Wel­com­ing back an old friend!

A small gar­den in Mersey­side packed with a va­ri­ety of dif­fer­ent features.

Garden News (UK) - - Over The Fence - Tony McCabe

In the back gar­den a froth of self-sown for­get-menots looks ter­rific with the flow­ers of our old rhodo­den­dron in the back­ground catch­ing the eye. The rhodo was a cut­ting taken from the very first plant we put in the gar­den nearly 40 years ago. So it’s great to wel­come it back, look­ing as it did all those years ago.

Look­ing just as good is a wellestab­lished dwarf rhodo­den­dron and look­ing across the gar­den with it in the fore­ground and the light and shade mak­ing pat­terns, lifted my spir­its.

The ma­ture Mex­i­can or­ange blos­som ( Choisya ter­nata) on the fence be­hind the pond is fill­ing the gar­den with per­fume just as the flow­ers of Skim­mia japon­ica ‘Fra­grant Cloud’ have fin­ished.

In the front gar­den, the labur­num, in flower to­gether with self-sown hon­esty, pro­duced such an at­trac­tive dis­play I had the per­fect ex­cuse not dis­turb it to paint the gates!

Mean­while, the vi­o­las, planted last au­tumn in the small bor­der next to the lawn, con­tinue to flower pro­fusely. They can stay for a few more weeks as ten­der plants har­den off.

The first real pests have sur­faced, with an ex­plo­sion of lily bee­tles par­ty­ing on the frit­il­lar­ies and emerg­ing lily growth. Need­less to say they’ve been made aware of the er­ror of their ways and es­corted from the premises!

In the green­house, the sum­mer ed­i­bles are well on the way. The salad leaves are grow­ing well and the toma­toes and cu­cum­ber are rev­el­ling in the warmer con­di­tions. Seed pota­toes planted in a large pot have made im­pres­sive top growth – hope­fully it will be con­verted into a good crop.

The first few straw­ber­ries will be picked in the next few days and with the ten­der plants go­ing out­side I’ll have more space on the stag­ing for seed sow­ing and cut­ting tak­ing.

I must con­fess, work­ing in the green­house at this time of year is quite ad­dic­tive!

The scent of choisya is up­lift­ing Splen­did sum­mer sal­ads are do­ing well

I’ve left off paint­ing the gates to leave this lovely dis­play alone!

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