Wednesday, 16 May 2018

A New Irrigation System For The Tree Ferns


Wrapped up for whatever weather was to come over the winter and, as it happened, it was not until early spring that brought the cold, freezing temperatures. Storm Emma, freezing rain, minus daytime temperatures, the 'Beast from the East' and heavy snowfall all seen and felt in March, (For the wrapping of the tree ferns see blog entry for the 28th November 2017 'Protective Hessian Collars').

New Frond Unfurling

At the end of April, with the weather now warmer, the decision was made to unwrap the tree ferns. The protective hessian was removed and the old fronds were cut off exposing the young fronds hiding in the crown, the protection has worked and the tree ferns are alive.

Young Frond In The Crown

All Unwrapped

A Heathy Crown

New Drip Feed Irrigation System Kit

With all the ferns unwrapped last month the key for caring for them is to keep them watered so a new drip feed irrigation system has been set up today to provide water directly to the crown where it is needed the most. A sufficient length of 4 Bar MDPE pipe was cut to reach all the tree ferns in each group and the water source, a tap connector placed on one end and a stop bung on the other. Cutting the pipe at the location of each tree fern in the group, a barbed reducing tee was placed in the space reconnecting the pipe. (Why the photograph of the jug of hot water? Placing each cut end into the water softens the rigid pipe and makes it easier to insert the hard plastic barbed reducing tee into the pipe).

Barbed Reducing Tee

Jug Of Hot Water

Connecting 5mm PVC Spaghetti Tube to MDPE Pipe

Lengths of 5mm PVC spaghetti tube were then cut sufficient to reach the top of the tree fern crown from the MDPE pipe below. One end of the tube is then fixed to the barbed reducing tee, secured to the tree fern with florist wire and the other end at the top of the crown fixed to a loop of 5mm micro bore pipe using a 5mm barbed tee completing the circuit. With the tap turned on the water drips out of the micro bore pipe down into the crown.

5mm Barbed Tee

Looped 5mm Micro Bore Pipe

Watering The Crown

Spaghetti Tube Fasten With Florist Wire

This new irrigation system has been set up on both groups of tree ferns and tested, a timer will be connected to the tap so regular watering can be given throughout the summer. This system is more efficient than using a hose or a sprinkler system, less water wastage delivering water to where it is need the most.

New Watering System

Friday, 11 May 2018

Viburnum plicatum 'Mariesii' (Japanese Snowball Bush)

By the bridge, the Japanese Snowball Bush, Viburnum plicatum 'Mariesii' ,

Planted a few years ago next to the bridge the Japanese Snowball Bush, Viburnum plicatum 'Mariesii', is putting on quite a show. Its many tiered horizontal branches, which were bare during the winter, are now covered in creamy white, flat lacecap flowers, it is said they give the the illusion of the branches being weighed down with heavy snow. 

Illusion of the branches being weighed down with heavy snow

Creamy white, flat lacecap flowers

New lakeside border of the SNSC (Left)

This stunning floral display can also be found in two of the lakeside borders of the Sultan Nazrin Shah Centre (SNSC) where a number of these shrubs were planted last year during the landscaping of the new building, their snow covered branches tipping gently towards the water's edge. 

Japanese Snowball Bush, Viburnum plicatum 'Mariesii'

View across the new lakeside border of the SNSC (Right)

Left and right lakeside borders of the SNSC

Wednesday, 9 May 2018

Ten Years Of Colour In The Corner

Snow 2nd March 2018

Wallflowers Covered In Snow

Two months ago the planting in the 'border in the corner' was covered in snow, a blanket of white hiding what lay beneath and would eventually create the colourful display that can be seen now. 

Wallflowers and Tulips, 1st May 2018

The border, planted in October, see blog entry 10th October 2017 'From Summer To Spring In Just Two Days!'  contains Wallflower 'Sunset Bronze', deep red with a gold edge on the petals, and the double late tulips Tulipa 'Uncle Tom' and Tulipa 'Antraciet', maroon red and  magenta red respectively.  


Bold and bright colours this year but this hasn't always been the case as can be seen by the previous nine years which were captured on camera for the blog. These series of photographs show the different colour and planting schemes every year from the use of tulips, wallflowers, bellis, viola and polyanthus back in 2009 to wallflowers and tulips in 2018.

Tulips, wallflowers, bellis, viola and polyanthus, May 2009

May 2010

May 2011

May 2012

May 2013

May 2014

May 2015

May 2016

May 2017

Present Day, Wallflowers and Tulips, May 2018

Friday, 4 May 2018

A Vibrant Splash Of Colour From Tulips And Wallflowers

A Cross Of Seven Oak Planters, 28th September 2017

Seven months have past since the oak planter display was changed from summer to winter, see blog entry for the 28th September 2017 'Seven Oak Planters In The Form Of A Cross'
The plants used to create the winter display are:
Small planter x 2, Viburnum tinus 'Eve Price' (1/4 Standard), Phormium tenax 'Verneer' (New Zealand Flax) and Wallflower 'Sunset Orange'.
Medium planter x 3, Ilex aquifolium 'Argentea Marginata' (1/2 Standard, Silver Margined Holly), Ilex x altaclerensis 'Camelliifolia' (Highclere Holly) and Wallflower 'Sunset Orange'.
Large planter x 1, Laurus nobilis (Bay), Fatsia japonica 'Spider's Webb' and Wallflower 'Sunset Orange'.
Tulips in all planters: A mix of Tulipa 'Antraciet', Tulipa 'Blue Diamond' and Tulipa 'Orange Princess', magenta, purple and orange respectively.
As the tulips now start to fade the display will soon be changed again for this summer but over the last month the mix of tulips and wallflowers have given such a bold, vibrant splash of colour beneath the evergreen shrubs. The team have loved this combination of colours and it has received many favourable comments from visitors, staff and alumni. 

A Cross Of Seven Oak Planters, 23rd April 2018

23rd April 2018

Viburnum tinus 'Eve Price' (1/4 Standard)

Vibrant Colours In The Early Morning Light

Tulips and Wallflowers

Tulips and Wallflowers

Wallflower 'Sunset Orange'

Tulipa 'Antraciet'

Tulipa 'Orange Princess'

Tulipa 'Blue Diamond'

Friday, 27 April 2018

A New Winter To Spring Pot Display

Three Rusty Iron Crates, 4th June 2015

In June 2015 the team took delivery of three iron crates for use in the gardens, for the first time see blog entry 4th June 2015 'Three Rusty Iron Crates'. The following summer, rather than being used as part of a border display, they were used to showcase plants in pots at the entrance to the Nash Building, see blog entry 20th June 2016 'The Three Iron Crates Make An Unexpected Return'.

The Three Iron Crates Make An Unexpected Return, 20th June 2016

As the winter approached the display was dismantled, the crates removed and placed in to storage.  Last summer the exhibit returned but, instead of putting them in to storage for the winter, the team decided to use to showcase bulbs and plants that are best during winter and spring.

15th January 2018

Heuchera 'Obsidian', Cyclamen coum, Arum italicum, Helleborus argutifolius

Pots of  plants Heuchera 'Obsidian', Cyclamen coum, Ophiopogon planiscapus 'Nigrescens', Arum italicum, Matthiola incana 'Vintage Mix' (Winter Stocks) and Helleborus argutifolius (Corsican hellebore) were the mainstay of the display and for the first four months of the year different pots of bulbs were added and removed as they flowered and faded.
In January and February these pots were Galanthus nivalis and Galanthus nivalis 'Magnet' (Snowdrops) which were then replaced by Narcissus 'Mother Duck', Narcissus 'Peeping Jenny' and Narcissus jonquil 'Sweetness' as well as Fritillaria elwesii and Fritillaria hermonis Amana (Fritillary). Two pots of tulips were added in April but, due to the unseasonably high temperatures between the 18th and the 20th, flowered for just a few days and by the end of April the last pot in flower was Narcissus jonquil 'Bellsong'. 
This new display has had numerous positive comments since its inception and will now become a regular fixture during the winter to spring months.  

27th March 2018
Narcissus 'Mother Duck', Fritillaria elwesii
Fritillaria hermonis Amana

9th April 2018, Entrance To The Nash Building

24th April 2018, Fading Flowers

26th April 2018, The Last Of The Plants In Flower Narcissus jonquil 'Bellsong'