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Well the week started off well enough: our first task was the give our Whale a short back and sides, yes it was time for his bi-annual trim. He is one of several willow sculptures that we have in the garden in what has now become known as the ‘Whale Border’. The whale has been sculpted in ‘living willow’ hence the need for the trim, whilst the others, namely the Pirate Ship and the Mermaid are not. However the nature of Salix is such that both the mermaid and the pirate ship had been busy sprouting young willow shoots too, so they all had to be snipped and tidied. Since it was Ascot week I gave the mermaid a cut suggesting that she was wearing a ‘fascinator’ on her head so she at least was the height of fashion!
Later on in the day the sky was looking ominous and although it was hot, thunder clouds were looming, still our next task was to start filling our containers for their summer displays so Tom and I pressed on; the thunder storm when it came was ferocious and fast, within minutes we are all soaked to the skin! The bits of us that were covered ran in rivulets onto the bits that weren’t! Such was the speed of the downpour that there were poor visitors stranded all over the garden for what must have seemed an eternity, thank goodness for all the shelters dotted around the gardens that were housing them as they were stuck there for some time!
Our Dragon Lily (Dranunculus vulgaris) has been causing a sensation in the scented garden this week, as the sunshine caused her to unfurl her rich purple velvety spathe, with the spadix projecting proudly out in an even darker colour bordering on black. Sniffing it however caused many people to screw up their noses in distaste as the aroma is one of rotting meat! This particular plant is pollinated by the fly hence the obnoxious smell, still it is the only foul smell in our lovely scented garden and its arresting appearance allows forgiveness, so pop on down for a viewing (and hold your noses) this weekend and with temperatures set to soar enjoy yourselves whatever you do.
Gardener with Gardens West team
Harlow Carr Gardeners
19 Jun 2009