Friday 11 April 2014

Once more into the breach...


It's been a somewhat abortive start this year. With any luck the gardening season will start properly this weekend when we finally have a chance to move the cats over for the summer and I take up full time residence for a few months again. It'll be a rush to get the potatoes in, no records will be broken for earlies this year, but with any luck nothing else will be too much impeded by the delay.

The enforced stopover in the UK did give me a chance to visit the Harris Garden at Reading University. This is a charming little space which forms part of the School of Biological Sciences and is open to the public all year round. The spring planting is lovely and there are peonies and some exotic plants to come later in the year as well as a sweet little rill with bog garden plants leading to a duck pond. Worth a visit if you're in the area.

One plant that caught my eye there was Nandina domestica. Known as Heavenly bamboo it is nothing of the sort as it is not a bamboo, is actually considered a noxious invasive pest in some parts of America and could be potentially fatally toxic if you were silly enough to eat too much of it. Somehow I'd never seen it before and was taken with the habit and bright berries of the species plants there. It's also considered deer proof, reason enough for me to plant it if ever I heard one so I've acquired some seeds and maybe it will be forming part of my putative ornamental shrub garden one day.

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