Wednesday 20 May 2020

... and Away!

Deutzia - possibly variety Chardonnay Pearls
We will get away today, I promise. To assure you, our photograph has a Dutch connection, but unexpectedly so. The plant, which I rather like, started as a Garden Codger cutting and became part of a box of plants made up for a friend at the very beginning of lockdown. Whilst making another delivery yesterday (good customer!) I noticed the little plant glowing in the sunshine. I just could not resist a photo but, as I took the shot, a doubt crossed my mind about its identification. Yes, I had made a mistake - the label was wrong

Enter, in a virtual sense, Jan the real Nurseryman. He got the answer in one: Deutzia! (Further research has made me wonder if it is a Deutzia variety called Chardonnay Pearls)

Jan, Elly and Margaret in 2016 (but not their residence)
As mentioned in an earlier post Jan (pronounced Jon) lives with his wife, Elly, in Boskoop in Holland. When we were last there in 2016 I had a look around the Rosarium. Although I did not say so (English reserve) I thought it looked rather tired. So unlike the Dutch who keep everything absolutely spick and span. Well, Jan must have felt the same. When he retired, he took matters in hand. Here is our interview with him ...

CG: why did you feel the Rosarium needed attention?

Jan: A lot of trees were old and no longer in good shape. Some were even sick in the roots, as you see in the photo – fungus! Also, the old Roses had to be replaced for new varieties. Like you say, it was looking rather tired. Don't worry, we Dutch call a spade a spade! (Rather appropriately)

CG: so how did you go about the job?

Jan: There was a huge amount to do. The large trees needed a haircut. The Rhododendrons had gone wild hardly blooming anymore. Basically, we cleared the site – even importing fresh soil. This gave all the new plants a kickstart. Lawns were renovated and good shrubs – those worth keeping – were pruned

CG: a rosarium needs roses – what did you do about them?

The first rose in bloom
Jan: we planted many, many roses. 22 varieties altogether. They have to be of the highest quality and checked regularly rather like the RHS runs Award of Garden Merit (AGM). I’m involved in the regular inspection process to ensure quality - disease resistance and so forth

CG: how did you manage all this work?

Jan: Well, we had a group of volunteers who worked very hard – there were a good team. The local council were also involved – they handled landscaping and the planting of shrubs other than roses. We all worked well together

CG: the Dutch seem to have manged lockdown more effectively than the British. How did your lockdown affect things?

Jan: we just got on with it and stayed 1.5 metres apart (typical Dutch answer!)

CG: thanks, Jan. It would be great to see all the roses in bloom. Well done!

Hellebores flower in the winter 
Back home
There are couple of things to mention. Plenty of tomato plants are becoming available and the weather is great for planting out, just now. Currently, we are out of cordon varieties but plenty of Money Maker will be ready soon. We still have a few Cerise (bush variety) that are ready to plant. The photo at the bottom of the page shows you an order going out today - so you see you can see the size. Plenty more are coming on in a mix of varieties including Supersweet

Three y hellebores that might look good in your garden
Also, we have three very well-established hellebores looking for a good home. They are useful for a shady spot and flower in the dismal winter months (see photo above). Good for pollinating insects, too. Since these three are much bigger than our usual garden-ready plants I have just taken the photo below. I included the trowels in the shot so you can judge the size. They would fill out a corner in light shade well. (Also available singly)

Tomorrow, we plan to deal with readers' questions and other practical matters. Before then, you might be interested to see how the charity fund raising is going. Click here

... much to do, so all for now from the Garden Codger

Tomato Cerise (bush variety) on their way out this morning

Editor's note: despite this page showing as Wednesday it is Thursday 21 May - Ascension Day, in fact. Despite its significance, often overlooked - 40 days after Easter Day (the Church, wisely, took note of Luke's accurate reporting, - see Acts 1:3). Luke obviously did better with the the Blogger Engine Room than I have managed so far, at least)

Shady border selection due out this afternoon

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