Towards the end of the summer I decided to change the front of the garden as it was starting to look a bit of a mess. Small shrubs were decidedly boring and the Japanese Anemone had taken over and smothered everything else in the bed. Action had to be taken. What was going to stay and what was going to go?
As you can see from the pictures above and below, the extent to which the Anemone had grown is apparent. Japanese Anemone's are very invasive and will very quickly take over areas of the garden. Drastic action needed to be taken. So without further ado out comes the spade and cutters. Nothing else really was growing there and It was not really what i wanted.
With the Pieries removed and the base around the Rhododendron it was the turn of the Anemone to be removed, anyone that has tried removing will tell you it is not easy. Long deep roots and even the smallest piece left will result in it growing back. It is really difficult to get rid of once established, so if you are considering planting some in your garden please be aware of this. It is however a wonderful flowering plant.
You can see the Anenome on the left hand side here, considering it was 2-3 plants that were put in a few years ago it just went berserk. The underneath of the bay window has slate chippings under it as very little will grow in this area. Finished off with some bricks around the edge to separate it. As you can see the bricks have slipped and slate falling on the garden.
Work is now well underway to remove the Anemone and you can see the extent of the root balls on the plants. I do not like to throw anything away so the plants that have been dug up are given away to neighbours or used elsewhere. There are lots of Cyclemen around underneath the Anemone which are rescued and some given away and the rest replanted.
There was an irrigation system buried underneath it all too, which was removed and will be repaired and relaid later. Possibly for a trickle hose which does not rely on so much water pressure.
In the picture above you can see the movement in the brick surround which needs to be lifted and relaid to stop the slate spilling over. The damage is mainly caused by the Anemone and the poor Cyclemen can be seem in the foreground just coming into flower.
All the Anemone has now been removed and cleared and soil from the years pots has been put onto the ground and dug in to improve the soil quality. Some of the plants that were moved are now replanted towards the back as they will provide the height in the rear of the bed. The clematis at the back on the fence has also been reduced in size as it had also gotten overgrown and was starting to become a problem.
The Cyclemen have now been replanted towards the side of the Rhododendron and are in full leaf with some flowers still visible. They are remarkably hardy as the plants were dug up, stored in a tray for a few days, replanted and still they flower as it nothing had happened.
At the rear underneath the Clematis I have planted some recently moved Flag Iris and some Evening Primrose & Teasel's. They will get quite tall and the Iris will provide the gap between the two. I also found a Geum and a Foxglove or two hiding underneath it all, so duly moved and then replanted in the gaps. The rest of the bed will be left fallow until the spring to ensure all the Anemone was removed successfully, some of the roots always get left behind and i do not want to have to dig plants up again to remove it. To check i had removed as much as I could now I dug a trench around a foot deep all the way across the bed and painstakingly removed all the roots I could find. All in all around 2 days worth of work, but I feel much better now it has been done as it was a center point in the front garden and was way out of control.
Scientific name: Aster
Higher classification: Astereae
Lower classifications: Aster tripolium, Symphyotrichum oblongifolium,Aster alpinus, Aster amellus, Aster tataricus, Aster quitensis, Aster tongolensis, Symphyotrichum lateriflorum
Aster's are a beautiful easy to grow summer bedding plant. With so many different types to choose from and so easy to grow from seed the choice of which one's to grow is difficult. I always try to choose a few different varieties and mix them up so I get a good even spread of plants from the seeds. Basically I will open 3-4 packets of seeds and mix them up. Sow them into a few different trays and when pricking out again just keep them mixed. This way i can have a good mix in the borders and pots around the garden. Always remember to harden off your young plants before bringing them outside to minimize damage from the cold early in the season. Also remember to protect the young plants from slugs and snails as they seem to be a little tasty to the pesky critters.
Although Aster's can take a while to flower and the Pom Pom varieties can be a little top heavy, as seen in the pictures above they are beautiful and make a very effective display throughout the summer. You can also use them for cut flowers. As the stems are growing up cut the side shoots off. This will encourage the main flower to grow providing a long stem. It will however restrict the amount of flowers the plant will have.
Always remember to remove the dead heads throughout the season to keep the flowers coming, You should be able to get a good few months of continuous flowering from Aster's. At the end of the season remove the plants and prepare the ground or empty the pots for preparation for the winter months. Aster's are not hardy so should be removed before the cold weather closes in.
Hesperantha, also know as Schizostylis. It seems to very complicated about which one is which as they seem to be 2 different plants that look remarkably similar. Well the argument rages between the people who seems to know, but to me I take the enjoyment of whatever it is that I have in the garden.
Easy to grow and hardy throughout the winter months, A late bloomer in the season so are now in full bloom. I have Pink and Red at the moment at they are beautiful at this time of the year when everything else is dying off and finishing. The flower stems can grow quite long so may need some help to stay upright.
Propagating is simple as there are many smaller plants at the base that can be split off the main plant and potted on. These if cared for will flower themselves the next year, as you can see below the leaves can flop over and can use a little help if the wind pushes them over. I use a half loop as you can see in the picture below, if you look closely you can also see the smaller plants ready to be split off.
So in summary, a beautiful easy to grow plant that will provide Autumn colour when everything else is dying off. Easy to propagate and is very low maintenance. TRhe perfect plant for the garden really, one which I highly recommend.
Please do not pay over the odds for these plants, I have seen them in garden centers for £12-£25 and there is no need to pay these prices. For a large sized plant should not cost you more that £8 and you can always split babies off the bottom and get many plants for your £8
Scientific name: Aquilegia
Higher classification: Ranunculaceae
Lower classifications: Aquilegia vulgaris, Aquilegia canadensis,Aquilegia chrysantha, Aquilegia caerulea, Aquilegia nuragica, Aquilegia saximontana, Aquilegia pubescens, Aquilegia grata, Aquilegia formosa,Aquilegia eximia, Aquilegia barbaricina
My name is Jonathan and I enjoy working in my garden in my spare time. I am no professional, just an amateur. My second love is photography, shooting the flowers in my garden and of course sharing them with people who share my passions.