, but this bit certainly is shady. So this is question number 1.

What are your favourite shade plants?

I am busy transplanting moss so that there should be a moss lawn if it works, and as the soil down here is very peaty (its next to a stream) I have put in a Leucothoe. There were a number of ferns too which I am adding to.
I’ve also got myself a hellebore foetidus and a skimmia which I am assuming can both cope with a lot of shade. Is that right? How low can the light go before these give up the ghost. I am guessing that the shade will be profound once the deciduous trees come into leaf.

I love next door’s Thuja Orientalis (is that right – I think that’s what it is on the right hand side). The plants my side of the boundary are sticking pretty solidly to green and blue green. So that’s question number 2.

What are your favourite winter plants for lightening the mood by adding gold?

It will come as no surprise that I have brought a variegated ivy with me, but I dont need any more large shrubs and need to look at fence and ground coverers now.

Finally question 3.

What is your absolute must have plant? I have more space now to experiment and want to be brave and yet safe – staying within the genre of the cottage, woodland or victorian garden. Isnt that annoying! I will be gardening organically though which means that slug and snail food is out.

Looking forward to all your advice – but please dont tell me to wait a year – I know I should but can’t actually wait any time at all!

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For the moment I'll just say... wonderful garden..:o)

2 Feb, 2010


Thats a lovely garden have you spotted any bulbs yet? I think the second picture question no1 would suit cowslips, blue bells, snowdrops, daffs and primula well thats my suggestion as I love them in my garden

2 Feb, 2010


lovely sarah. I too have lots of shade so have a look at my plant profile of things that grow under the beech tree and shed border. they are my two shadiest areas. I will have some plants going slightly later in the year. so if you see any you like ask if there is any going spare and I'll see what i can do for you. Skimmia is fine in shade as is H foetida.

In addition to Drc suggestions, I like mitella, epimediums, pachysandra and solomons seal. all do well in shade and all reliably hardy. I want lots of lily of the valley and still waiting whilst others view it as a weed.

do keep asking questions and dig carefully. try asking the neighbours about bulbs etc. there may be some real gems there.

2 Feb, 2010


The most valuable bit of advice I heard about a new garden is - don't touch it for the first year.

I know you are itching to do things with it but by waiting for twelve months, you will see what's already there, which parts are sunny/shady, wet/dry, sheltered/wind tunnels, balmy corners/frost pockets.

Once you have all this information, then you can start planning and planting an effective garden that will work with the conditions

2 Feb, 2010


I was going to say what Andrew's just said. Why not just sit back and enjoy the 'planning' whilst listening to all the birds that the trees will house. I don't blame you for wanting to shout from the tree tops, you've got the lot.

3 Feb, 2010


Beautiful garden, How large is it? I agree with Andrew & Heron, but I know I'd want to be (doing) as well. My can't be without plants are - Hellebores, Snowdrops & Cyclamen coum & Hederifolium and then- Where do I stop.

3 Feb, 2010


Lovely pics. Although Andrew and Heron are quite correct in urging caution in the first year in regard the established beds and borders, there is nothing to stop you lifting turf to create new beds for all your new there? Have cake + eat cake....ymmm cake....
Second point, who sits in the chair facing away from the table...and why, what did they do? :o)

3 Feb, 2010


Sussexsarah you are so lucky, which you obviously know. How exciting.
I know just how you must be itching to get on with it, and am sure you will just have to do some things, even though some good advice has been given, to take time.
As for shade, lots of good suggestions already, but a lot of Geraniums, hardy ones would be lovely. So many beautiful varieties, you could have the lot. Take a look at Spritzhenry's pictures of her huge collection, you'll be inspired.
Keep us informed. I can feel your enthusiasm, its catching!

3 Feb, 2010


I was going to say why dont you see what comes up this year before you do to much to it.

3 Feb, 2010


What fun! I'd agree, though - when we moved here, I didn't do a lot except to keep it tidy until I knew what plants were waiting to pop up - it was worth it, as you really have lovely surprises to come! Thanks, Mad, by the way...xx

I'd say that if you have a ferny area, Hostas go well with them - as long as you keep them protected from slugs, and there are lovely water-side plants you can put in, too - but LATER!!!

3 Feb, 2010


I garden in West Sussex, about 1 mile from the sea so i know what you mean by the milder temperature today. Rome wasn't built in a day, take your time, i found Bindweed, Nettles and Brambles came up though they weren't showing when we moved in ! On the positive side, Bluebells and Lily of the Valley appeared.

3 Feb, 2010


Question 1 - Helleborus x hybridus
Question 2 - Euonymus fortunei ‘Emerald ‘n Gold’
Question 3 - Helleborus x hybridus again - and Aquilegias (all sorts) and hostas. Oh, and heucheras - and campanulas - and dicentras - and the list goes on - and on.

3 Feb, 2010


Thanks for all the lovely comments guys. Well the message certainly came across loud and clear! I shall have to find some patience.

I havent come across Mitella before and shall investigate. Seaburngirl I cant find your beech plants - do you recall the month of the blog at all? I had also forgotten about Euonymus - now there is a real doer! thanks for reminding me.

Poor old Megan! I am NOT looking forward to bindweed nettles and brambles though of course they will be looking forward to me!

I think I shall err on the side of caution and go for geraniums rather than hostas. How on earth do you keep a hosta away from a slug - its like me and chocolates.

The garden is about 35ft by100ft. It goes down as far as a stream and beyond that is a council owned copse which is rather lovely as you can catch glimpses of people walking their dogs - so its not huge, but then I have a family to care for and a job to hold down so perhaps this is just as well.

I shall take some photos of the bulbs that I can see over the weekend. There are quite a number, many of which I'm familiar with but some seem unlikely given their position.

In the meantime I have taken down the barbed wire that separated me from the copse so no doubt my garden will sprout the odd child at the bottom on occasions. I asked a friend how best to deal with that eventuality and he said "why not wave at them?" which seems like a wildlife friendly option - better than barbed wire at any rate!

4 Feb, 2010


I'm going to try copper rings against slugs this year - spraying the hosta leaves with furniture polish is supposed to work too, Sarah! Don't know how much research done into that though.

4 Feb, 2010


I haven't tried them with hostas, but I've found the copper rings effective in keeping slugs off other vulnerable plants. You just have to watch nothing (like dead leaves) bridges them to give the little blighters a way across

4 Feb, 2010


Well, I hope a combination of rings and nighttime slug hunts with my tub of salt water will stop them looking like lace curtains, lol. I'll watch out for the bridges, Andrew. Thanks for the tip.

5 Feb, 2010

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