Debbie's Garden

Hi Finuala

Lovely to hear from you. I have a collection of catalogues recently arrived all put to one side to look at after 1st February!!

I have done NOTHING about my garden recently. I got as far as a wish list last October. I found a couple of specialist nurseries to vist, Dave agreed to buy me a ‘feature’ for my birthday, we managed to free up time in the diary for a few days away to search for said ‘feature’ and visit the nurseries…. then Dave was ill!!!! He’s fine now, so we are hoping to reschedule the trip for March.

So – watch this space, I will let you know as soon as I start buying and planting – and thank you for reminding me about hellebores, I planted some in Northumberland and they were amazing.

Bye for now


Hi Debbie

 Just wondered how your thoughts on the garden were going?  Have those vegetable catalogues got any flowers in them too?  Those catalogues are a wonderful way of gardening in the winter – dreaming of what your garden might look like in the summer.  I must admit that I am not a “bedding” person, so much in those spring catalogues leaves me cold, but there are a few that have perennials as well. 

 The one annual that I tend to go for each year is Cosmos.  They perform so well, flowering their little heads off.  Last year mine kept going until the beginning of November, and all that they need is regular dead heading – I do it a couple of times a week (all the more for the compost bin). 

 I am rubbish at growing seeds, I never seem to have any luck with them.  Luckily these days there are so many ways of buying annuals, from mini plugs, all the way up to garden ready plants.  You obviously pay more as they get older and there is less risk of them failing but they are still remarkably good value for money.  The other great thing about annuals is that you can use them to fill in spaces as your garden grows up.  New gardens look so sad when they are empty, waiting for other plants to mature around them..

 Then of course at this time of year my thoughts turn to spring flowering plants.  Yes, bulbs had to go in last autumn, but there are still some wonderful plants that you can buy and pop straight in the ground. 

My favourite is the hellebore.  They tolerate most soil conditions and their flowers make you just want to stare and stare at them.  Some people put them in bowls of water so that they can appreciate them indoors.  The plants aren’t cheap (probably around £9.00), but once you have a few in your garden and fall in love with them then you can always buy a few more each year – that’s what I do.

 Hellebores aren’t the only choice – snowdrops, primroses, cyclamen and many other wonderful plants are just thinking of waking up.

 So, how are your dreams going?

 Best Wishes


Hi Finuala

Just managed to grab half an hour in the sweet shop!!

I have realised that I seem to have an oriental theme developing???!!!

I have found a grass I like, penniesetum alopecurides, add this to bamboo, lonicera japonica, holboellia coriacea, chaenomeles and miscanthus……

I have also always liked acer palmatum but have been told in the past that they can be very difficult to grow. Have you grown them?



 Hi Debbie

There are a load of lovely plants from the oriental as that was a favourite place for the Victorian plant hunters.  Is the theme just the plants or are you thinking of expanding it into the decoration as well? 

I was pleased to see that the Penniesetum is frost hardy, there are some that aren’t.  I haven’t tried Acers as I don;t have the right spot for one.  Their big issue is wind damage.  I’d wait a while and eventually create a sheltered are for one, but bear it in mind as you design. (I am assuming that your garden is pretty windy – an I right?)


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