This blog might start to give the impression that I believe everything in the garden needs to be rushed. Definitely not! Seems like a good time to point out my top three long-term garden projects that have been worth waiting for:
hedging: We baby-proofed our raised lawn in 2005 with hateful plastic fencing. In February ’08, after four clematis planted there had failed to disguise the thing, I decided to go long-term and planted a hedge of 18 short Portland roses (Rose de Rescht…thank you to the brilliant Richard at David Austin roses for the recommendation and plants). They haven’t taken long to approach their final height of 3.5′ — the seep hose at their roots and spring manure keeps them happy. Incredibly healthy and Barbie-pink, these old garden roses have a fragrance like heaven and huge flushes of flowers in June and September.
wisteria: After training the branches sideways and dosing it with sulfate of potash for four years, my wisteria finally rewards with a magnificent show over the back of the house in May. But I should have bought one in flower from a nursery to be sure of what I was getting. My specimen from J Parkers turned out to be wisteria floribunda: its huge racemes of flowers would have looked better on a pergola…the wisteria sinensis I’d ordered has the shorter flower bunches that would suit our wall much better. Sigh.
Clematis Rouge Cardinal: it took three years for this and another unnamed purple viticella type clematis to really strut their stuff. Both of them have their roots deep in very fertile, shaded soil and get a minimum of sun at their heads. If I were moving garden I think I’d look right away for shady corners with some dappled sun up high and plant clematis asap. Mine took so long to get going, but they flower so hard for 4 to 6 weeks during summer and give a better sense of profusion than almost any other plant in this garden.