The ‘ruin’ garden.

Well, it’s finished. Well, more or less. All we need now is a good summer! Gages ‘Reine Claude’ and ‘Oulin’s’ are planted against its S and E facing walls, and the old pear ‘William’s Bon Chretien’ on the W facing wall that overlooks the lily pond (where the first red leaf buds show beneath the water’s surface). Material was bare rooted, excellent, from a nursery called XXXX. The walls aren’t wired yet, but the size of the trees hardly warrants that quite yet!

Lots of seed has arrived from Franchi’s London branch, and samples of almost everything are already in the open ground, or in the warmth of the garden room….  Tremendously exciting.  And of course, there is not nearly enough room for everything.  With even three plants of the gorgeous squash/pumpkin and marrow varieties I couldn’t resist, then the whole space would be taken up with them alone.

Fortunately, there’s a tiny piece of unused ground at the end of the garden, outside the ‘ruin’, pretentiously called ‘the wood’.  Well, it’s rather less wooded just now, as we took down a large birch tree last week that was encumbering a handsome old pine.  With the birch down, there’s suddenly a lot of open, south-facing space.


That’s where the pumpkins and so on will go.  I might even get in a few plants of a lovely purple scaled artichoke.  Yum.

And, if you read an earlier post on using cookie plastic boxes for overwintering seed that needs winter treatment, I’ve just been checking the now somewhat battered boxes.  They’ve done me proud-ish.  Sorbus reducta (most marvellous coral red almost translucent berries on tiny plants), the Chinese Sorbus, a tree, weighed down in autumn with pink berries (no species name yet), several species of Aconitum, Gentiana asclepiadea, and so on and so forth.  And it was entirely my mistake that I forgot to plant some posh paeony seed.  Dang.  So Paeonia veitchii seed, and some possibly ripe seed from a whopping pink moutan are now wrapped in wet tissue and put in the fridge for a week or two.  Even then, they may take a proper winter before deigning to germinate.

So, more saving up of cookie cases for next winter…


About david stuart

garden writer and journalist, and occasionally a designer, with a garden in the Scottish borders, and his pal's gardens in Edinburgh, London, and Lincolnshire. They keep both of us very, very busy. Books I've written listed on my website, and dozens of articles and garden and plant pictures. Currently working on several new projects. One of these was to return to painting - see the blog - and which is proving exciting! or, more fun, have a look at
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