Friday, June 21, 2013

I'll show you mine.....

Way back in the chilly depths of February I posted some pictures of my little garden when I first arrived back from six months away and it was a depressing sight. By the time we had then been buried under snow for a couple of weeks, it was worse with quite a few casualties. However gaps are opportunities for gardeners and like most of us I have spent too much and bought far too many new plants for a tiny patch! With the current warm damp weather, it's finally all growing beautifully. I'll show you the back in a few weeks as much of that is seasonal and exotic planting, so still settling in but the front looks quite pleasing.

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'

Like all gardens its very personal, my space, my design and my choice of plants. It gives me a great deal of pleasure and I hope you like it too! More about the back in a few weeks time.


  1. Your eye and panache for colours shows in your front garden, with the complementing selection of plants on the yellow and orange side.

  2. Absolutely beautiful. It made me a little homesick as Ian could never replicate this at our home here in Palm Springs. But I'll trade the memories for 100F temperatures!! Looking forward to Ian "creating" our new back yard space in the Fall.

  3. Some lovely plants there. It is good to see some the newer Heuchera surving and thriving for more than a season. The elfin self seeding geranium is Geranium pyrenaicum 'Bill Wallis'. Always a pleasure to have and although short lived it seems to self sow at just the right rate to persist and still be welcome!


    1. Chad - thanks for the plant identification and yes it does self-seed - this one was a gift from a friend who had spare seedling. I also have Bowle's golden grass in the same bed which I also love for its habit of popping up in just the right place!

  4. With some warmer weather and rain here and there the garden is looking good. I like the use of gold and variegated plants. Looking forward to seeing the back and you have a good mix of plants. I now have a blog called Green Space Lover. My aim is to look at how out amenity green spaces are presented, trends, varying styles of management and highlighting some of the people who care for them.