Irritating Plant of the Month November 2018 - less fire, maybe a spark

You know when you go and visit winter gardens?  You go on those lovely crisp walks and you oooh and aaah at the fantastic colours of stems and think that you want to create that in your own garden?

Ladies and gentlemen I present to you the stalwart of my winter coloured stem garden.....
Where?  I hear you say, that pathetic looking twig??  Is it new?

No, it is not new, it is a good eight years old.  The next obvious question is why does it look like this?
Well it turns out that I am just a rubbish gardener.  I have these ideas in my head but in reality they translate into plant torture.  The Cornus Midwinter Fire (for that is what it is), is meant to be one of the best for winter colour.  It is tough as old boots, you plonk it in the garden and it grows.  What could go wrong?

Me, that is what could go wrong.  Firstly you will see it is choked with grass and weeds.  I do clear them away from time to time but I thought you should see it in reality rather than a sanitised version to pretend I am better than I really am.
I planted this shrub into the Wild Garden, the grass grows long in the Wild Garden and I only mow it a couple of times of the year in its entirety.  Do you know what happens if you plant small shrubs in grass that grows longer than they are?  Firstly they do not thrive as they do not get enough light and they feel a bit smothered by the weeds. Secondly, if you are not careful, you forget exactly where they are and when mowing in September......... you've guessed it............. they get mowed.

To mow once is unfortunate, to mow them repeatedly takes carelessness to a whole new level.  In reality the shrub is smaller now than it was when I first planted it.  Still it keeps growing, still it keeps trying.  The bit of stem it has is a good colour and the leaves are also now a good colour.  It is clearly a very worthy shrub.

Poor poor cornus, you are only irritating in that you are a reflection of my terrible gardening skills. Mea culpa.


  1. Oh dear! Mine is thriving. I will coppice it in the spring. Not helping? Ok.


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