With one of several planned constructive activities completed, it was time to do something destructive by way of change.
There were several shrubs to assess in terms of being past their sell-by date. If so, they’d have to go.
I love the structure in gardens with a variety of shrubby subjects. Apart from providing shelter from the wind and habitats for birds, they can add a diversity of form and continuous colour. The downside is that they do not last forever.
Regular pruning at the correct time does encourage new growth which in turn promotes healthy plants.
The annual mulch and feed helps sustain vigour but there comes a time when performance and disease resistance begin to wane, and we have to make a decision: Tolerate the presence of an underperforming specimen that has sentimental value or remove it in favour of something new.
The useful lifespan of a shrub varies according to the species and cultural treatment it has received.
Given regular attention to mulching, pruning and feeding, I expect five to 10 summers of top performance from various lavender, lavatera and buddleja growing in this garden.
Lonicera Baggesen’s Gold was given in excess of 10 years. The time had come to decide, should they go or stay for one last hurrah?
Lavender Munstead has lined each side of the driveway for over 10 years, and is valued for the blaze of bloom that attracts countless bumblebees in July and August. But it was seen to be losing vigour and a few brittle old stems last summer.
The time has come for change but all is not lost. New stock raised from seed is standing by and will be planted in groups throughout the garden.
A group of three Lavatera Barnsley planted just six years ago have aged rapidly and will be replaced by pot-grown cuttings.
Two old Buddleja davidii that grow way above head high despite sawing to ground each winter, will make way for the modern dwarf varieties.
Baggesen’s golden lonicera, 15 years on, had continued to expand outwards as most plants do when you stop upward growth.