Holding on to dreams and accepting losses is part of gardening.
Another day has been passed pleasantly in the garden. Thankfully, the weather has been good of late and this has been possible.
The start of the morning was spent finishing a job I had started yesterday afternoon. Midsummer often brings the regret that we hadn’t staked some of the tall herbaceous plants early enough in the year and then find it a nuisance of a job to try to remedy the situation, a certain strangling of plants, a pushing and shoving to get them standing up again in some acceptable manner. The plant receiving our attention today was a Leucanthemum, a tall white daisy, growing in Mary’s White Garden. It is an exceptional plant, one we like very much, and it is a shame when we miss the timing of giving it the support which allows it to grow to its best.
We have used various methods over the past years. When it was a smaller clump, it was easily contained and supported by a pair of metal hoops. As it grew, we used a combination of hornbeam branches and garden twine – hardly an elegant arrangement but functional though short-lived as the hornbeam branches become brittle and break after one season. This year was going to be different, more effective and longer lasting, I had decided, and so this marvel of bamboo construction was put in place:
The leucanthemum will fill and hide (I hope!) the framework by the time it comes into flower. And the dream? Well, this is Leucanthemum ‘Hazel’s Dream’, named for Hazel Woods of Kilmurry Nursery where the plant was raised. The flowers are semi-double and flutter beautifully in the lightest breeze, a true treasure!
After this major work of construction – I was like a child with a Meccano set! – I went back to my work on the Ash Bed and to an unwelcome and unfortunate task. I had noticed a clump of snowdrops, Galanthus plicatus, had become infected by virus – not the Coronavirus, I hasten to add, but one which is detrimental to snowdrops and would most likely spread to other bulbs in this bed so there was no option but to remove them all and dump them. At a quick reckoning, there were about 350 bulbs so it was a big loss but a necessary one.
The space left after removing the snowdrops tempted me to rescue a group of small offsets from a trillium elsewhere in the garden and give them more space and light here where, hopefully, they will thrive. These are Trillium cuneatum which have very nicely marked foliage though the flower is not quite so spectacular. It is interesting nonetheless.
I finished the afternoon removing the fading flowers from a group of hellebores. These are inclined to seed about a little too generously and are best dead-headed. This also allows the foliage and the plant to grow away strongly and helps ensure good plants and good flowering in the following year.