Wednesday, 5 June 2013

SPAB Garden update

I actually saw some sunshine in the usually very shady SPAB garden this week and luckily it was on the herbs planted a few weeks ago. Everything is really springing to life and I'm now getting a good sense of what already grows well in the garden. The Hostas are growing rapidly and new ferns are appearing everywhere.

A Polygonatum (Solomon's seal) looked pretty in the dappled sunshine and I'm relieved to see that the Jasmine has recovered from its winter blues and there are now more green leaves than dead leaves...

I've added some new plants to the borders over the past few months including Acanthus mollis, Alchemilla mollis, Euphorbia amygdaloides Purpurea, Polemonium caeruleum 'Bambino Blue' and Ajuga reptans and Stachys officinalis. All seem to be fine so far!

We decided not to plant directly into the old cistern in case the soil damaged it and instead got some basic pots to fit inside (propped up - but need to go up a few more centimetres). I researched Nicholas Culpeper's list of herbs in his book The English Physician and thought about which ones would cope with little direct sunlight and that birds and insects might also like. These are the ones now planted: Hesperis matronalis (Sweet rocket), Anthriscus cerefolium (chervil), Origanum vulgare (wild marjoram), Melissa officinalis (lemon balm), Salva officinalis 'Broad leaved' (sage), Rumex sanguineus (Sorrel bloody dock), Satureja montana (winter savory) and Fragaria vesca (wild strawberries). All have grown in the past two weeks although the Hesperis looks very sorry for itself - it probably needs more sunshine - so that might get replaced on my next visit. It is flowering though so I'll leave it for now - just in case any passing bees or butterflies spot it!

There are lots of tiny strawberry fruits but I would imagine the birds will get them before the staff!

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