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