There is nothing like visiting the garden of a friend or relative for giving fresh impetus to your own garden. After spending time last Sunday dispensing words of wisdom: ‘that achemillia mollis can be cut back now’, ‘don’t let that lemon balm seed everywhere’ and ‘that’s a weed and this is a tree seedling’, I came back to my garden and spotted a large clump of achemillia mollis seeding itself everywhere, nettles quietly gaining strength under the shade of the geraniums and grass creeping into the borders. It was time for a midsummer clear up. A frantic spurt of dead heading and weeding ensued and there was that alchemilla mollis to deal with.
The offending alchemilla mollis. I wasn’t in a ruthless enough mood to start with so I just cut back the flowering stems. The fresh new growth began to emerge from the shadows and I realised that if I had done this earlier and by ruthlessly cutting back the old growth by the handful those new shoots would have been taking centre stage earlier. I know this but I rarely do it early enough!
Down at the allotment end of the garden I noticed that the autumn raspberries were ripening. The plants came as runners from my old allotment raspberries and this is their first fruiting year. I’m so glad they survived the low rainfall which I’m sure owes much to their shady position.
My clematis have all gone to seed now but I spotted one last flower valiantly soldiering on, thereby earning the right to be included in this six.
Also on the clear up list was the rambling rose I chose to train up the back fence. It is ‘Wedding Day’. A mad choice I confess but I planned to train it into my neighbour’s trees. ‘Wedding Day’ is rampant and I didn’t keep it under control the first year. This week I took it hand and tied it in as best I could, rose scratched arms is not a good look! Half way through the job I consulted my RHS book of pruning which tells me that ramblers come in three groups and the pruning is slightly different for each group. Now I just have to find out which group ‘Wedding Day’ falls into.
Since I have mentioned my neighbour’s trees, it is only fair that I show one or two. This majestic willow catches the evening sun and is spectacular.
I also benefit from another neighbour’s elder tree. The berries are ripe now and some may find their way into fruit pie. The colour combination of stem, leaf and fruit is just sumptuous.
Sharing gardening experiences is a great part of #SixOnSaturday and an important part of gardening. I hope my ‘advice’ was well received but I will also share by potting up some of the seedlings I discovered in my clear up. There are a good number of astrantia major, hollyhocks and verbena bonariensia for a start. And I thank my neighbours for sharing their trees and giving me a fabulous frame for my garden.
For the links to other sixes pay a visit to The Propagator the hard working host of this meme. Now time to get back to that clean up!