I’ve been in my small garden long enough to know that every square inch is precious, so I still surprise myself when I realise I’m giving up space to plants I don’t love, like a pieris near the French doors by my office.
There’s a camellia I love – camellia sasanqua Winter’s toughie – which is struggling in a small pot in the courtyard part of the garden. The right thing to do would be to transplant it into an ericaceous barrel with the pieris, but I’ve hesitated because I’m afraid of crowding out the pieris. The shrub has only just moved into its own barrel after tucking in beside a rhododendron for a number of years, and my natural sympathies for the plant make me reluctant to force it to share space again. But it’s time to be ruthless: the camellia means more to me, and with my full garden getting ever fuller, I really can’t afford to be indulgent.
In this week’s podcast I’m talking a bit about my ruthless streak, including my habit for shamelessly chopping back strong perennials that are crowding out first-year plants like a fabulous Bourbon rose I bought at the RHS Chelsea flower show last year. I couldn’t think of the grower’s name during the recording, but it is Peter Beales Roses, a fine grower who had a most impressive (and crowded!) stand at last year’s show.
You can hear the current episode below, or use an app like iTunes or Stitcher to subscribe to it as a podcast for iTunes, Windows or Android: Stitcher subscribe instructions are here.
Here’s a list of plants and other key names in this week’s episode:
- Rhododendron purple splendor
- Tulips Orange Emperor, Professor Rontgen, Passionale, Moneymaker, Clusiana Sheila
- Narcissus Sun Disc
- Zaluzianskya – night scented phlox
- Anemone Blanda
- Lavender: Lavandula angustifolia Hidcote
- Mahonia japonica
- Lily of the Valley – convallaria majalis
- Herbaceous Peonies: red Sarah Bernhardt; Duchesse de Nemours (pictured above)
- Bourbon Rose Mme. Isaac Pereire
- Peter Beales Roses is the supplier I visited at last year’s RHS Chelsea flower show
- Sarah Hayhoe is the stained-glass designer: see samples of her work in one of my Chelsea posts from 2013.
What are you doing in your garden this spring? Have you allowed yourself to spring clean plants that aren’t earning their keep?