Friday, August 10, 2012

Of mice and Gardens...

Have you missed me?!

Two months have come and gone since I last wrote a post on this blog. And the reason for my neglect I hear you ask? Well, the finger of blame can be firmly pointed at the simply massive amount of work I've had on recently. Not that that's a bad thing, of course. Thankfully, work levels have returned to a more manageable level and normal blogging service can be resumed. It's time to dust off the keyboard and get typing!

Much has happened here in my own garden, not least the annoying attack on our strawberry patch by a pesky family of wood mice. Whilst most of the space in the garden is used for growing exotic style plants, I'll always grow strawberries. I simply cannot resist their deliciously sweet and juicy fruits. However, this year, whilst eagerly parting the leaves of my lush and previously fruit-laden plants I found that virtually every strawberry, both ripe and unripe had been nipped off, partially nibbled and then cached in a pile, presumable ready for seconds at a later date. Sometimes gardening can be very demoralising!

One down, but how many more?!
Being a bit of a softy, I set a humane mouse trap and so far have caught several of the little pests, including a disturbingly young one. They've all been taken for a drive. I do hope that they're not now causing destruction in someone else's garden!

Moving back on topic, and picking up from where I left off back at the beginning of June (was it really that long ago?!) I thought it would be nice to share a few photos from my Cornish travels.

First up, here are a load of shots from the Lost Gardens of Heligan. If you've not been to visit this garden then you really should! There are many different styles of garden on offer here and Heligan really does have something to interest every taste. The remarkable history of the gardens and their subsequent restoration simply adds to the feeling of the place.

The area known as 'The Jungle' was my personal highlight, and this is where this bunch of photos were taken. The Jungle is sub-tropical planting on a grand scale and is situated in a south facing valley containing a stream and a series of ponds, creating the perfect microclimate: warm, humid and sheltered. As the name implies, the whole area is densely vegetated, both with sub-tropical plantings and encroaching woodland. During the garden's restoration, much of the invading undergrowth was cleared away, and the surviving original plantings have been supplemented by newer plants that compliment the original sub-tropical planting.

I'll let this short selection of photos do the talking!

The top pond, surrounded by huge tree ferns, gunnera, bamboos, trachycarpus and wonderful stands of Lysichiton americanus - the American Skunk Cabbage

Arisarum proboscideum creates a carpet of leaves.

Crinodendron hookerianum - The Chilean Lantern Bush.

Gunnera manicata was abundant. And huge!

I'd love the chance to work on such a scale! Big vistas over stands of Gunnera in The Jungle.
Old Trachycarpus fortunei framed by the beautiful leaves of Kalopanax septemlobus.
Beschorneria yuccoides in full flow.
More Beschorneria yuccoides, this time framing a flowering Trachycarpus.
No 'UK Jungle' is compleat without Musa basjoo! They had one or two in this planting!
More Musa basjoo looking striking amongst the other foliage.
Musella lasiocarpa. I've never managed to overwinter this banana relative.
Tree ferns? Check. Cornwall does Dicksonia antarctica rather well. Heligan has some fantastic giants!
Hopefully these shots give a slight taster of the Heligan Jungle experience! The rest of the gardens are well worth a visit too and contain much more of great interest to the sub-tropical gardener. As I mentioned earlier, get yourself down to Heligan if you've not been before!

I'll add some photos from Trengwainton Gardens in another post (another brilliant garden near Penzance) and I promise that you'll not have to wait so long for them. Honest!

1 comment:

  1. Real life gets in the way sometime eh! :) Heligan is looking great, must visit again next year.