Head Gardener’s Message

This Week’s Report

As can be seen in this picture taken from the New Rose Garden, overlooking the Flower Dream Border the Dahlias are now well into flower in the garden, and as we come into autumn they will continue to put on yet more flower until the frosts knock them back sometime in October. For those of you who have visited this site before, the Head Gardener’s Message has not been around for some time, from now on, I hope to be able to give you weekly updates on garden activities and on what is flowering in the garden and what we the gardeners are doing. But first I’ll bring you up to date on what has happened in the last week or so.

Last weekend we had our annual Candle-light Night Dinner. This is a two day event on one Friday and Saturday in the middle of August. The garden is festooned with about 1500 assorted candles, gas torches and ornamental lights, which from around 5:30 pm until 8:30 twinkle merrily in the balmy evening twilight. Afterwards, a thirty minute concert, this year provided by Cabrales, a Cuban musician who played latin music on guitar and saxophone, was followed by a buffet style dinner with recipes by Hannah Miles. This is usually a very popular event with upwards of sixty guests attending.

The Candle-light Night Dinner also marks the mid-term of the Kay Yamada Gardening School. The day after the event we have our August school day where we take the students on a field trip and picnic lunch. This year we went to Gosensui, a mountain wetland on the side of Mt. Tateshina. Upon returning to Barakura garden, the students had a lecture by the school head, Mr. Eugene Yamada on the trend of English Gardens around the world which was followed by a container workshop by Ms. Kay Yamada demonstrating planting up an indoor container.

In the garden this last week we have had a few days without rain, which this year is quite special. It has rained almost constantly from the beginning of the Rainy Season that began in the middle of June. There are still many good flowers on the Phloxes and the Hibiscus syriacus are now in full flower, which will last well into autumn. Also another Hibiscus, Hibiscus moscheutos is in bud and will be flowering very soon. All these flowers as well as the Dahlias mentioned above can be seen all around the garden at Barakura. Another productive little flower is the Rudbeckia triloba, which this year has spread around the garden filling in lots of odd spaces. The Chelone lionii on the side of the round pond and the Ligularias have also been quite good this last week.

In the coming week we will see Cimicifuga (or these days Actaea) racemose coming into flower, as well as the continuing spectacle of the Dahlias and Phlox. Little by little the rose hips on the species roses are colouring up with little black hips on the Rosa pimpinelifolia and small round red ones on Rosa eglantula persetosa. Small immature ‘conkers’ have been falling from the Horse Chestnut, Aesculus indica, situated near the old rose garden. We should have some mature, ones from around the beginning of October.

In the garden this week we will be weeding, deadheading, tying in and staking Dahlias. Our volunteers in the Barakura Gardening Club come in every week to help us keep the garden looking good. They are working alongside the gardeners learning gardening tasks and picking up snippets of gardening lore.

September 2nd 2019 Head Gardener Andy Fisher.