THIS week has been a busy one in the garden.

I am preparing for major work being to be completed next month, the creation of a new, large patio directly behind the house. This is going to require digging up and moving many plants and then finding somewhere to store them while the work is undertaken. Those who know my plot, will realise, how difficult a task this will be due to lack of space.

Not only will the raised beds abutting the rear of the house have to go, but those either side of the central steps too, as the wood is rotting. The net result meaning access to this area for the builders will mean very limited storage space for plants.

That said, I could not resist the purchase of two new shrubs for the garden this week. They will look pretty cool in containers on the new patio, once complete. The first, is a sister plant to one I’ve had for a while. Coprosma Pacific Sunset is a much commented on plant by visitors, due to its glossy, shining leaves. I’ve got three of them, which I’ve had for several years now. The new addition is Coprosma Pacific Night. Coprosma are evergreen shrubs with leathery, simple leaves. It is a frost-tender, dense, evergreen shrub, which will grow to about 1.5m tall. It has glossy, deep purple-red narrow, rounded foliage and will look wonderful in the garden.

The second new addition is Plectranthus Mona Lavender. Plectranthus can be annuals, evergreen perennials or shrubs, with opposite, ovate or heart-shaped, sometimes fleshy, leaves, and two-lipped, tubular flowers borne in whorls forming spikes or panicles. This one has showy spikes of lavender, lipped flowers borne on bushy plants and the leaves are dark green with a purple underside. Once again it is frost tender and can be used as a houseplant but mine will be kept indoors through the winter and outside in full sun on the patio in summer.

As far as your own garden is concerned, now might be a good time to reflect what has worked well for you and what might need to be changed next year. Think about how you would like your different areas or rooms to look, maybe even create sketches or rough plans of what has worked, so you can repeat them next year. Alternatively, record any thoughts on new ideas that you might have seen or inspirational ideas you’ve picked up from visiting other people's gardens. It is always pleasing when visitors leave my garden and say how they have been inspired to go away and do something similar in their own.

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