Tuesday, June 27, 2017

Go Grow Glow!

The yuccas in the second raised bed are enjoying the summer and growing away nicely, except for one that is...

The Yucca rostrata right in the middle of this bed has sadly popped its head off a couple of weeks ago. It was already looking peaky by the end of winter however I was hoping it would pull through and grow robust once the weather warmed up. Alas that was not the case as when we had a very windy period a few weeks ago, with the gusts off came its head. It's a shame to lose this one as it was the first Yucca rostrata I had bought and from a nursery too that no longer exists but was ahead of its game then. This yucca has always had a slight gash near the crown which I presumed had fully healed as it seemed in the last few years but perhaps last winter it became a site for rot to develop and spread to eventually finish it off.

Shame it had to GO but it is a dead plant in a very prominent spot. I'm still considering what to replace it with, whether another Yucca rostrata or a large glazed urn, or perhaps a different plant altogether. Watch this space...

As for GROW, a few notable ones are:

Chamaerops humilis
This Chamaerops humilis growing in a pot which had strangely spear pulled last winter even though it was a relatively mild one. The good thing is it is clearly recovering but pushing out new growth. Oddly though, it has also pushed out an inflorescence albeit a small one at the same time. Silly palm, couldn't make up its mind.

Gunnera tinctoria
Near the palm above is our Gunnera tinctoria growing robustly and has already rooted over the pond coping stone to dip its feet directly on to the water, helping it grow even bigger and remain upright.

Schefflera rhododendrifolia
And back on to the second raised bed, the Schefflera rhododendrifolia is looking extra good with it's new growth and flush of leaves.

Trachycarpus princeps hybrid
And jumping on to the middle patio, I spotted this Trachycarpus princeps hybrid positively GLOWing as it catches the morning light. Lovely!

Mark :-)

Monday, June 26, 2017

Tale of Two Agaves

Herein lies the tale of two agaves and how their different treatment through the years have made a difference on their growth rate. 

I bought two small Agave ovatifolias in 2013, grown from the same batch of seeds, they were exactly the same size when I acquired them. Repotted into identical pots, they both grew at exactly the same size until in 2015 when one of them was transferred on to a blue glazed pot and placed at the front of the house. Since the makeover all the plants there were given extra attention, to keep the front garden looking smart (prior to that the front of the house was genuinely neglected and often a dumping ground for building materials for the back garden). So plants were regularly watered, fed, and kept weed free.

The second one was placed by the edge of the koi pond in a plastic white pot. It was a prominent spot but not a conducive one for the health and growth of the agave. Under the eaves of a pergola, it remained dry whenever rain fell, and by being on the edge of a koi pond it was rarely watered to minimise the risk of soil (and more bacteria) running into the pond.

So the first one got watered regularly and was placed in a bigger pot, the second one kept on the dry side and remained in a small pot for years. The result is going to be obvious, two years on the former is more than double the size of the latter.

Feeling guilty that I have grossly neglected the latter, it was time to treat it right by giving it a much bigger pot. It has then been placed away from the shelter of the pergola  in the open to bask in the sun and get watered much more regularly. So two weeks ago it was given a new home.

Where it is now gets sun all year round, sheltered but will get rained on, and much more likely to get watered when we have the hosepipe out and the entire garden gets supplemental watering.

Hopefully it will catch up in size with its front garden brother relatively quickly. With both being in a pot neither of them are likely to attain the size they can potentially do when planted out. But they can still attain a very good size even in a pot if watered regularly during the summer and given a sufficient sized container.

Mark :-)

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Our Exotic Garden in Early June

Time flies so fast and it's the first week of June already! We just came back from a long weekend in Belfast and we'll be featuring snaps of the vibrant capital of Northern Ireland shortly.

Before we went there I had the chance to take a few random snaps of the garden...

Morning really is the best time to take photos of the garden, when the lighting is soft yet bright. The jungle area is looking verdant already and yet the summer growth is still looming.

I love the way the yellow culms of the bamboo catch the light and seeming help to illuminate this area

Phyllostachys vivax f. aureocaulis

Another view of the jungle...

It's been a good spring for the flowering of Trachycarpus fortunei wherein nearly all of our palms, big and small flowered this year. Will we get lots of seeds? We shall wait and see!

This sedum catching the morning light. 

One of Cotton's favourite sleeping spots

And this border on our top patio is looking verdant too. The Schefflera taiwaniana on the left will need staking as it's becoming top heavy.

Fortunately I managed to take these photos whilst the weather was fine as it was certainly not when we got back. Heavy rains and strong winds made spending time in the garden today very unappealing. Hopefully by next weekend the weather will be great again, and we'll be able to continue with our sprucing up!

Mark :-)