Hurrah! I’ve finished the new plantings!
I had been hoping to plant up the new borders in the lower part of the gardens at the start of this month but supplier/delivery confusion meant they only arrived late on Tuesday. The beds were waiting, dug over and prepared, ready for the new arrivals so yesterday morning I set to with great relish.
I started with Soggy Bottom:
These new borders are in an area which becomes very wet in winter and we had the choice of digging up the gardens to install a field drain type system or work with what we’ve got and plant accordingly, which was a no-brainer. The soggyness is also why this is happening now, when the bed is workable, rather than Spring when it’s a quagmire. This picture is the new half of the bed, to the left of some gates. To the right the border is largly taken up by some existing Cornus and a Viburnum opulus, so I chose to plant some of these on the left too. The right hand side has been given a neat edge and some space has been cleared so I can include some new planting there too.
I’ve used Actea for some height alongside the Cornus, and Rheum ‘Ace of Hearts’ (currently dormant and virtually invisible) for some big dramatic foliage. There is Carex testacea and a variegated grass to give some movement and year round interest, plus Persicaria atrosanguinea, Iris pseudoacorus, Iris ‘Gerard Derby’ and a double Ranunculus for some colour.
So that was yesterday. Today I had the further fun of planting up the other border. This runs alongside the outer edge of the private walled garden which contains the swimming pool. Consequently I’m calling it the Swimming Pool Wall Border which lacks something in snappiness, I’ll admit. Although it’s close to Soggy Bottom it is distinctly unsoggy and I dug in some well rotted muck to help the soil with structure and extra worms, seeing as there was a dearth of worms as MsV and I dug it over (Note – MsV got to help dig it but not plant it – hugely unfair I know but she’s on holiday this week!).
The existing plants are just the roses, and at the top end a rather thuggish Chaenomeles. By way of shrubs for the border I chose Philadelphus ‘Belle Etoile’, red leaved Prunus ‘Cistena’ and a fuchsia for which I’d ordered the elegant white ‘Hawkshead’ but ended up with a pink one. I’m pretty sure it’s the tough pink one with small flowers that gets really big if allowed – the name escapes me but it’ll do the job so I couldn’t be bothered to complain and we hack Fuchsias back every Spring which keeps ’em in line. For perennials we’ve got Stipa tenuissima, Clematis integrifolia (which is herbaceous and not climbing), Salvia sclarea, Campanula pyramidalis, Verbascum (thapsus and phoeniceum), Fragaria ‘Red Ruby’ a hardy Geranium and various other pretty bits and bobs.
I’m really pleased with it now it’s done, though obviously in my head I can see what I’m expecting it to grow into, whereas what it actually looks like right now is a few sparse leaves stuck in some mud. I’m really looking forward to seeing it all sprout in Spring (fingers crossed that it does sprout!).
PS. Apologies for the fact I didn’t think to bring my notebook home with me so some of these names are incomplete as my addled brain can’t remember them all!