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Autumn Clear-Out Begins

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Yesterday it was absolutely lovely weather and I decided to start early with my annual Autumn clear-out. This is when I start to remove the plants that I don’t like, have got overgrown or are not doing well.

In Rosy Patio Border I have removed the Standard Rose ‘Special Anniversary’. I’m afraid I just never liked the rose at all. I LOVED it’s perfume, but it wasn’t enough to overcome my dislike for it’s colour form and habit. So it’s gone. Goodbye Special Anniversary!

Another one to lose it’s spot was ‘Simple Sally’ which grew very spindly and was a thicket of mostly naked stems, the foliage having succumbed to a terrible case of Black Spot. the flowers were pretty, but not pretty enough for it to stay. So it’s goodbye to Sally…

Sadly, ‘Hommage A Barbara’ was very unhealthy and has never done well in my garden. It had to go. Especially sad to say Au Revoir A Barbara, as she shares her name with my Mum and has an absolutely beautiful deep velvet red flower…..(sniff).

In spite of its absolutely wonderful multi-coloured flowers, the (eh-hem) “patio” rose ‘Designer Sunset’ had grown so huge it was overcrowding all of its neighbours. The growth was quite ‘wild’ in character and not very attractive. So sadly its bye-bye Sunset.

Benjamin Britten rose was very sickly and was right next to Boscobel, a similar colour but much better plant. So bye bye Ben (such a lovely man too).

And that completes the clear-out in Rosy Patio Border for this year (phew). Earlier I removed ‘Sweet Wonder’ (didn’t like the colour), and a struggling white Patio Rose (overcrowding). The remaining Roses are breathing a sigh of relief and will soon fill the spaces no doubt.

After finishing clearing up the mess of all of that, I then took the spade and secateurs to Persicaria ‘Purple Fantasy’ which was growing extraordinarily well….so well that all its neighbours were being drowned out! So it’s literally goodbye to the Fantasy of a ‘controlled’ Persicaria.

And next, two big Hostas came out of Contemplation Corner and were replaced with a Sedum and a Hydrangea. So that’s two less handfuls of slug pellets required next year!

The tiny Herb Garden required some cutting back, some removing of annual Borage and English Marigolds and some weeding. I also removed the two Juneberry (Amelanchier) trees which were suffering from drought there, and planted them in the white garden where I already have one growing and fruiting well. Hopefully I haven’t left them too late. They looked to be dying.

A couple of plants were moved around for better effect, and then everything was watered well.

And I have a lovely big empty pot now so that gives me a great reason to visit the GC next week! In contrast to yesterday, today is cold and windy in spite of the sunshine it isn’t great out there. So a good day to put my feet up and write blogs!

This one is also on borrowed time. It’s neighbour ‘Rosa Glauca’ has come out, in spite of being an absolute favourite of mine. It had got too big and wild. This one has been pruned back where the flowering was finished and will soon be coming out for the same reason. To be replaced with a nice pink easy-care, long flowering, compact Hydrangea ‘Miss Saori’ which is waiting in the wings.

Ruthless? Yes, sometimes you have to be in this kind of garden. Sometimes I do question my methods and wonder about doing something more naturalistic. However, it would be lovely….but no, it’s not for me.

More blog posts by cottagekaren

Previous post: Greenhouse Ready For The Winter

Next post: Autumn Clear-Out part 2



Comments

 

Not for me either...the natural look..

Was doing the same today..cutting back and removing plants...a satisfying job.
Borders too dry to move perennials...will have to wait until next week when rain is due.

21 Sep, 2019

 

Thanks Julia. You have had a hot dry summer in the South West. I believe there is to be heavy rain in Shaftesbury tomorrow. Rachel painted her shed today, so she’s just in time!

21 Sep, 2019

 

I found the only way to 'control' the persicaria is to get supports in early to prevent it flopping over neighouring plants

21 Sep, 2019

 

Thanks Andrew. I actually cut ot right back to the ground mid summer, but it quickly regrew and with added vigour! But I have Red Dragon elsewhere and will take your advice next spring.

21 Sep, 2019

 

You have been busy! I would love to get rid of the Rosa Rugosa which was in the flowerbed when we came. It's lethal when weeding and takes up too much room. However he planted it with an angle iron stake to hold it up which feels as if it was either cemented in (?) or is feet into the ground! I attack it each year, but the roots are so big that without destroying everything around it, it has to stay.
The rest of the garden looks as if it needs a trim and haircut, but how can you do that when you wake to the flock of sparrows feeding on the Euphorbia, lavender and Phlomis seeds? The sparrows have only just come back and nest here now, to listen to them chattering in the hugely overgrown Honeysuckle (also listed for a huge cut back, but can I now?) is a joy.

22 Sep, 2019

 

This year the natural look is back with a vengeance in my garden. I just have not had the time or the weather to get out and take it in hand. I am cutting back everything I can get at whenever I can. There is going to be an improvement because the local council has decided to start collecting our garden waste bins fortnightly instead of monthly. The only drawback is the food waste has to go into that bin too. I think I will need to find a source of eco bags to put the food waste in or the bins could get quite whiffy. Up till now we had a food bin collection every week.
I do like the look of your Hydrangea 'Miss Saori'. That is a smashing choice as a replacement for your rosa rugosa. I am not a fan of anything jaggy so the Acanthis will be going asap. It is difficult to be ruthless but sadly it must be done.

22 Sep, 2019

 

Hi Karen, well done for having the courage to be ruthless, if it's not working for you it's the only option, my garden is taking on a more ''natural'' look, mainly because of having arthritis in my spine, as well as a permanently displaced disc, so for natural read weeds, I've even had to pay a local gardener to cut my hedges, which REALLY goes against the grain, but unavoidable in the circumstances, also I have several new shrubs that need planting out before winter sets in, Derek.

22 Sep, 2019

 

Oh Derek and Sheila...I am so sorry to hear about your challenges. Derek, when the day comes that we have to get someone in to cut the hedges it will be very hard and very much against the grain. I can imagine how that feels. :(

22 Sep, 2019

 

Honeysuckle...sounds like you are stuck with that Rose. Just have to keep chopping it back I guess. Or....you could try attacking the stake with a sledge-hammer!

22 Sep, 2019

 

Gosh Karen!!.......I thought I was drastic!! although I would find it very difficult to take out certain plants despite them underperforming, we both get so attached to our plants, we now have at least 50 potted up, waiting to go back in to the rearranged borders!! cannot bring myself to throw any of them away!!!( ・ั﹏・ั) they will be put back even if I have to shoehorn them in...(●´⌓`●)
If we had a large garden we would definitely have a wild area and a meadow!! unfortunately that's never going to happen (っ˘̩╭╮˘̩)っ

23 Sep, 2019

 

Hmmmm...I think I am also getting a bit more inclined to reducing workload...so a few less roses is a good thing. But an unhealthy rose is not a thing of beauty.

23 Sep, 2019

 

Hi Karen, the chap I use, lives about 6 houses down from me, he doesn't do a bad job, but it's not the same job that I would do, plus he has to fit me in, between his other jobs, so it can take a couple of weeks for him to finish the job, but as he is a friend as well as a neighbour, he doesn't overcharge me, so that's a bonus, Derek.

23 Sep, 2019

 

That’s good Derek. :)

23 Sep, 2019

 

Oh gosh you have been ruthless Karen, I cannot do that, I'm guilt ridden for ages afterwards if something has to go, I'm afraid I garden more like Dd..

24 Sep, 2019

 

Oh...I never said it didn’t hurt! :) But you know what I’m like. I over-plant and then the plants aren’t happy because they have no space or light. And as I said above, an unhealthy rose is not attractive at all.

24 Sep, 2019

 

I think I’m going to remove the herbs next, and make a small rockery for my Lewisias and other alpines instead. The Lewisias aren’t happy in pots, and I love their cheerful colours. :)

24 Sep, 2019

 

And yesterday I had to remove a big fern because I saw rats!!! Under my bird feeder. So now I need to remove some of their cover. I’ve removed the bird feeders and put them in the front garden. But my poor birds are very confused!

24 Sep, 2019

 

Rick my hubby often used to say to me when we lived in Willow Cottage.."look out everybody..she is out there with the loppers " Hahaa!
Well done for being ruthless ! Sometimes we have to be, don't we !
I am starting the front garden now and all manner of plants have been mixed up in this garden. Most of them in the wrong place. Our bungalow faces north and west and there are roses planted in front of the bay window which never see the sun and have grown so tall and leggy. I am hoping I can get these out as I don't know how many years they have been there.

26 Sep, 2019

 

I look forward to seeing the results of your hard labour Rose! Thank you!

27 Sep, 2019

 

Lots of work, Karen! Sometimes I'm glad I don't have a "proper" garden!

28 Sep, 2019

 

Oh....so true Balcony. Yesterday I decided to clear out most of the plants from the Pod area. Had to do battle with a Phormium, ended up pulling a muscle in my back! I won though!

29 Sep, 2019

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