Christine's garden Gardening Home page features Perenniels

What to do when you don’t like something anymore?

I am wondering what the general consensus amongst gardeners is about this topic. As I consider plants to be living things, simply pulling them out and turfing them on the trash heap seems wrong to me. But I’ve noticed that landscapers do this without any hesitation, so I am wondering whether its considered PC to do this? I have a few “areas” and plants in my garden that I’ve lived with for some time now and I just don’t like them. What to do? I feel almost as if I was given a puppy for Christmas that gets on my nerves and now I want to ship him off to the nearest shelter … Please tell me its not the same thing? What is the correct way of dealing with unwanted plants that are thriving in one’s garden?

Here are the things I’m not loving in my garden:

[one_half]Higgeldy Piggedy Lavender DentataLavender Dentata[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Plectranthus “Mona Lavender”Plectranthus Mona Lavender[/one_half_last]

1). Lavender dentata that was planted in a row in the flower bed beside our pool. Each plant seems to do its own thing, grows in a different way and direction, the result is a border of lavender plants that I don’t think look at all attractive. Its a bit of a higgeldy piggledy mess.There are ten of these I’m thinking of pulling out.

2). Plectranthus “Mona Lavender” has soft stems that just break off all the time – just walking past it seems to damage them. They look very bare and uninteresting now that the season is changing and even when they are bloomimg and full in summer … well, lets just say I am not a fan. I don’t mind having a few of them mixed in with the other plants in the back, shade garden (I have a lot there too), but I don’t like them at all in the front garden where there are eight of them in two rows, all in varying sizes, shapes and in varying stages of growth (or decline). I think I could make this look much better with something else.

If any locals happen to read this blog and would like to have these plants, provided you come and fetch them from me you are welcome to have these plants. I’d feel much better if they went to a “loving home” rather than ending up at “the shelter”, aka the compost heap.

Christine's garden Gardening Home page features

Agapanthus and others …

Back Garden updateAn “update” on our back garden I previously wrote about here. With the lovely weather we’ve been having the back garden seems to be flourishing. Agapanthus are flowering, the Plectranthus “Mona Lavender” is thriving, the Plectranthus madagascariensis (which I love!) is growing a bit out of control and I keep cutting it back, the dietes are growing well, Camellias are thriving and the two new trees have grown quite a bit …

I’m very happy with how things are looking. Even the new lawn is doing well. The aphids I’ve been working to get rid of seem to have packed up and left (for now) and the birds are having a merry time picking berries off the trees. Mostly I am enjoying the Agapanthus. I know they probably seem dead ordinary to most people – they seem to line the streets of Cape Town’s southern suburbs – I see them everywhere. But that’s fine with me because I really love them. Mine are Agapanthus africanus – Miniature blue. They are a rich, deep blue with gorgeous green leaves and look quite beautiful.

[one_third]Agapanthus & "Mona Lavender".[/one_third]

[one_third]Delicious Monster[/one_third]

[one_third_last]Agapanthus africanus - miniature blue[/one_third_last]

Christine's garden Gardening Home page features

Plectranthus ‘Mona Lavender’ flowering

“Bread feeds the body, indeed, but flowers feed also the soul.” – From The Koran

I work in my garden because I love to watch my plants grow. There are two things which really make me forget about the problems of the world – If ever I am having a stressful day or been upset by something, taking a few minutes out to cuddle or play with one of my “four-legged” family members always seems to relieve some of the stress and put things into perspective. Even better? A walk around my garden with both of them in tow as we admire new growth, sniff a flower or pluck out a weed … and the world is right once again.

My lovely Pandorea Jasminoides have sprouted lots of new leaves and stems since last weeks “cutting back” exercise and two of the tree have new flowers! They are so pretty. And then today we are admiring our Plectranthus – ‘Mona Lavender’ which are just starting to flower now. The Mona Lavender is an attractive form of Plectranthus that does not spread like other members of the family. It is a wonderful solution for shady areas in the garden and apparently also makes an ideal container or basket plant (though I haven’t tried that). Numerous spikes of lavender coloured flowers begin to appear from late summer and flower through autumn. They form a neat low shrub with an upright, erect habit and when not flowering, it’s ornamental foliage of deep green leaves with dark purple coloured undersides are very attractive too.

Here they are just starting to flower now – and will apparently be a mass of purple flowers soon …

[one_half]Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender'[/one_half]

[one_half_last]Plectranthus 'Mona Lavender'[/one_half_last]

Christine's garden Gardening Home page features Trees

The Willow Tree – then and now

I have a huge Willow tree in my garden – as you open the front entrance to the property it is in fact the first thing you see. I have no idea how old it is – I’m assuming it’s pretty old because it is really large. I love willow trees – I think they are quite gorgeous, but this one does throw a lot of shade onto the front garden.

Before – December 2007:

Willow Tree Before - December 2007I managed to find this old photograph of the willow tree and its surrounds so you can see the “before and after” pics of this little area in the garden. (my photography skills are zero, so excuse the photo quality!). I have no idea what those bushes are on either side of it – they grew totally out of control and were removed, as were the messy “hen & chicks” plants around the base. We cleaned up the area, fixed up the broken brick work and it looks neater now as you can see on the “after” photo …[/one_half]


After – January 2011:

Willow Tree after - January 2011Here it is now after it was pruned somewhat to let some light into the garden and with the new plants that were planted in August. Coming along nicely. To the left we planted 2 x Nandina domestica (Sacred Bamboo) on either side of a Cammellia, at the base we have Hypoestes aristata ‘Purple’ – Ribbon Bush, Nandina pygmaea – Dwarf Sacred Bamboo, which are also on the right of the tree, another Sacred Bamboo on the right and then Cape Thatching Reed with Plectranthus madagascariensis.[/one_half_last]

I think it will look great once the plants have had a chance to really establish themselves. (You can view large versions of the photos by clicking on them – no comments about by crappy photographic skells please!!).