The City Garden at the end of February

Here we are in the City Garden at the end of February and I have been totally silent for quite a while! I have, however, been busy with several other activities – a short IT course, a few tailoring lessons, and a photography exhibition. I have told myself it isn’t gardening weather but just recently I have managed an hour or two and so here I am with my Six on Saturday!

Six on Saturday in The Fortnight Garden

I am unexpectedly in The Fortnight Garden again – after only one week! – and so my ‘Six on Saturday’ comes from Suffolk again. The garden is growing up, or perhaps it is just that I am finding the right plants for the various corners, and then leaving them alone to settle down. It has taken a while and I have made mistakes but this year I get a real thrill from looking out of the window or just wandering about at different times of the day. It is actually a very small garden but very densely planted.

Six on Saturday in the City Garden

This week Six on Saturday includes two grasses, two plants grown for their leaves, and hydrangeas in tubs. My garden is quite small and so quite a few pots are necessary, in sunny spots, in empty corners, in the Fernery, and just as ‘overflow’ from the rest of the garden. So here we are again, a week later and at the start of a warm and sunny day – BUT – the sun has turned round and is heading south again – too soon!

Tubs in the side patio

I have a small space at the side of the house which is protected and where one can sit on warm mornings and evenings. I have planted tubs with ferns but would like to plants some small shrubs for height and yet more colour. I have had all of the following before, but they had outgrown the tubs and I need to start again.

As the area is mainly about ferns I wondered if a Fatsia Japonica would be a good idea for a large tub.

Fatsia Japonica (www.crocus.co.uk)

I would love to grow a Ceanothus, but I believe this would not thrive in a tub/container. Instead I could try Hydrangea Macrophylla ‘Endless Summer’ which can be pruned and flowers on new wood.

Hydrangea Macrophylla 'Endless Summer' (www.the potted garden.co.uk)
Hydrangea Macrophylla ‘Endless Summer’ (www.the potted garden.co.uk)

So many decisions!

Garden makeover – north-facing terrace

The north-facing side of the house is a small, paved terrace garden planted with small shrubs and perennials. It is pretty all year round and the planting has worked well. However, the terrace borders on to a field and although I have mainly controlled the ground elder the pesky plant has invaded one of the beds. The Japanese anenomes are also starting to take over – action needed!

The terrace garden is lush in summer.

North-facing terrace garden in summer
North-facing terrace garden in summer

North-facing terrace garden in summer
North-facing terrace garden in summer

But by the end of summer it is more like a small jungle!

North-facing terrace garden in late summer
North-facing terrace garden in late summer

And here is the problem area. I have dug out the Bergenia ‘Abendglut’ and potted up, but you can see the ground elder, and the failing Hydrangea ‘Annabelle’. Two years ago it flowered prolifically, but the stems fall over and so I am going to replant this area with three ‘Annabelles’, staked, and hope they support one another. I may also take out the Tellima grandiflora which I find untidy and not particularly pretty and replace with Geranium Macrorrhizum ‘Spessart’ because I have quite a few plants from divisions elsewhere.

Problem patch
Problem patch

As I look at these photographs above it is rather ‘sweet and sugary’….

Other than this patch I am happy with the planting. I just need to prune the dogwoods and thin the anenomes and Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’. What will happen to the leftover plants? Well, I have another garden makeover starting, in London!

What do you think?