Last week I tested local opinion (Nazzy and Lee) by suggesting we get rid of the old Fatsia Japonica and replace it with something a little more interesting. However, both were pretty much committed to the idea of maintaining the status quo.
The old Fatsia is one of the few remaining plants inherited from previous occupants, along with the silver birch and the unknown evergreen tree in the shade garden. It has grown like a weed over the years, its widening canopy casting a deep and impenetrable shadow at its base within which nothing will grow.
So after considering the peoples’ opinion for a day or two I decided to ignore it. As soon as Nazzy was safely on the bus to Amsterdam, I went in search of a saw. The roots of the Fatsia are entangled deep within those of the silver birch and I suspect they will never be entirely removed. However I think I can live with the constant sprouting of ground-level growth if the huge leaf canopy is gone. Fatsia has very soft woody growth, so the saw made very light work of it. It was gone within minutes, allowing dappled sunlight into an area which had been deprived of light for years.
I had already purchased its replacements; a couple of hydrangeas (arborescens Anabelle) and some foxgloves (Dalmation cream). These, I think, sit so much better beneath the silver birch than the old Fatsia, and I will wait and see if anybody notices the difference…