It’s frustrating buying tropical plants in the winter – it really is. I waited until autumn to landscape my garden to avoid annoying any birds nesting in the shrubbery and to be able to collect the last harvest from my doomed apple trees. This has been a big drawback as it means a lot of what I wanted to achieve has to be put back until next year.
As a little sweetener I decided to buy some less tender plants to give me something to do and to at least make me feel like progress was being made. The pond needed some cover so that was the first thing to do. Another trip to my local nursery and another basket of plants. This time grasses. I wanted some grasses for placing at the bends of my bark chip path and amazingly in the sale items they had various types of Carex. Carex is the genus of the Sedge of which there are many types. I plumped for six Carex ‘Amazon Mist’ which have lovely fine blades like thick luscious hair, perfect for sweeping past and gently touching with your fingertips (yes I know, I’m like that). They’re quite small at the moment but they’ll grow and spread.
For the pond I bought a Carex oshimensis ‘Everillo’ which will look great as it arches and dips into the water like a mini weeping willow. Annoyingly when I got home I found I already had one growing in a rockery. It didn’t matter as that was just another one to put the other side of the pond.
For the pond’s oxygenating plants I bought a Pontederia cordata (Pickerel Weed) which will send up spikes of dark blue flowers in late summer and some Hydrilla (standard pond weed). I transfered some pond life from my other pond further up the garden to ‘activate’ it, alas this came with the compulsory duckweed.
Here’s how it looks now…
Inspired by an area of the New Forest I sometimes visit, I wanted to buy some Hart’s Tongue Ferns (Asplenium scolopendrium ‘Angustifolia’), with their long wavering shiny fronds, they’re a native plant with a tropical look and are shade loving so would be ideal for the area which is shaded by the shed. The ones in the nursery were only small but I got a couple anyway, however, when I got back I realised I’d got two Angustifolia (which I’d intended getting) and one Cristata which is the ‘Crested’ Hart’s Tongue Fern. Not a problem as they are similar and Cristata is actually a more interesting plant.
As I was milling around I also found a Bergenia called ‘Autumn Magic’ which I bought mainly for the leaves as they are large and fleshy and sometimes called Elephant’s Ears. In autumn they send up maroon red stems supporting small pink flowers.
The garden looks like it’s got potential now. You can start to see how it’s going to look….