One of the horticultural highlight of my gardening year is very personal one. It is not the Chelsea Flower Show or Hampton Court. Neither is it Kew Gardens or Hyde Park. For, from the window of the utility room, to the rear of my house, I can see a lilac tree. It could be just any lilac tree, which are beautiful in their own right. However it is a lilac tree with a friend because growing through and around it grows a lovely pink Clematis montana. For a few days each year, the lilac’s sweetly scented, purple blossoms open and the pink flowers of the clematis put on a show. It is a sheer delight and I love to look at it in the dawn light, during the day, and as the sun is setting. There is no fanfare or marching band, it is just two horticultural gems quietly going about their business and lighting up my life.
How did this combination come to be? Well we inherited it when we bought the garden. Luckily there was a house attached! The previous owner, a Mrs Beckenham, was by all accounts a keen gardener and left us many treasures. It’s pleasing to think perhaps one day, not too soon I hope, we too will leave something behind, that in the future someone will write a blog about it.
Here are a selection of my photos of our lilac tree
Quiz question Time
The answer to the last quiz question was Fothergill major
It has white scented flowers and great autumn colour. It’s favoured growing conditions are sun or partial shade and an acidis,well drained but moist soil. Which is probably why it gorws so well in Kikrcudbright.
Todays plant can be a bit too hot too handle, doesn’t mind a bit of spice and is from warmer climes. Can you guess what it is?
Please leave your answer in the comments section and I shall tell all in a fortnight’s time.
Problem corner : An uninvited guest
I was asked to do a little job by a customer who has struggled with the onslaught of Elymus repens or couch grass as it is known. It is also, I should say, called Quicken in these parts. It’s all the same thing and can be a pest to clear. This was even more so, as the bed also contained geraniums which were being strangled by the interloper, as you can see below.
The best solution in my opinion, was to dig everything out and try to remove all the roots of the grass. It takes a while but if you don’t get all the roots out the weed will soon return. So it is a case of lifting everything and separating the geraniums. A tarpaulin comes in very handy for a job such as this.
I tackled the job with a hand fork and removed all the roots.
Don’t forget to carefully check the saved plants for any weed roots. It’s amazing how they wind their way through them.
When the bed was cleared I added some leaf mould and compost to reinvigorate the soil. Then I spaced out and replanted the geraniums. Job done and another happy customer.
And off we jolly well go.
One of the joys of this job is getting in the mow mobile and having a jaunt to Gatehouse of Fleet. From Kirkcudbright it’s a short, but pleasant drive.
A picturesque town on the banks of the river Fleet, I always enjoy my visits, so I thought I would share some of my photographs of my most recent visit.
Well that’s all. The next blog will be out most fittingly, on Thursday 21st June, Midsummer’s day, when I’m, sure roses will feature in the conversation.
Bye for now, thanks for your company and above all, enjoy your gardening.