Posted: 21/05/2014 at 09:22
My house was built in the 50's , one of a pair on the old farm track. Next door had the old hedge and two oaks and an elm in it. When the new A52 and M1 went in, the farm went and an estate built around the back of us. Next door has seven houses sideways on to the length of the garden. The Elm got Dutch Elm disease and had to be craned out over the new houses about 30 years ago. The stump is still rotting in the hedge bottom. Old Tom who lived next door allowed three of the houses to rip out the ancient hedge and put in conifers, all of which do not grow well and look awful. Apart from Old Toms "Peony Rose" as he used to call it, and a japanese anemone, all that I inherited was a lot of grass and some diseased roses, and two apple trees. At the thought of constant spraying, the roses went. The Peony rose and the japanese anemone survived the doberman, a dalmation and two great danes, and so I consider them bombproof and worthy of their place.
Everything else I have planted , either from bought plants(some) begged cuttings, or seed. I love growing a variety of stuff from seed,just to see the variation. If I don't like it it gets replaced the following year.Quick fillers get replaced by something better and slow growing. The shrub border had a lot of buddlejas and lavatera in for instant colour the first few years, but they have gone as the magnolias, and cornus Kousa chinensis have matured.
The grape vine in the greenhouse is a cutting off of one I had at the old house. That was a cutting off my nans. My nan died in 1980. For a long time we kept a piece of her lavender hedge going by cuttings as well.
The Eucalyptus perriniana I grew from seed. It always reminds me of my visits to my friend in Western Australia. It will never grow to the height of the forests in the South west of Australia, but its a reminder.Its been pollarded twice, but still grew over 6 ft last year.The four main stems are 4 year old, and stand at around 25 feet.