But back to the garden in Nottingham. It seemed odd to be getting my garden ready for winter in the middle of August when it is at its peak. But as I will be away for the next six months, this is very much ' goodbye garden' until next year. Although I don't miss the UK winters as such, I do miss my little garden and the opportunities for winter work and winter flowering species. The back garden is only tiny but climbs up the steep bank at the far end. I undoubtedly have far too many variegated and coloured leaved plants for good taste (Maybe I should heed my own design book!) but I do love their reliable colour. This is what I'm leaving behind.
|From the patio doors|
|Looking to the house - yes the garden is tiny!|
|Just love the way the light shines through Cercis 'Forest Pansy'|
|Free lilies from last year - wish I knew the cultivar. This year I did win the battle against the lily beetles!|
|Hakonochloa 'Allgold' steels the show again|
|Ipomoea lobata disappointing this year but it did finally flower|
|Nicotiana sylvestris - the best is yet to come but I'll miss it!|
I've given away my cannas which were just starting to flower and lodged three special new plants, Schefflera taiwanense, X Sinocalycanthus 'Hartlage Wine' and Acanthus 'Tasmanian Devil', with gardening friends for safekeeping. The lodger can look after the house but plants need TLC! (Sorry Rob if you read this!)
|Young Schefflera - maybe risk planting it next year|
|Acanthus - see earlier post|
|Sinocalycanthus - this one doing well - check earlier post|
The front garden has done well this summer despite or maybe because of the early summer's deluge. One side of the front garden was replanted in the spring and virtually everything has established well and this would've been a struggle if the predicted hosepipe bans and drought had continued from spring.
|The bit the neighbours and the postman sees.|
|Rudbeckia 'Prairie Sun' - I wanted 'Cherry Brandy' but couldn't get it|
|After a poor start, the Ricinus 'New Zealand Purple' are doing well|
I did finally removed the ailing Callistemon and replace with Schizophragma 'Moonlight' which should be happy facing north. The small frail looking variegated tree has a story to tell. Some years back, Jim Waddick a plantsman friend from the USA told me me was in a race to get a plant of Gymnocladus dioica 'Variegated', a form of the Kentucky coffee tree - could I help. I tracked down a specimen at the Hillier Arboretum who offered scion wood if I could arrange grafting which was done for me by Pershore College. A couple of years later I was able to send Jim two strong young plants and I kept one. Sadly by this time, Jim's opponent in the tree race had died. Sad ending but pretty little tree.
|Gymnocladus dioica 'Variegata'|
|The new Schizophragma with the hairy-leaved Bergenia ciliata|