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Archive for the ‘Rhododendrons’ Category


Recently the Flâneur Husband commented on how he was a bit sad that all flowers were concentrated mainly on the South-Western side of the garden. The Ambitious Border, The Puddles, The Sunny Border; everything seemed to happen to one side, and of course he’s completely right.

Mainly this is because I’ve been afraid to attack the main lawn. First of all, to make any sort of impact, a flower bed in the lawn would have to be of a certain size, and clearing lawn is always a big project. (And at times back-breaking.) Secondly, when we bought the summer house he was rather adamant that we should have a large lawn, so I’ve been chipping away at it at the sides where it wouldn’t make too much difference to the overall lawn space.

Mowed lawn

However, the last time we were in the garden together we were walking around and he mentioned that he’d like some more flowers to the North-East and North, and he would quite like a large flower bed in the lawn in front of the rhododendrons (by the garden bench to the right in the picture above). Hallelujah! I WANT THAT TOO!!!

Once the rhododendrons and the cherry plum has finished blooming there’s really nothing interesting happening on the right side of the house until the patch of goldenrods make their show in August/September, so we need something that will be glorious during the summer months.

Wait a minute… Is the Ambitious Border done yet? No, of course it isn’t; there is still a 3-meter gap between the border-proper and The Puddles, so obviously I need to clear that ground before I start digging in the lawn, but the other day my husband asked me if flaneurgardening.com was dying, and I think that’s just because I’m sort of loosing steam here. And what better way to find something new to write about than, well, PLANNING something new!

So what am I thinking about? Well, the lawn that will remain afterwards needs to have certain proportions. There needs to be room for a long table for an al-fresco lunch for 20 people, and alongside that room enough for a game of croquet, pétanque or Kubb, so basically this means an area around 8 x 12 meters should be kept as lawn. (And no, we’re not using competition standards when setting up lawn games…)

This will give space for a narrow path in front of the rhododendrons and a long flowerbed in front of that, perhaps a few meters wide and 7-8 meters long. To eliminate the need to mow a narrow path, this could probably be made of a weed-blocking material covered with wood chips made from our rather large stock-pile of twigs and small branches that are currently piled up behind the house.

So… Once the ground is cleared of grass, the path is made and everything is ready, what on earth should go into such a large flowerbed? Well, obviously I want everything in the garden to be fully hardy perennials, with few exceptions for special plants like the dahlias and some biannuals, but to begin with it would be easiest – and cheapest – to populate a large space like this with hardy annuals.

After all, I do have a seed stash…

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Within the European Union (EU) there are no border checks for plants and plant products travelling between member states and, it is possible, to import and export plants freely with very few exceptions.

Having thus proven the legality of my actions, should anybody wish to question it, here is the luggage that I checked in when returning from visiting the Flâneur Husband in Aberdeen over Easter, a 4′ by 2′ sportsbag:

Of course, the bag held very little in terms of “normal” luggage.

On top you see one rhododendron, and in the black bin liner underneath are another two. Yup, I brought three 3-foot rhododendrons from Scotland to Denmark…

My husband really likes these plants that he had in pots on his large deck by his Aberdeen apartment, so since he’s moving back to Denmark – and the garden and, of course, myself – on June 1st he wanted to bring these plants back with him, and I had the pleasure of schlepping them first via plane to Copenhagen and then by bus, metro, train and bus up to the garden by the summer house. (I make it sound worse than it is, of course. It’s a trolley bag, so essentially I just rolled it around a bit.)

I got back from Scotland on the evening of Easter Sunday and went up to the garden on the morning of Easter Monday, but because it basically rained the whole day yesterday it seemed foolhardy to attempt to prepare proper planting holes for them and plant them, so instead I heeled them in in one of the raised vegetable beds where they await the weekend. There will be more pictures ones they are installed in their permanent location.

The rhododendrons won’t be the only planting project of the coming weekend, though; the Flâneur Husband’s birthday present from my parents (ordered by me online) finally arrived today. Three L.D. Brathwaite bare-root roses, and I’m pleased to say they look like prime quality. Well-developed roots, lots of tiny shoots and generally a healthy-looking group of plants. The postal service managed to send them but not deliver them – and fail to notify me that they were held at the local post office for a week before being returned to the sender – but then the nursery packed up three fresh roses and sent those to me instead, so in spite of the delay I really don’t think I could have had a better service from that nursery.

www.rosenposten.dk

Yeah, I wanted to give them a mention, just because they’ve been so helpful and seem to have delivered great quality. I know most of you won’t be ordering from a Danish nursery, but still. They deserve a positive mentioning! (And if you ever find yourself in Denmark and need to order a rose online, you now know where to go.)

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