H is for Honesty and very important Hedges

H is for honesty and very important hedges

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First two plants that thrived throughout our inhospitable coastal Winters The Hebes seem to be indestructible, and even obligingly self propagate themselves in random places. Some have gorgeous bright variegated foliage and all have lovely purple flowers, much appreciated by the bees.

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Rather more of an acquired taste is the Helichrysum Italicum (otherwise known as the curry plant). This plant with silver foliage contrasts well with other plants; it also thrives here and cuttings take very easily, adding interest to the border and pots. It really does smell of curry but apparently doesn’t taste of it! It also has an abundance of yellow flowers.

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As to the Hostas – I think I’ve cracked it now. I need to keep them in individual pots (not with other plants that crowd them out) and I need to keep them as long as possible on the balcony (until the Summer gets really hot) Why? Because I must have a population of around three million slugs and snails which devour everything in sight, and especially the hostas.  However the snails seem to be scared of heights and don’t make it up that high! So I think I have five plants of three varieties, and they have retreated for the Winter, so I’ve carefully put them to bed ready for next year.

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I’m not really keen on Hydrangeas generally but was willing to give one a go, Hydrangea anomala, petiolaris, a climber with white flowers went in the sunny bed behind the rosemary two years ago.  I’ve finally given in and dug it up from where it was as it’s never thrived.  It has one last chance the other side of the garden, but I’m not holding my breath. They usually take a while to settle anyway and this one whenever it decides to start growing, the storms leave it battered and browning at the ages. Better to put it out of its misery!

Also missing this year was the Honesty which self seeded absolutely everywhere over the Winter. I dug some out, donated some to family, but left plenty behind but not a single one flowered. Honestly! Still plenty there though so hopefully they will flower next year. I miss those fragile seed swaying flower heads!

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And on the patio the Houseleeks seem to thrive when brought outside for the Summer, they are so easy to grow and propagate these plants! Love them.

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I first saw Hellebores growing in a friend’s garden. “What is that plant sticking out of the snow and flowering!?” There are a couple in my garden somewhere, but they didn’t rear their heads last Winter/Spring. However one did turn up blooming in late August (what is going on there?) These hellebores and heuchera sadly are not from my garden, but from the gardens of Hever Castle one Spring.

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And so a last minute impulse buy for some Autumn colour, this Heuchera to cheer up the patio. Nice

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And the most important H in the garden, well it has to be the huge hedge on the left hand side. Hedges protect from the wind far better than the fences which invariable get blown down in the storms. They also give shelter and hiding places for the sparrows when they come in, plucking up the courage to leap to the feeders, it also harbours insects and caterpillars. On occasion a sparrow hawk has also used the hedge as a good vantage point. The blackbirds, and dunnocks have certainly built nests in there over the last couple of years, but as yet no one has chosen to nest in the birdbox. I’m not sure exactly what the hedge is, and it does need a good trim a few times a year (the neighbour opts for a man on a ladder armed with a chainsaw but my side is rather more delicately manicured on tiptoes with my loppers. At times it casts rather too much shade on my garden, but on balance it is a valuable asset and the garden wouldn’t be the same without it. I’ll leave you with that Hawk in the hedge! Glad I’m not a sparrow.

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