|Picture taken a couple of weeks ago with neighbour's laburnum in full flower|
|Today's picture - amazing what two weeks of warmth and moisture can do!|
The large border has a golden theme with some touches of ruby red and carmine pink and the smaller border has some warm orange tints. The laburnum is in the neighbour's garden but is close enough to influence the design and be a useful addition when in bloom. I like plants which perform, not necessarily rare or even unusual plants, although I will usually shun anything which might be seen in a supermarket car park! I do however admit to buying Alchemilla mollis recently as it was just the plant to sprawl over the edge of the blue slate in this area. I also have the cultivar 'Thriller' which is said to be more upright with larger leaves. Time will tell as to whether there is any difference or if this is just a nursery re-branding for sales purposes!
|The smaller bed, orange, bronze, gold, purplish tints|
I do like Bergenias for their big, bold glossy leaves. I don't know the name of this one in the front, although I recall it came from Beth Chatto many years ago. It's a shy bloomer but I love it for its foliage. I'm also not sure of the adjacent Euonymus which has been there with the Bergenia for nearly 15 years. Its habit of growth is spreading like the old 'Silver Queen' but the colouring more golden like 'Emerald 'n Gold' which to my memory should be more upright than this plant. Anyway the small golden leaves contrast perfectly with the big green elephant's ears!
A few more pictures of some of the combinations. There are yellow and pink lilies to follow and some deep violet opium poppies for later colour. The oriental poppy isn't quite the colour I wanted, which was a rich strawberry pink but it actually tones well.
|Persicaria 'Golden Arrow' and Geranium pyrenaicum 'Bill Wallis' (thanks Chad for the name)|
|Impatiens omeiana - hardier than I expected!|
|Heuchera 'Creme Brulee', Astelia 'Westland' that came through the 2011 winter and Erysimum 'Apricot Twist'|
|Just fancied some Calendulas this year - such lovely colours now available and compact plants|
|Heuchera 'Key Lime Pie' with golden Phalaris and Lysimachia 'Firecracker' both of which have just popped up from previous plantings. Look OK though so leave them.|
|Hemerocallis 'Kwanso Variegated' a lovely old Victorian cultivar, much better than the modern 'Zebra'|
|Lupin 'Saffron' - actually a lemon yellow - deeper than the photo suggests with Sambucus 'Black Thundercloud' behind - can't wait for this to flower with rich pink elder blossom.|
|Planted the Fatsia 'Annelise' much to close to Acanthus 'Hollard's Gold' which was almost dead a few weeks ago but has now sprung into life. One or the other will have to be moved next winter.|
|Cirsium rivulare 'Atropurpurea' looking great in front of Leycesteria 'Magic Lanterns' although it is a bit tall for this spot - maybe move later.|
|Oriental poppy 'Manhattan' not the colour I wanted but it works! the Persicaria behind is either virginia Filiformis or 'Compton's Form' both of which I bought at the same time and are similar.|
|And of course my new Sinocalycanthus 'Hartlage Wine'|