It's been cold over the last week. Not by Arctic or Antarctic standards, but by Bournemouth standards, definitely cold. There's also not much in the way of flower colour here in the UK at the moment, and so before I launch into one of the latest escapades of Four Seasons Garden Care, let me brighten up the world a little with a picture of some Anemones. Not grown by my own fair hands, or indeed any of the skilled growers around the area, but probably by some dutchman the other side of the channel. Even so, purchased at M&S, they adorned our hallway for their brief but colourful life of about a week. I love them, and every other type of anemone.
Most mornings have had me come out to the van, and before I can go anywhere, I first have to clear the windscreen of ice. On one particular morning the ice wasn't so bad, but the light ice crystals made an amazing picture all over the glass.
Up until around late morning, the ground has been covered by a hard frost, and with some clear and sunny days, it's been difficult to get to the various work sites as quickly as usual, because around every corner a new and awesome vista would open up, and the camera had to come out once more! The picture below is of a group of fields next to the River Avon, just outside Sopley, and a route that I take on quite a few mornings.
One particular job had us at one of our usual places, but because the ground was too frozen to attend to some of the usual things, we decided to work on a more sheltered corner of the property. The residents had asked for a quotation to create a mixed border that would wrap around the patio in the picture below, thus joining up the small border to the right, and the one to the left. The plan was put forward, and everything was agreed, and so we started to prep the area in readiness.
Firstly, the area to the left which was full of overgrown Hypericum 'Hidcote', had to be tidied up.
And also, a border close by needed some of the shrubs drastically pruning.
Firstly though, we needed to take some of the height out of the Hypericum, to make them more manageable with loppers and secateurs.
All of the cutting back and pruning done, it was then onto the clearing up and freshening up of the soil.
Taken down to about eighteen inches for now, the Hypericum will be kept at about three feet for a couple of years or so from now on, once the new growth thickens up this year.
The other border had shrubs that had been planted by 'landscapers', and like other areas in the garden, we are only now able to tackle them properly. Instead of a scheme using individual and carefully selected shrubs for the location, we again found plants that naturally grow to seven or eight feet, planted en-masse in an area that should only take smaller shrubs, and then maybe only four or five in total.
In this small border were Three Abelia grandiflora, two Pieris foresstii, three Berberis, two Hydrangeas, two roses, two dwarf Hebes, a Philadelphus and a Viburnum carlesii. Not to mention the Prunus cerasifera!.......oh, I just have.
For now, all of the dwarf shrubs have been removed, as they were being smothered by the larger plants anyway. The Abelias have been reduces to two feet in height, the Pieris cleaned out of all their dead wood, and the Hydrangeas pruned down hard. Not perfect, but it will all help to keep things smaller and healthier for the next couple of years at least, and open the area up tp a little more light. The new border and planting, such as it is, is scheduled for about a fortnights time, and so if I remember to, I will stick a post on here with the finished look. Work can get a bit frantic at times, and as with a new planting scheme that I completed a few days ago, I can forget to keep a record to show you guys, but please accept my apologies and if you are ever in the area then the first round is on me!
It should have been a day of work today, but at about 2am (i think!) last night, I awoke to that strange stillness that one feels when snow is falling outside. Without even seeing it, you know, you feel it! So, 2am, and Amanda and me were staring out of the bedroom window at a deep and white wonderland like two children on Christmas Day. Excited couldn't describe our feelings. By morning however, the snow had turned to sleet, and most of the snow had gone, but the weather wasn't exactly 'gardeny', and so what was scheduled has had to be put over to next week.....ah, the joys of self-employment!
I am supposed to be tidying up the garden of a dear old couple in Highcliffe tomorrow morning, and so let's hope the ground is a little softer.
Thanks for passing through!