Sunday 1 May 2011


Yew log edging with Ranunculus nemorosus
Two long holiday weekends have afforded plenty of time for gardening, particularly as they have been fine and dry. A project I'm particularly glad to have completed is the edging of the back border with Yew logs, dividing the border from the lawn. The logs are half buried, with the soil built up behind them and I think give a neat and solid edge, although the mower won't get close-up to them so there'll be wisps of grass growing over them unless I'm diligent with the shears. But they will stop most of the incursions of grass and buttercups, etc, and provide definition.

The back border has been a troublesome area , being overshadowed to the south by a row of Norway Spruce and an overgrown jungle in the adjacent plot, and thus being rather shaded and dry. A bit of judicious thinning has let in more light, and cultivation has improved the soil, which is actually rather better than average in the garden. I've been planting it up over the past couple of years with tough, drought-tolerant perennials, and many of these are now well established and looking good. Among them is an unusual European woodland buttercup, Ranunculus nemorosus, which produces masses of small yellow flowers for a long time in spring and summer. It's other attractive feature is the heavily pigmented leaves on emergence; they appear brown with a few green patches, but then fade to light gren as they expand. Perhaps in leaner, lighter conditions they would remain coloured longer.

The Silver Sebrights 'helping' in the back border
Philip and the new edging
We have had warm dry weather for most of April and the ground is becoming very dry indeed. The grass is hardly growing and on dry banks is becoming very parched; the farmers are anxious about their wheat. A sharp but short shower on Friday afternoon was welcome, but it didn't do much and a strong easterly wind yesterday and today has negated any beneficial effects. The garden is littered with a mulch of Sycamore flowers, leaves and especially bud scales that have blown off the big adjacent tree - very messy. After a brief foray to the Gloucestershire Plant Heritage plant sale this afternoon - it continues tomorrow 2-6 pm at Eastcombe Village Hall - we went up to the Withington Horse Trials, held on the ridge that divides the Churn and Coln valleys. At 250 m (820') above sea level it gives a wonderful view across the Cotswolds, but also catches the wind terribly and wearing shorts was not such a good idea...

Withington Horse Trials


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