Sunday, 20 February 2011

Planting is done

The last couple of days have been spent completing a couple of the smaller planting schemes on the list. As with most of these jobs, apart from the plants needed, a good amount of suitable compost is also required, and where better to get it than Eco Composting. Yep, the same place that I have to pay an arm and a leg to dump my 'green' waste at, now sells it back to me as compost.......and at about £65.00 a ton to dump, and £30.00 a ton for the compost, not a bad deal for them eh? Still, moving on.......

Whilst waiting at the side of the weigh bridge for my compost to arrive, Amanda, who had come along for the ride, and the obligatory coffee and cake at a local retail garden centre (the sort whos cafe is larger than the plant section, and also sells giftware, dvds and can you believe it.....sprays glitter on their Aechmeas to make them more attractive?!), was taking a few photos.
Above can be seen one of the screened topsoil piles, and below is another recycling area. On the left of the picture you can see the vertical pipework that draws off septic tank waste from the large container lorries. And to the right is the green building where old timber is roughly broken down in readiness for turning  into wood chip etc. The red lorry was there to pick up a load of the wood chip.

Along with all garden waste from Dorset and Hampshire, all tree surgery waste must also be disposed of here. Chopped up trees are allowed to be dumped for free, whereupon they are  put through a massive chipper that can handle sections around 4 feet in diameter. The resulting woodchip is then stained in red cedar, walnut or green etc, and places in th bays thaat can be seen in the picture below, ready for resale.

The drivers of these diggers, of which there are many, handle them like they are toys. Always alert and smiling even on wet and dismal days.

Finally, along comes our soil, conveniently delivered to us in a one ton dumpy bag, and lowered onto the trailer ready for going to the next place on the list.

A half hour drive, through Lymington and on the way to Beaulieu, can be found Lees & Co, a colossal wholesale shrub nursery, specialising in specimen shrubs. This is an aerial view of the place, and we parked up by the second gap in the long line of glasshouses.

A very unassuming driveway leads one to the biggest suppliers in the area.

A dangerous place for a gardener to be, as just about every plant can be found here, so take your credit card with you!

Amanda secretly took the picture below, in which I can be seen perusing some Cornus stolonifera, and can you believe that these plants, almost as tall as me, were in 2litre pots?

The Cordylines trussed up ready for collection, not that big, but the Daphne odora Variegata in the foreground.........WOW!

Nurseries can be strange places to work, and one can often be alone for weeks on end. The communal work and meeting places, of which there are only one or two in most big nurseries, become little havens of normality, and as such take on an identity of their own. At this one the residents are obviously England supporters. A radio, toaster and kettle help to restore ones sanity as well. Rugby, cricket or football, nobody was around to ask!

I eventually found which tunnel housed my order, and everything was very quickly loaded onto the trailer.

Then it was back across Hampshire, a coffee, then into Dorset and a visit to Marchants Nursery for the remaining smaller shrubs.

The garden where all of this lot was destined for is in a very prestigious part of Bournemouth, and one that I regularly maintain. I never like to do any replanting/landscaping without first making the place tidy, and so the previous morning had been spent bringing the overall look of the place up to scratch.

In the picture below can be seen the gap in the border where the new planting is destined to take place.

A view from the border back across to the other side of the front garden.

And finally everything in place, and a list of the plants put in.
Mahonia 'Winter Sun',  Nandina domestica 'Firepower',  Sambucus plumosa Aurea,  Photinia x fraseri 'Red Robin',  Fatsia japonica,  Acer palmatum 'Senkaki',  Phormium tenax 'Yellow Wave',  Cornus alba Sibirica,  Cornus sanguinea 'Midwinter Fire',  Lavender 'Hidcote',  Hebe Albicans 'Red Edge',  Viburnum tinus 'Eve Price', Phygelius 'Funfare Coral', and finally Phygelius 'Funfare Wine. Hopefully a good balance of form and colour throughout the year.


  1. You've fairly been zipping around the counties of England, Gary!
    I agree, that nursery is dangerous. I am planning a visit to one on Loch Ness at Easter, and little does the family know that their current menu of eg beans on toast is in preparation for that.

  2. Great post, Gary, although the gray mist is depressing. I'm so glad you ended on a sunny, bright note! :D However, I could see the sun shining in that nursery!!! I understand being weak in such an environment - there's no way I could leave without a few purchases, I'm sure!

    BTW, I wanted to let you know that I'm giving you a blogger award. I've posted about it in my latest post, "A Gift", and linked to your blog. I hope you'll accept...I think you definitely deserve it!

  3. Dear Gary, The gardening year is definitely hotting up!! I do so agree with you about preparing the ground thoroughly before putting in any new plants. So many of my friends it seems to me just tidy up the required amount of space and thrust the newcomer into the ground. And then they wonder why the overall effect is less than satisfactory!

    Your new border looks very good indeed with sensible amounts of growing space for the shrubs. I thought that your balance of colour, form and seasonal interest would work well. I hope that your clients agree.

  4. Hi Linda,
    When preparing for various jobs, it does unfortunately involve a lot of time consuming driving, something that the customer never realises, and never pays for. Loch Ness at Easter sounds good, as d the beans on toast, which, with lashings of butter are one of my favourite meals.

  5. Kimberley,
    Thanks so much for your kind comments, and I feel very honoured to accept the award. Thank you. As for buying shrubs, it can often be the case that any profit made on shrubs for a job is often lost in the purchase of our own shrubs...I never have claimed to have a good business head!

  6. Hi Edith,
    It's lovely to hear from you. I do firmly believe in preparing the ground first with good compost and a relevent fertiliser. Also, I see so many times planting schemes done by 'professionals', where plants have just been crammed in far too much,and simply grow into each other, such a shame and waste. I am confident that this design will give the customer what they want, even if they did need persuading to spend so much.

  7. Cannot wait to see things growing in! Oh, how I envy those temperate winters! We still have another month of roller-coaster weather, then we'll have 20 minutes of spring before the summer heat arrives to melt everything, including the gardener!

  8. Hi Tim,
    Our cold weather is passing slowly now, and buds are starting to show on things....looking forward to spring.