Friday, 17 April 2009
A Margery Fish Moment
I think that it must have been my Margery Fish phase that was responsible. Whilst reading 'Gardening In The Shade' I was seduced by these words; "Variegated ground cover plants look particularly well under shrubs and under dark places. My stand by is a yellow dead - nettle, Lamium galeobdolon variegatum, which grows most generously, looks nice always and is particularly beautiful in the winter when its silver and grey-green leaves are startlingly brilliant. None of the recipients of the plants have complained about it and I have had none of the hard looks which which usually come after my donations of alpine strawberries, for instance. This lamium sends out long trails and and makes roots at each axil. It roots in gravel, in the poorest soil and at the edge of stones. As well as using it as a carpet to cover daffodils, under silver birch trees, and to pour down a shady bank like a silver waterfall, I put pieces at the edge of paths where they meet walls or buildings, and which are favourite places for flourishing colonies of weeds. It has a great idea of artistry without any help from me and can transform a dark underplanting of ivy or claytonia by weaving the shining leaves among the dark ones but disturbing no one".
I have spent most of the afternoon removing this thug, which has spread all along the patch of land at the side of the house. It certainly creeps along and roots as it goes. Well Margery must have had some exceedingly polite friends. I have very few yellow flowers in the garden so it must been the description and the foliage that made me weaken. I remember that it was a plant that took some finding at the time and that I was delighted to get my paws on it.
Again on the subject of thugs Himself also did battle in the same area today risking spontaneous combustion as he removed a lonicera nitida. Next to come out tomorrow will be some winter flowering jasmine. Then time to have another look at the area and for decisions to be made about what will go in the bare patches. I will also move some plants later this year. It's a shady east facing patch. Hellebores, campanulas, hardy geraniums, heucheras, tiarellas, brunnera and aquilegias are planted there and seem happy. The Japanese Painted Fern seemed happy too last summer but still no sign of it reemerging. My intention now is to include some later flowering interest. I am still deciding what to plant.
I have another lamium which might go in somewhere along there which I bought from the Country Market this week. This is lamium orvala which I was told is "gently self seeding".
Will I regret this purchase ? Time will tell !