Acer palmatum senkaki

A cool to cold August, which included damaging frost, was followed by a strangely subdued start to September. It just didn’t warm up. And the frogs remain ominously quiet. It is dry – and too much heat now without moisture can do harm. But when one gets beyond the frost damage, I think this late spring promises to be a good one.

crabapple malus floribunda

My problem is that the Spring Fair starts on Friday. It is always at least a week too early for my garden, and on a year like this at least two. Last year I spent money on instant colour, but the plants that survived have adjusted to our climate and won’t be performing fully before October. So this year it is ‘what you see is what you get’. The beauty is there for them as will look. And I really don’t cater for them as what won’t.

Winking smile

crab apple

Luckily the crab-apples are always ready in time. And you can walk for 40m under them up in the arboretum. For them what’s prepared to climb to get to them. Once there the azaleas are coming along nicely with new colours around every turn. It is time to start careful walks with tripod and camera. Next post…

ex canna bed cannabed close upah acanna

Framed in thick black, the famous canna bed of my header pic. Remember the porcupines after 25 years suddenly developed a taste for cannas. I think they also taught the bush-pigs – our version of wild boar, They had done so much damage we decided to let them get on with it. So this is the sight that greeted me today. Total desolation. (And an interestingly organic edge Winking smile ) Top right you can see the few little roots lying on the surface, and ne’er a blade or a tuber in sight. Oh no wait: in the furthest corner I find a sign of life. But there is no doubt – any cannas that survive here will be moved to the bed at the old barn, which is luckily intact. i think a mass of bright annuals here that can be sown directly into the sandy soil. Perhaps neon orange california poppies and some white alyssum to leven them… Problem is that there is nearly 100m2 of ground to cover here. Even cheap and easy seeds will cost!

wisteria Dark red chaenomeles

On a much happier note – the chaenomeles are looking lovely bordering the Anniversary Garden and the wisteria has started to flower there. One of my favourite combinations in the whole garden, although not foreseen!

red and mauve together



    • My porcupines pale into insignificance, Helen, when I think back on visiting the garden of friends some years back who live an hour east, and quite close to the Kruger Park. I was greeted with “You should have come yesterday. Last night a hippopotamus trampled and trashed all my beautiful roses!”

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