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.

Cut back Miscanthus sinensis ‘Flamingo’

I’ve never cut back the Miscanthus in the past, even though it’s said to be deciduous and very much obscures the Helleborus ‘Harvington Pink’ at this time of the year. Let’s hope it recovers well.

First frost

First frost to affect plants last night.

Bedding begonias in pot at back look as though they have been hit, although those at the front are fine.

Conversely, the two brugmansias still out at the front look rather bedraggled, while the single one at the back is as good as ever, with 12 flowers out, and more apparently coming.


I brought two of the small brugmansias indoors a couple of weeks ago, cutting one right back and putting its cuttings in water, as usual.

This big one at the back is the best it’s ever been. It gets blown over if it’s left on the astro platform in the wind, and it has to be moved out of the way if I need to get a telescope out. I stopped my weekly feed a week or so ago.

The big and medium plants in the front are looking a bit battered. They can’t be moved out of the wind.

Looking good today

The melianthus major went in last October and made a very slow start, but now it looks fine.

The lysimachia is a thug, but easy to control, and very attractive.

There’s another gladiolus ‘Plum tart’ in a pot at the front. Not so far out. They’re overwintered in their pots by the compost heap.

This is the third year the edelweiss has flowered in its pot, which it shares with Tulipa ‘Golden Apeldoorn’.

This is the second year the cirsium have flowered. Success.

The day lily is my favourite of the three I’ve got. The others are a plain bright yellow, and a pink.

Solanum down again

Last night half the solanum in the NE corner blew down in a not particularly strong wind. This is a more or less annual occurrence. I must keep it more in trim. The fences are hideous,.