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I think it`s a nursery web spider.
I find it easier to take lots of inter nodal cuttings.
I would see the gap in the hedge as an opportunity - once you have cleared the space you could invest in something a bit grander than the Ash. How about a lovely Cotinus
I would never plant a clematis in a pot. I think they do better in the ground, planted deeply with roots always in shade.
`scuse me...... I have the best weed collection I`m sure - maybe a competition would be in order
I am watching out for the elephant head hawk moth now - seen during June in the evenings mostly. -- Introduced several years ago to my patch as caterpillars.
With three dogs in the garden my bird population have no problems
Our Ash trees are having a bad time right now with "Ash die back" many in our village look as if they are dying - it seems that some are showing signs of recovery, but most look very sad. The weight of the enormous amount of ivy on your tree certainly did not help it
All of the weigelas are good for hedging, but they are a bit bare in the winter months, that is why I try to mix hedging plants to get something happening in every season