Here we are again, having reached another Saturday and another Six. Last weekend was very productive – removing a hedge to produce more useful gardening space and then erecting a new fence along the back of the front garden. Well, technically it’s along the side of the front garden but as I’m at the end of a close, around which the front curves, I sort of have two front gardens, one with a front and a back that’s against the front of the house and the other with a technical front that adjoins the front garden of the house opposite but another effective front that faces the end of the road. So my new fence is technically along the side of the plot but is effectively along the back of the front. So I’ll refer to it as the “backside”. And thus I carry over the derriere theme that ran through my six last week.
So off we go with this week’s six.
1 A New Fence
A weekend’s work is worth a mention and those who don’t follow me on Twitter won’t have seen photos before. The old hedge went on Saturday morning as we re-enacted the duelling banjos scene from Deliverance with duelling chainsaws. Two of us waving our choppers at each other from a respectful distance whilst a third humped away happily, dragging the fallen boughs out of the way ready for loading onto the truck that spent the morning running back and forth to (and from) a nearby farm which (legally) accepts tree-felling waste. Tree felling doesn’t take long when you’ve got a big chopper to wave around.
By just after midday, we had a big hole and a lot more usable planting space.
In the afternoon we concreted in the fence posts and left things to set overnight. Resident cat promptly left his signature in some soft concrete which, maybe, will be found by some future alien archaeologist visiting the, by then, dead planet and concluding that it was once inhabited by creatures with small paws.
After recovering from a celebratory evening in the local pub, we started late on the Sunday morning at about 10 am, collectively groaning at each bang of the nail driver as we covered our beautiful concrete fence posts with wood. We’d finished the job, bar the clearing up, by just after 2 pm. And voila:
I know, it doesn’t come all the way to the ground. There’s a reason for that. More will be revealed in due course.
2 Calliope Geraniums
These are a new class of geranium. So far, described as an annual. Now technically, I suppose, annual geraniums are actually Pelargoniums but, for reasons best known to someone other than me, the official title of these is Calliope Geraniums. The result of 10 (or 14, depending on whether you read a horticultural article or Wikipedia) years of interbreeding between zonal and ivy geraniums. The only variety I’ve found in the UK is named “Dark Red” and has large, deep red, semi double flowers and a strong, bushy growth habit. Some growers are now saying the colour range available next year will be much wider. You can read more here.
There’s a sister series of Geraniums called Caliente. This series was launched before Calliope and is, reputedly, better at coping with heat. It also has a wider range of colours. Both have been around for years in the US but are relatively new in the UK. Hayloft’s is probably a catalogue to keep your eye on for next year.
It’s that time of year again! I’ve been a bit restrained this year, partly because so much else is going on here inside the house and partly because I want to do a fair bit of re-planning in the garden. When I get round to it. I’m a fella, see, and we fellas are (supposedly) not as good at multitasking as Gill Heavens. Except when she mitches off.
I have new resident squirrels here now. Youngsters who are still learning that they don’t need to empty their nut feeder as soon as I fill it and bury the nuts all round the garden ready for the expected (by them) winter dearth of food. None of last year’s adults have made an appearance this year to teach them so I’ve had to step into loco parentis. One has made it to the fairly tame stage and will take a nut from my hand before running away to bury it. Which is nice (the first bit, that is). Time will tell if they concentrate on digging up their nuts or make a B-line for my bulbs. Which is another reason for a bit of restraint in bulb planting. Will I need to start laying wire mesh over the soil, I wonder.
My hardy fuchsias haven’t put on much of a show this year. Perhaps the weather’s not been right for them. The tender fuchsias generally came along a bit earlier than usual and have now mostly gone over just when I would be expecting them to provide the late colour. But Fuchsia Rivendell has been flowering like mad since spring and is still going strong. Maybe it feels at home, here at Chez Rivendell.
I decided, back in the spring, that my “Llandudno” fuchsia was getting out of hand, I call it “Llandudno” as that’s where the cutting came from. In the Happy Valley garden nestling at the foot of the Great Orme, there were fuchsia trees whose canopy is high enough to stand under. But I don’t want a tree. So I reduced it from about 8 feet high down to about 6 inches above ground – a simple swipe with a chainsaw. It’s back to 4 feet already but few flowers. I’ll wait and see what happens next year, just giving it a gentle prune down to about 3 feet in the spring.
5 Hakonechloa macra “Aureola”
I planted a ring of these around the base of a Malus to cover the circle cut into the lawn around its trunk. The ring has now filled out nicely. Exactly the effect I’d hoped for. Resident cat has taken to curling up on them for his afternoon nap but, so far, they’ve been remarkably resilient and spring up again as soon as he moves to the Nepeta for his late afternoon nap (I am forced to grow Nepeta as an annual thanks to the local cat population meeting regularly on it). I think this may be the last year I bother with catnip! Unless I can find a 25 litre sized plant going cheap.
I was going to let you see a schematic of Edifice 3 but we’re not there yet so I can’t. Instead I offer a nice pampas grass to tickle your fancy. This isn’t an eight-plus-footer selloana but a more dwarf variety (name unknown; it may be the “Pumilla” variant though I can’t be sure). It’s about 5 feet tall. Nice and bushy. A bit of autumn froth.
That’s my six. But there are a lot more sixes to be found in all corners of the known (and unknown) world. Which is quite an achievement given that the world is a sphere and so has no corners. The weekly Sixdex is lovingly tended by the one and only Mr Propagator. Why not pop across to his blog where, in the comments appended to his post of the day, an abundance of links will be found, magically growing through into Sunday (UK time) as the somewhat tardy gardeners in the US catch up, having been awakened by their President’s daily Twitterstorm.
Until next week, enjoy your garden.