The lower garden

I don’t write about the lower garden but it is looking rather nice.  In particular, the acers have lots of leaves this year – far more than last year.

The lower garden
Acer palmatum ‘Atropurpureum’
Acer palmatum ‘Katsura’
Acer palmatum ‘Dissectum’

The purple acer is the largest, while the dissectum ( the one at the front) is quite small.  The dissectum is meant to eventually grow to 2m tall but I don’t think that will happen for quite a few years (perhaps 50?).  Acers are quite slow growing.

I have a couple of other things in there as well.  The violets that I had thought would be dead for sure are still going and, surprisingly, haven’t been eaten by slugs.

Sweet violets

The dutch honeysuckle, which I could have sworn was dead, is now looking terrific.  Not in flower but it isn’t meant to flower until quite late in the summer.  There’s a really horrible grass growing right in front of it but I haven’t quite got the will to do anything about it just yet.  It’s growing right next to a pipe so digging it out will be tricky.  Plus my husband says that he doesn’t mind it (it’s only me who hates grass).

Dutch honeysuckle

Shaded garden

I absolutely love my shaded or “Japanese” garden.  Now that we are almost in summer, it is starting to look really pretty.  It also helps that I’ve done a bit more weeding.

"Japanese" garden
“Japanese” garden

It does get a bit of sunlight at midday so by the end of August, it’s really past its best; both the heucheras and the acers suffer from a bit of leaf scorch.  However, that is also when the dutch honeysuckle flowers.

My “Japanese” garden

I have a patch of garden that is more or less always in the shade (apart from noon in the middle of summer).  I wasn’t sure what to do with it but planted acers, heucheras, tiarella and heucherella.  I also planted a quince tree but it seems to have died, more or less.

"Japanese" garden
“Japanese” garden

I ended up planting a load of the violets here – they need some light in winter and spring but shade in summer.  As it is under a deciduous tree, this seems as good a place as any to plant them.

While I was working, a cheerful bumblebee buzzed round.  I think it liked the blossom.

One good thing about doing a bit of planting is it gives you a chance / reason to do some weeding.  I know this bed is quite weedy but I don’t like using chemicals in my garden and tend to leave weeds that I find attractive alone. My gardener once suggested that I put white gravel down to surpress the weeds but I know my children would chuck it about and it would drive me crackers.  Plus, having soil gives me a chance to sneak yet more plants in.

Blossom over the "Japanese" garden
Blossom over the “Japanese” garden

Autumn colours

While I was watering the seedlings in my cold frame (the foxgloves look AWESOME, the lupins dreadful), I stopped to admire the acers and heucheras in the lower bed.

This looks its best in Autumn
This looks its best in Autumn

One of my acers has lost all its leaves already but this one is really looking superb, particularly against all the yellow leaves that have fallen from the tree next door.

A few weeks ago, I planted a few foxglove seedlings in this bed as I’d run out of room in my cold frame and quite a few of them are still going well.  I hope that they will flower next year – foxgloves in this bed could look very beautiful.