The weather in the UK is generally rather benign. However, on Thursday a storm described as a weather bomb was predicted to cross the country. The storm was called “Doris”.
A weather bomb is an intense low-pressure system with a central pressure that falls by 24 millibars in a 24-hour period. There are around 60 weather bombs globally each year, although they are infrequent in the UK.
The Met Office extended its amber – be prepared – warning covering Wales and much of England to London, where winds were expected to reach 60-70mph. It said damage to structures, interruptions to power supplies and widespread disruption to travel networks were likely, and there was a danger of injury from flying debris. Trees were likely to be damaged or blown over, it said.Glebe House is just into area one and we were expecting high winds. The garden is very exposed to the south west, the direction we would expect the wind to come from.
The predictions were right with an old apple tree losing a significant branch.On inspection it is probably worse with a second branch being split and almost certain to be lost.The tree is an old apple tree and had a splendid Rosa Rambling Rector growing up it. Actually the rambling Rector was part of the issue as it made the tree too top heavy.
This is a significant loss to the garden.This is the tree in June with Rambling Rector looking incredible.And in winter the tree was a real focal point.
So, out with the chain saw this weekend and we will see what it looks like with the broken branches removed. The apple tree was old and dying off in places so I suspect it is going to have to be removed completely. There then remains the question of what to do next!
On a much happier note we had two other annual visitors.Each year Mallard Ducks turn up in the garden looking for good nest sites. Some years they have been successful and reared a batch of chicks. They then disappear from the garden only to be back the following year.
She is going to have to decide which of the men she likes best!
||Total since June 19th
||Average per week
Just returned form India and stayed a couple of nights at the Taj Mahal Palace in Mumbai. As is typical of hotels in Asia the floral displays in their reception are outstanding and this was no exception.
With my thanks to Cathy at Rambling in the Garden for hosting this meme. Do visit her to see masses of other vases to fill you with joy on Monday.
As spring progresses I thought I would profile a plant seldom seen but definitely worth considering, Itea ilicifolia also called “Holly-leaved sweet spire”.Itea belongs to the Grossulariaceae to which Escallonia and Ribes also belong. There are fifteen species of Itea – fourteen from East Asia and one deciduous species from North America – Itea virginica. They are useful shade loving shrubs or small trees.
Itea on 7th August
Itea ilicifolia as its name suggests has holly-like leaves. They are dark glossy green. The flowers are produced in abundance in narrow, pendulous, catkin-like racemes, up to 12″ (30cm) long. The flowers are tiny and densely packed; greenish-white in colour; and fragrant – a hint of honey scent. Flowering starts in mid summer and will continue well into autumn.
Itea on July 16th prior to flowering
Itea ilicifolia was introduced by Augustine Henry from Yichang on the Yangtze in central China, in a package to Lord Kesteven who flowered it first in 1895. Bean mentions that the earlier introductions needed wall shelter at Kew. Whether more recent acquisitions such as the Ernest Wilson’s collection, are from a higher altitude, or whether global warming is being demonstrated here, as Itea ilicifolia is becoming a plant more of borders than needing wall protection nowadays. Wall shelter is nevertheless advised in colder and/or exposed situations in eastern counties. Rather lax in habit, Itea ilicifolia is most often grown and trained against a wall where the reflected heat encourages more flowers and better growth, although in warmer parts of the U.K., Itea ilicifolia grows to be a striking standalone plant.
Itea on 25th January 2017
Summer cuttings of the current years shoots can be taken about July or early August and placed in a sandy open compost in a cool frame – minimum 5° (40°F), damp, and in a well lit atmosphere, should root overwinter. It is widely available from nurseries.
An alternative would be Garrya elliptica the silk tassel bushThere is no doubt that Garrya can make a striking small bush and also has similar tassels.However when grown against a wall and requiring pruning to shape I fine the tassels are considerably reduced in numbers.Furthermore the leaves are not as clean and glossy. The main advantage of Garrya elliptica over Itea ilicifolia is that it will cope with north facing walls.