Let there be Light30th September 2016 • In The Garden • Stephanie Donaldson
The part of the garden that I slightly grandiosely think of as the woodland area has become increasingly gloomy over the past year. All the rain in early summer promoted lots of leafy growth which meant the canopy closed overhead. I knew it was time for action when even the Japanese anemones struggled to flower despite being a plant that verges on being a weed in this garden. So, I’ve thinned out the amelanchier and cut back much of the Viburnum opulus and the Stachyrus praecox – both looked beautiful last spring, but that was at the expense of everything else – the surviving branches will provide some flowers next year, while those that were pruned will start to put on new growth.
The existing hellebores, lily of the valley, and Japanese anemones will be much happier (and more visible) now and after a top dressing with leafmould and compost and some decent rain, I am adding more plants. There include cyclamen coum, a number of ferns (mainly evergreen), hardy begonia grandis evanisiana, persicaria virginiana ‘Lance Corporal, a couple of epimedium and some homegrown foxgloves and sweet rocket. All of these plants already grow happily (and sometimes self seed) in the garden, so I’m confident they will establish well.
As I’ve planted, I have upended pots over each plant before adding a good mulch of bark chippings. The pots stop the plants from being buried in mulch and once they are removed everything looks happily settled in their new surroundings.