A rhododendron phase...

I am having a rhododendron phase - hopefully I will be rewarded by beautiful flowers on healthy bushes - well, that's the plan!

 A variety called Golden Torch.
New creamy yellow rhododendron

Sunday 21st October

This is going to be a huge day for me in the garden - I am going to try to have tidy impressions everywhere. I shall pretend that some visitors are arriving later this afternoon, so that I will pay attention to details, like the pathetic piles of weeds lying in the driveway and the new rhododendrons still unplanted, with their buds bursting into flower. I have already been Neem Oil-spraying the house roses. I might even sweep the patios and place the outdoor furniture artistically (wiping the spiders webs off the table, etc.).

Right - I have cleared the back of the Jelly Bean Border, and am now thinking about some radical rhododendron shifting. The puffy pale pinks are still annoying me over the water race, and it is obvious that I am in serious crowding trouble. I am planning a small new border at the fork of the driveway, where all the pink rhododendrons could be relocated. The problem is that I have a sceptical helper who disagrees with shifting plants unless it is autumn (when he becomes inexplicably unavailable). Humph...

Monday 22nd October

A three day weekend, and some serious rhododendron decisions to make. I am not instinctively a 'good' rhododendron person, and my greedy grabbing of nameless bargain bin plants has finally got me into a lot of trouble (I still don't know what to do with the newest arrivals - they are all sorts of fruit salady colours). I will wander outside with a cup of tea and try and be guided by my instincts and feelings. It's weird - clashing colours have never worried me before. Perhaps this is a sign of gardening middle age (hee hee).

 Youngest Son lending a hand.
dig my family


The new rhododendron border is a reality! Started by me, one lolly pink rhododendron already in position and the digging continues (Leroy is helping) as I write. Stephen has disappeared on a bicycle with the dog (cunning bloke!), and I am off now to shift the second lolly pink creation from Middle Border, and possibly the dark magenta as well. Middle Border will be subtle again, and already (in my mind, at least) the muted yellows and creams left in there look so much better.

And when the new digging is completed, I will be able to take an instant photo of the progress.

Saturday 27th October

All week I've driven in past the new-border-in-progress. It's a perfect design feature, a triumph, balancing the driveway border to the right. We have had rain on and off all week, so today the remaining rhododendrons will be safely shifted in - then some hellebores, bravely growing in the dry near the pump house. I have had a big week at work, so today will be a journey of mental healing. The second lolly pink rhododendron will also take a journey.

Fruhlingsmorgen :
Fruhlingsmorgen is a beautiful once-flowering rose bred by Kordes.

I am determined to notice and write down every small change on the garden, as October finishes. Be warned - this may become tedious - but the smallest details are exciting (like one new aquilegia seedling plant I found yesterday which was almost pure blue in colour, and the gentle fragrance of the rose Fruhlingsmorgen).

Sunday 28th October

The new driveway border is now three quarters finished, and I have a great excuse to buy some (more!) hostas. I want the ground here not to get cluttered, so the hosta patches will be ideal (of course I need instant results, so I will have to buy multiple plants, hee hee). Today I am up early and it's raining, so the first thing will be to visit the glass-house and prick out the remaining seedlings. Possibly I should sew some more lettuces, too, as compulsory lettuce salads now accompany each evening's meal.

 So pretty.
Cream Rhododendron


Yesterday I did lots of weeding in Middle Border, and planted the new fruit salady rhododendron and the new creamy yellow one. Two to go! There is so much greenness around, and the rain is still welcome.


We went in the rain to visit some open country gardens. They were interesting, and rather inspiring in reverse - the garden here is just as good! One result is that I'm thinking about laying a surface on some of my paths. The gardens we visited had gravel (looking somewhat inappropriate, in a woodland area far away from the house) and shredded bark (hmm...) and compacted soil (chemically weeded, not really an option here). All are ideas to think about.

On post garden-tour reflection, I'm very pleaded with the garden here.