30th January
These pages are a rolling diary of the changes and events in the garden for the year 2021 in words and pictures.
September to December
2nd September, this is a branch on the new maple planted in December 2020. The leaves are very spotty, and this has been the case for several other trees. In some cases the spots just fall out leaving holes. We aren’t sure but it may be a symptom of the very wet spells followed by dry and warm that have been a feature of the 2021 summer.
The canna, planted last year after the magnolia tree was removed, is flowering beautifully on 13th September. We will cut it back and cover it again this year to protect it from frost when the time comes, but try and avoid the severe damage that the leaves have suffered from being chewed while it was under cover. It was probably slugs, there are so many of the pests about this year. The verbena that was bought in error last year has turned out to be prolific and very pretty. Lucky mistake!
The stipa giganteas have grown so successfully we’ve created a new grass bed, seen here on 16th September. We have added another stipa and miscanthus senesis, both “Red Chief” and “Malepartus”. The smaller grasses are carex “Blue Zinger”.
A tedious job every year is cutting back the hawthorn hedge, and usually it inflicts pain and suffering too with those vicious barbs it grows. On 1st October Adrian the farmer was cutting his hedges around the field and gave us a major helping hand with his tractor and cutter. We could only dream of getting it this neat and square!
The 2021 chilli plants outgrew the limited space in the workshop and have spent the last three months on the seats in the gin palace. Seen on 14th October they seem to have thrived there, protected from any wind but westerly. The alstroemerias have grown a lot since we finally received them and also seem to appreciate the sheltered life on the shelves! Slugs haven’t found them yet.
The green banana which survived an outside winter has rewarded us by sprouting at least three new babies. Seen above on 17th October is the largest offspring.
Some years ago we planted nerines in the bed next to the gin palace. The slugs loved them and we lost sight of them until this beauty on the left popped up next to the crocosmia “Lucifer” on 10th October. It will be rehomed in a better place.
We saw this Cercis Canadensis “Rising Sun” earlier in the year at the Royal Duchy Nursery in Lostwithiel. A trip back there on 27th October and we found it would (just) fit in the car to come back to Tavistock. Planted the same day, but then a couple of days of gales saw most of the leaves removed. It is just about two metres high so we don’t have to wait years for it to grow to a good size! A few more slightly exotic plants are planned to go here in front of the potting shed next year.
13th November and the newest acer has put on a good show of red leaves. But in common with other plants in the garden there is some confusion about the mild autumn and a pair of new green leaves have recently emerged.
Also rather unusual is the leaf fall from the magnolia stellata, the lower part of the western side has dropped all its leaves but the rest of the tree is just turning yellow. Along with the new birch Grayswood Ghost these are about the last deciduous trees to shed their leaves fully. Then the leaf-collecting hoover can be put away for another year. Hooray!