Reduce hypericum in F2

The hypericum ‘Hidcote’ in F2 put on a terrific display, but they’d got too big and dominant. See these pictures from last year. There were originally four plants here. One I dug out in 2019. I removed another today and cut another right back, leaving just one untouched.

I had plenty of sun loving perennials in pots to plant out in the gaps.

The santolina clearly likes it here. I’ve taken some cuttings, and I’ll try to reduce it’s spread over the pavement. Perhaps it will grow a bit from the base now its no longer covered by the hypericum.

Clematis armandii

Looks superb at this time of year. Covers the fence with evergreen foliage without taking up too much depth, and may be the way forward with Plan B for the E fence.

Possibilities, 26th March 2021

The cistus in F2 has flopped over towards the street. This part is still flowering well, although quite a few stems facing up died and were cut away. This leaves space for something – bluebells, wood anenomes, primroses?

The hibiscus in F1 by the front door has never flowered, in spite of various pruning regimens and lots sulphate of potash. Its leaves are quite attractive in spring, summer and autumn, but I really need something with year-round interest next to the front door. There used to be a clematis ‘Mme Julia Correvon’ behind it but this never got going – probably too shaded. How about Nandina domestica?

The N half of the E fence needs covering all year round. The winter jasmine in the NE corner is slowly recovering from being pruned to the ground a year ago. I need a clematis cirrhosa ‘Freckles’, an ivy, possibly another ‘Sulphur Heart’, or ‘Goldheart’ if it’s vigorous enough, and another trachelospermum, perhaps asiaticum for a change. The hardy fuschia does a good job, but not in the winter months. It may survive the evergreen climbers for a few years. It’ll certainly be a useful support for them to get going through.

I’ve always thought the gap between the pittosporum and the pond wall was a mistake. I need something reasonably substantial and evergreen here. A pampas grass?

The clematis armandii is doing a superb job of covering the fencing in the SE corner. I need a plant growing in the bed. Fatshedera, bamboo, pittosporum? I cut the red-leaved elder back to the lowest shoots. Probably not far enough. At the National Botanic Garden they coppice some of theirs. The pyracantha never did anything (why?) and has been cut back to a stump preparatory to being dug out.

Pots on astro platform

While there’s not much astronomy happening (it’s still not dark at 11pm) there’s space for a few pots on the astronomy platform.

Looking good today

Only the neighbours really get to see the hydrangea, but it’s well worth going round to look.

For 11 months of the year I wonder why I keep the dianthus (carnation, pink?) in its pot. This is why.

Salvia ‘Caradonna’ is the only one I’ve tried that succeeds left in the ground.

There’s a neighbourhood cat that will destroy the nepeta if it gets the chance, but not when it’s this big, I think.

The acanthus may completely take over the NE corner, but I don’t mind.

It’s incredible how weedy the E fence fuchsia looked only a few months ago. See E fence in winter. But today I was cutting off great branches so I could get round the pond.

Gravel strip behind astronomy platform

I’ve often thought about planting something in this gap. Mind-your-own-business, chamomile, succulents or sweet woodruff. As a first step I cleared out the gravel in the narrow section to a depth of 100cm or so when it was dry, cleaned it and topped it up with fresh golden gravel. The drainage is probably still not brilliant.

Looking good

The solanum was heavily cut back after being blown down last year and in the NE corner fence clearout, but is still obviously in a rude state of health, and will benefit from further treatment later this year.

The bleeding heart (now called Lamprocapnos spectabilis) has a moment of glory now before being swamped by the acanthus.

The foliage in the SE corner is now so good that I can’t see the fence at all. Unfortunately it’s all deciduous so I’ve got to do something when the fence is replaced next winter. The rosa rubrifolia always looks dead at this time of year.