The question of the day

It is the time of frost and rain which limits the time I can spend in the garden.  Rain means staying indoors and frozen ground means I can get outside but there is little effectively I can do.  This is frustrating and useful at the same time as I wander around the garden considering things.

These are the most recent considerings, firstly:
Should I add some box balls under the pleached hornbeam.  Partly I think yes, partly I think no the simplicity is better.  Even as I write this I am voting again for no, maybe this is a non-question.

Second question:
Why is there a row of Stipa Tenuissima in the Conservatory Border?  I am happy that Stipa is growing there, but why in a row?  The answer to this question is self evident too, I predice Stipa relocation in the Spring.

Question 3:
Should I move this bamboo?  Now this is a real question and I am totally undecided on this.  This bamboo has been problematic for several years now.  It was originally planted elsewhere in the garden and I relocated it as I did not like where it was.  It sits in the Pond Border now and the dark sticks behind it are Helianthus maximiliani.  If you know of this perennial sunflower you will probably know two things: a) it is a good sunflower, it flowers well and adds good height to the border year on year.  I like this.  b) it is a bit of a thug, it does need controlling, which once you realise this is not too hard to do, but you do need to keep it in check otherwise it will quickly creep and take over the whole border.  This poor crowded bamboo is testament to this creeping.

There is an issue with thinking of relocating this bamboo again though, for one thing that I have not got a clue where to move it to.  Secondly it did not thank me for moving it the last time.  It struggled and struggled and had it not been for the advice of a twitter friend (Jim I mean you) I would have dug it up and composted it last year.  The advice I had was good, it was struggling and looking weedy.  I tweeted a photo of it saying it was heading for compost and I was advised to cut it down to the ground and keep it well watered.  It did spring back up really well and has become a better plant.  So now I do want to lose it, but I do not think it is happy where it is either.

I think I am going to relocate it.


  1. Hi, in answer to your questions...

    1, only grow box balls if you are giving them a bed or border, they need to stand out so you can see the shape, if you grow them in grass, then the shape will be lost to the eye, and the grass will grow up into the the box foliage and look awful.

    2, yes, relocate the Stipia.... into some pots and give them to me as I don't have any, and I promise to look after them.

    3, Yes relocate the Bamboo to a bonfire, And never speak of it again.. foul stuff.

    Hope that helps. ;-)

  2. I love it when the act of asking a question provides the answer. I'd ignore the cynical gardener and find someplace for the bamboo that isn't the bonfire. I'd pay attention to the cynical gardener and give him/her the stipa. Then monitor it closely to see if it is well looked after. :-)

  3. Would having box balls under your pleached Hornbeam take the eye away from your hedge on legs, contrasting focal points?
    I found Stipa tennuissima seeded everywhere, I got rid of it!
    Some bamboos are well behaved and don't put out runners, if yours is one of these, then I would keep it, if not, then to the compost with it!

  4. I have several different bamboo, some I grow in pots, you can then move them to different locations in the garden if you are not sure of a permanent site. The box could also be planted in some nice terracotta pots, standing on a slab for ease of grass cutting for a while to help you decide.

  5. I have fallen out of love with stipa and am removing mine this spring.
    I have seen some good plantings of box or holly in a ball around the trunks of trees which might look good under your hornbeam
    As for the bamboo I think you should move it, cut it back and water well and cross your fingers or as Brian says put it in a pot. Part of Brian's garden is on a Japanese theme so he is quite knowledgeable.

  6. Thanks for all your comments - it's given me lots to think about.


Post a Comment

Comments are approved before being published