|A Little Bit of Gardening|
There is very little growing in our new garden. Two 'dwarf' conifers - one on either side of the garden, which, I know from past experience will, once they decide to grow to their full potential, take off and not stop until they have reached 3m or more in height. One of these conifers' resides with two variegated Hebe - planted in a raised bed, with a scattering of crocus beneath (all of which were desperately pushing themselves out of the ground).
Running beside a low boundary wall a narrow south-facing border contains one enormous Weigela, two Fuchsias, short in habit with weeping branches and another splattering of crocus. Low growing plants include an Erodium and a Campanula. Planted against the back wall, tucked in a corner beneath the vent to the boiler is an Exochorda x macrantha 'The Bride'; which to my great pride I had recognised before we found the label buried beneath the built up soil.
Two ivy (the previous owner obviously didn't know the rule about planting in odd numbers), grow either side of the 'shed' door. I use the word shed advisedly...It is a lovely long single storey brick building, divided up between the neighbours. The majority of the ivy will be removed...I always like the notion of wrens sheltering in the ivy during the winter, as we saw so often at Orchards but I've yet to see one wren! Sadly neglected too the ivies scramble over the wall into the neighbour's garden and more worryingly into the gutters and under the tiles.
My main aim today, with the sun on my back, was to remove one small conifer and prune, deadhead and tip back the hebes. It took several hours of painstaking pruning to remove most of the deadwood, but as with most gardening, when you are up close and carefully observing, I noticed three separate stems with new flower buds, in varying stages of bud development. And it's only the 10th January.
Deadheading the spent blooms will help to promote additional flowering but generally speaking the shrub needs little or no pruning. Shortening some of the stems however, will give a bushier growth.
They can be grown as hedges, specimen plants and rock plants. The leaves too are different shapes. Some are less hardy than others. Most dislike cold winds but can be cut back hard into old wood to recover. They enjoy cool summers and mild winters and are best in loose well drained soil whether it be alkaline or acid in sun or shade.