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Nature's resilence!


It never fails to amaze just how resilent nature can be, apart from the insects, birds and small mammals adapting to changes some plants just manage to hang on even when you think all is lost.
We had a massive Bay tree (Lauraceae nobilis) which died in the winter before last. Apparently because the ground was wet (and the clay here doesn’t drain) the roots take up the water and try to transpire through the leaves. When these are frozen, they can’t and they suffocate or drown!
I left it all last year in the vain hope it wasn’t completely dead, cutting the odd branch to see if there was any life left. This year with no signs, we cut it off leaving tall stumps to grow a climbing plant up. Bought the wisteria (to replace the one about to be butchered) and when I went to plant it found lots of new shoots around the base.

Now the wisteria has been planted between the trunk and the old leylandii hedge so will hopefully cover both and I will keep the Bay as a smaller shrub.
The leylandii are now just tall trunks really as this was a massive, about 30ft, hedge which we had topped out and the side branches have been cut back (on one side so far) and we have almost finished cutting the top side branches which with the weight of growth have flopped outwards and got tangled amongst the electric and telephone wires!
It has given us about six foot more garden and the other plants masses more light! The theory is that I shall grow a mixture of climbers over the trunks, masking them and giving the little birds somewhere to nest, at the same time depriving the wood pigeons of the open framework they like. Seems mean on the pigeons but there are so many here!

Last year the Bottlebrush (Callistemon – variety?) died in the winter and I kept checking to see if this had any life left. Just as I decided it had to come out there are shoots springing from the bottom, so hope there too.

The one’s that don’t have any hope are the plants growing over the old building which is being demolished for an extension next week. These include the fated wisteria, lovely climbing white and red roses and a hydrangea anomala/petiolaris, all in flower not knowing their days are numbered. Sadly I don’t suppose any of these can be saved as they are quite old, but I will try to persuade the builders to grub them out after they are cut down and at least give them a chance.
The last picture shows a row of Phygelius which grows like a weed here which needs to be dug up and moved before Monday!

We have a derelict huge greenhouse which has all the plants that are waiting to go in the garden. This obviously gets watered regularly so the weeds grow well too. Getting to the stage that it was difficult to see the pots amongst the weeds it had a turn out on Sunday. Just to prove nature finds a way there is a huge plant of the common mallow, which if grown in the garden and staked so it doesn’t flop, would hold it’s own against the prettiness of many cultivars. Along side this is a ground covering type of mallow in white. These got a reprieve from the weeding, but the nettles and goose-grass/cleavers had to go!

I think it was Dungy who said that his pet hate was goose-grass – we used to call it ‘sweethearts’ when we were children and threw the little ball seed heads at each other, because it clings!
Enough of this, must go and water some plants and get some in the garden. With apologies to some of you, but we need some rain, it’s bypassed us almost completely!

The trunks of the old bay tree about six foot tall

New growth on the Bay

Hope springs eternal on the Bottle Brush!

Red ill-fated rose

White rose and hydrangea destined to go.

The hydrangea will be missed by the bees.

Common mallow (Malva sylvestris)

Prostrate growing mallow

Phygelius to be moved or destroyed!

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Nature is indeed very resilient, hope the roses and hydrangea manage to survive their move!

25 Jun, 2013


I agree, it's surprising how tough some plants are. I never get rid of a 'dead' fuchsia before July, because I have known them to regrow even as late as that.

25 Jun, 2013

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