Alder terrace was raised bed

someone pointed out last year as this bed is only raised on 2 sides being on the side of a slope it’s been terraced so I’ve renamed this bed the Alder terrace as it’s a terrace sheltered from the south westerlies by Alder trees,
we had some gardening weather for a few days either side of the weekend so last Friday my first job was to clear the dead flower stems from this area, this is how it looked on the 2 December,

notice in this photo from the alder end the 2 hebes in the foreground,

after I had cleared the dead stuff, all the green blobs are plants that grew from the seeds but didn’t flower, I kept waiting for them to flower but they didn’t, I thought maybe it was the cool summer, just didn’t get warm enough for them, now as they are still there I think they are either biennials or perennials that didn’t flower the first year, all the seeds I scattered were annuals except for the packet of mixed wildflower seeds, so the mystery is which wildflower are they hopefully next summer they will flower and I shall see,

here’s a closer photo of the spinach like leaves which the slugs are enjoying and the birds are enjoying the slugs ……

now back to those 2 hebes, this is them when I planted them out early summer,

I had 2 green and 3 variegated, one of each here and one of each under the pine trees, I planted the third variegated hebe in the tweenie garden, all sheltered places as I had taken cutting before and then lost them to the weather, well I had previously thought it was the weather, this is how they looked on December second,

this is how they looked last Friday, no this one can not be blamed on the weather, they have been eaten and the 2 under the pines are just sticks every leaf gone, the one in the tweenie garden has a couple of leaves left, I’m so cross, it’s rabbit, I wouldn’t feel cross had the rabbit eaten them when we had the snow but I checked them after the snow and they were fine,

since finding the hebes I have been thinking about it and rabbits don’t like scented plants so if the hebes survive in the alder terrace and tweenie garden I am going to plant scented plants around them I am thinking of Artemisia powis castle around the green hebe and will find something suitable for the variegated one, my final aim for this garden is mainly shrubs with spring bulbs and a few perennials, in my mind I am planning the weather will decide how much I get done this year,

©Copyright 2011 Frances Caple. All rights reserved. Content created by Frances Caple for Island Threads.

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28 responses to “Alder terrace was raised bed

  1. Frances I like your terraced garden bed…so nice to be able to garden in winter…never happen here…more snow and cold…

  2. There are so many things to think about in the garden. Something has been chewing on my liriope. I suspect it is a rabbit, but I can’t be sure. I am not too worried about it now in winter, but I hope they find something else to chew on once spring arrives.

    • islandthreads

      you are right Michelle, so much to consider, I hope your liriope grow alright in spring, the rabbit nibble on some of my daylilies but they always grow fresh leaves in spring and the rabbit leaves them alone, I don’t mind a nibble but to so completely strip plants as the rabbit has the hebes under the trees means they probably won’t grow but I am leaving them to see what happens in the spring, Frances

  3. How frustrating to have a plant looking good only to have rabbits and slugs have their way with them. You have to praise the birds picking off the slugs.

    • islandthreads

      actually Donna the slugs aren’t too bad, these leaves have been growing since last summer so don’t really have many holes, I imagine now I have removed the dead foliage of the other plants the birds have probably cleared the few slugs left, I don’t feed the birds with commercial birdfood as I want them to forage, I love watching the birds chuck the grass mulch around as I know they are clearing all the bugs, the rabbit is something else, after reading your comment I had a picture of the eagles picking off the rabbits like the small birds do the slugs ;o) Frances
      ps there are golden eagles on the moor behind my house,

  4. Pesky rabbits :( I hope that you manage to nurse some hebes through to maturity!

    • islandthreads

      thanks Sara, I am going to take a cutting off the green one that has some leaf, just to help the odds, how is your grass/lawn after the cattle attack? Frances

  5. Oh Frances, rabbits, don’t mention them !!! They are the price we pay for living in the countryside! We have been here for 21 years and this is the first year that we havn’t seen rabbits in the garden , thank goodness. Usually they arrive on Easter Sunday, no matter when that is, and I really don’t want an Easter bunny bringing all its friends and relations to my garden. The occasional visiting cat seems to be very good at catching the babies and taking them home, so maybe a cat is the answer!

    • islandthreads

      Pauline, there are cats that visit my garden, last count there were 3 local cats, a lovely black one usually patrols every morning, none are mine all are welcome, I didn’t see any rabbits last year until just before christmas, they mostly live in a rabbit high rise in the bank down by the little cove where the burn meets the sea, today I took a walk down there and was shocked at how far the sand and debris has been blown inland by the gales so I am wondering if that is why they appeared, I didn’t take my camera today but weather permitting will go back for some photos,
      the only easter bunnies I want are those made of chocolate ….. Frances

  6. It looks like some of the green foliage from your mystery packet is a foxglove, which is a biennial.

    • islandthreads

      Carolyn, I have lots of foxgloves all over, they seed well, I leave most but relocate any in the wrong place or over crowded, the plant I don’t know is the closer photo which is the fifth photo down, the begragled spinach like leaves, the stems at the top of that photo behind the spinachy leaves are oxeye daisy, I quiet like having the surprise, Frances

  7. oh dear, rabbits are a chore. I’ve been very fortunate thus far to not have problems with them but I hear over and over on other blogs about the damage they do. Could you possibly put up some wiring or small fence around the hebe’s until they are a bit larger and better able to recover from nibbling?

    • islandthreads

      Marguerite I have put protection around them now and would have before if I had thought the rabbit ate hebes but this is the first time I have seen it, I had 3 cuttings that had made 3 good plants of the variegated hebe and after one winter they were bare and never re grew, I had thought it was the winter winds now I am wondering if it was rabbit though at the time I had not seen any rabbits near the garden, I hope you don’t get any bunny visitors, rabbits, voles all these creatures want to dine on our plants, Frances

  8. What a shame about your hebes… rabbits are a pain in the bum which fortunately (fingers crossed) I don’t yet have – could be because I’m surrounded by stone walls. Mind you, we sometimes have a problem with mountaineering sheep, which eat everything and, once in, can’t seem to get themselves out…

    • islandthreads

      oh dear Kate I sympathise if you get jumpers in your garden, I had them when I lived on Scalpay (an island off the coast of the isle of Harris) no they don’t seem to know the way out and if you try chasing them towards the exit they do even more damage as they panic and run everywhere and the lambs are as bad, here the sheep are kept behind fences it’s one of the reasons I chose this part of Lewis, Frances

  9. Frances, here in the east I find Hebes with narrow leaves are fully hardy and the more colourful ones which often have broader and more succulent leaves tend not to come through the Winter so well, if at all.

    • islandthreads

      Alistair my hebes have suffered rabbit damage nothing to do with the weather, I have found the narrow leaf hebes do well with cold but not wind and the broader leaf hebes survive the wind but not the cold, Frances

  10. Frances, I admire your tolerance and perseverance so much. Like the sound of the Alder terrace and the surpise of biennials that await. My daughter suffers rabbit damage in her Yorkshire garden constantly (she still loves Watership Down though) and so found her this RHS link for plants that may not be appetising to rabbits

    • islandthreads

      thanks for the link Laura, I took a look and most of the plants they mention that I have knowledge of the rabbits have not/do not touch there is one exception over here rabbits love Escallonia!

      a wee tattie story, RHS says bunnies don’t usually go for them, RHS probably means the leaves, when the bunnies first arrived in our village my neighbour told me that one viilager had been checking the bunnies had not got their tatties but when time came to dig up the tatties they found the bunnies had tunnelled under and been eating the tatties from below!!

      a listener to the Beech grove potting shed (radio scotland gardening programme) asked about rabbit resistant plants and they said rabbits don’t like smelly plants, so that why they never touch my herbs, also they don’t like rough or woolly/felt leaves, like lamb’s ears, you might want to pass this on to your daughter, Frances

  11. The time when I really lose patience with the rabbits is when they dig up my lily bulbs in order to play football.

    • islandthreads

      oh Catharine how frustraighting, I had heard and read in response to squirrels digging up bulbs to plant in a wire basket so they can’t get at them, Frances

  12. Oh, those rabbits! But doesn’t it feel good to get so much accomplished? Just clearing things away and getting ready for new spring growth makes me feel good. I like your terrace garden!

  13. Frances I hope you are well. I wanted to let you know that I have nominated you for the versatile blogger award…I have come to so enjoy my visits with you…you are not obligated to do anything and can find the details at the link below…

  14. Oh dear, good luck convincing the rabbits to go elsewhere for their snack, scented plants sounds like a good idea.