Our much anticipated outside decking was finally installed earlier this summer and is now complete with table and chairs. The summer however so far has not proved conducive to al fresco dining. We've only managed it twice so far and had to dash in quickly on the first occasion when rain arrived between courses. Next summer can only be better and we yet may be blessed with a gentle balmy autumn.
With sitting outside in mind I've been planting up one or two permanent containers. We have gone for leafy loveliness rather than for flowers. The caravan is situated at the edge of woodland so it's more on the shady side rather than full blown sunshine. As it name suggests the Lake District gets copious amounts of rain, so hopefully we should not have to worry unduly about watering in our absence.
So far two big containers have been planted - one with an acer palmatum 'Atropurpureum' which we will have to trim as and when necessary. We bought this from the small but excellent garden centre in Grange-over-Sands, which is just four miles or so down the road from the caravan. On reflection I think that a green leaved acer may have made more or an impact but the deed has been done.
The other container has been planted as you can see above although I still have to apply a top dressing. No doubt some re-jigging will be taking place before long. The first inhabitant is an unknown heuchera bought at our garden club plant sale back in May. I was attracted to it by its colour. There was a label but I've come to the conclusion that the seller probably invented the name, as I've been unable to find any mention of it in books or on the world wide web.
Keeping it company are plants that I already had at home. The fern is athyrium filix-femina 'Dre's Dagger', which was in a pot but suffered from me forgetting to water it regularly in dry spells. It was somewhat frazzled earlier this summer but has perked up considerably since moving house. Sadly it's deciduous.
The largest plant of the trio which may well eventually dominate the container is the evergreen nandina domestica 'Obsessed'. New growth in spring is a fiery red which slowly morphs into green over the season. It has the bonus of small white flowers in midsummer but my plant has not produced any this year.
So there are the big containers up to now but there will be smaller ones too. A hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' is waiting for a permanent pot. I've also walked round the site to have a nose to see what other plants are doing well in containers. I noted a number of flourishing hostas which much to my surprise have not suffered from the ravages of slugs and snails. So with this in mind I was tempted yesterday by hosta 'Catherine' spotted at the Southport Flower Show on the impressive 'Sue Proctor Plants' stand.
I have to confess that apart from the above photo the others were taken a couple of weeks or so ago but I'm sure that the hostess of 'Garden Bloggers Foliage Day', Christina over at "Creating my own garden in the Hesperides" will be gracious enough to permit this slight digression.