The long weekend

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Here in the UK we had another of our ‘Bank holiday Mondays’ break, a long weekend free from work for those who are employees. Those who are self-employed may or may not treat these extra days as a holiday and ever since I became self-employed I haven’t always observed the extra day off. This time I planned working at home on my project on Saturday and Monday. After breakfast on Saturday morning I part-emptied my van once more and drove off to a merchant who sells everything you might need for gardening projects from paving stones, natural stone, wooden or concrete fencing as well as plants and many other things. It is a relatively new establishment, maybe of five years standing and has grown considerably in that time. It was September/October last year when I last visited the place. I had bought natural stone slabs when constructing the flowerbeds on the patio. This visit was for the same thing, natural stone slabs for topping my latest brick construction. I chose not to drive directly home but to visit my local garden centre for a few plants. The other merchant has as yet a limited stock of plants and none that I wanted. I bought six plants, five to go in the new bed and one to be planted alongside. When I got back home I took to shovelling more soil  into the bed. I placed the natural stone slabs on top of the walls as a temporary measure basically to see how much I would need to cut off to make them fit properly when I came to cement them in place permanently. They would also keep the tops of the walls dry and prevent the holes in the top of the bricks from filling up with water when it rained. Rain was forecast for Saturday night. Having done that I dug in the new plants……Plot 14

The plants are at the rear (left-hand side) two ‘Myrtifolia‘ which can grow to a height of 7 ft (2.1 m) with a 6 ft (1.8 m) spread. When mature the two will form a high backdrop hedge. They are evergreen, have white flowers followed by black berries. In front of them are three plants, none of which are evergreen, one ‘Thunbergii atropurpurea’ otherwise known as ‘Red Chief’ which stands next to the high wall at the rear. It has pale yellow flowers in Spring and bright red berries in Autumn. The other two are facing the Laurel bushes next to the patio. They are ‘Berberis Admiration’, commonly called ‘Japanese Berberry’. They have pale yellow flowers and crimson berries in the Winter and drop their leaves in Autumn.  I may decide to put in a couple more evergreen shrubs but smaller to fill in the spaces later. The sixth plant, another Laurel but with coppery-orange coloured new foliage I placed in the ground alongside the structure and against the rear high wall. It will grow to a height of 8 ft (2.4 m) with a spread of 6 ft (1.8 m). It will cover the wall in that position. Incidentally, click on the picture to magnify and again to get a closer look. In a very rare moment I caught E in a picture for she doesn’t like having her picture taken, so she says. She is sitting on the patio reading in the bright late morning sunshine. I write this on Saturday evening and hope to continue with the work on Monday if the weather holds and if my electrical services are not required.

Shirley Anne

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