At this time of year the grasses in the pond border really come alive. The intense yellow of the dying Molina foliage visible at the far left above glows on even grey damp days, and the pale straw of the Miscanthus blooms provide a lovely contrast to the fire of the Acer palmatum ‘Atropurpureum’ in the background.
Although I love this clump of the beautiful Molinia caerulea ‘Windspiel’, I am actually going to divide it in the Spring and remove two thirds to make room for more perennials. Stunning though it is at this time of year, it doesn’t really do much for the rest of the time and I want more oomph in what is actually a pretty small space. Though I must remember Patient Gardener’s warning about Persicaria putting on lots of growth quickly…
Looking across the pond from the pergola, I am really pleased with how the new planting has come together, I love the tufts of Stipa tenuissima, and the fact that the Knautia macedonica is still flowering. It works well with the perennial wallflower in the Dahlia border behind too, though at the moment it is the Hydrangea petiolaris on the fence that steals the attention. Hard to believe that back at the beginning of May it looked like this:
I’ve already been able to extend the planting, though it would have been better if I had remembered where I had planted the tulips when I was thinning things out – fingers crossed that they survive, along with the various other bulbs that I planted here.
I’m still very much feeling my way forward with the Magnolia border. I love the contrast in leaf shape between the Hydrangea quercifolia and the Veronicastrum, but having cut the Pittosporum tenuifolium ‘Tom Thumb’ hard back this spring, half expecting it to die, it is growing away really well, so will probably take up a lot of the space I had earmarked for Monkshood. The dry twigs are the stems from the tulips I planted out there, to remind me where they are so that I didn’t dig them up again when adding the cyclamen etc. Removing them now that they have served their purposes is yet another thing I’ve not yet quite got round to… The other plants are Aquilegia vulgaris ‘Miss M. I. Huish’, Sweet Rocket Hesperis ‘Enchantment’ a Heuchera that I lost the label for before I catalogued it and Astrantia major ‘Hadpen’s Blood’.
The Magnolia border was originally planted with various shrubs, the idea being that from the kitchen window, and as you walked in to the garden from round the side of the house, you couldn’t really see the decking under the pergola.
This is what it looked like in early May 2006. We lost the beautiful acer you can see to some sort of disease, likewise the Choisya ternata, which in any case had outgrown the space and suffered from not being pruned for a few years while I was really ill. Removing the Choisya revealed how misshapen the Pittosporum had become, where it had been edged out by its more rambunctious neighbour. I finally began tackling it last year, removing and dividing the Phormium tenax, one piece of which is now in the garage bed. The whole character of the area has changed with the loss of the large shrubs and the acer, and with the Magnolia stellata having grown into a proper tree rather than a large bush. We now have a small sofa in the dining room, which is a lovely sunny place to sit, and the view from here out to the front of the Magnolia border has therefore become more important. For much of the year it will be obscured by all the pots of veg and herbs I grow, so the emphasis at least for that part of the bed will be on Spring and Autumn colour, plus perennials with good height.
There is still some empty planting space alongside the decking. It is somewhat problematic in that my Father-in-law planted lots of beautiful daffodils next to the decking itself, but I didn’t have other plants to intersperse with them at the time, which is how I prefer to work with bulbs. I’ve sown some forget-me-nots – much loved by said father-in-law – but the jury is very much out. Which I suppose is why since September the Magnolia border has become a participant in the “End of Month View”. Thanks again to Patient Gardener for hosting this meme, I’ve found it really helpful in planning what to do with the garden this year, and I love seeing how other people’s gardens are developing too.
i love all your fall colors at the end of the month, its quite colorful…come and link with us with our hot meme on my blog today to :)
Hi Noel, thanks for the invite, have linked in. Loving the Californian tour!
Your views are really lovely! I like that you tell the story of how your garden is evolving and your working through of problem area.
Hi Cyndy – tips and idea always welcome re problem areas. That Eupatorium is bothering me much less now…
Lovely structural planting. I love the acer, I have a couple in my garden and they are remarkably resiliant when being hit by footballs – always the mark of a good plant!
I need to do some major reworking in my garden but the allotment needs me to choices, choices…
Thank you for the structural planting comment, it was the thing I most wanted to get “right” when I started turning the scrubby grass into a garden. Loved your description of acers being football-resilient… I envy you your allotment (am on a waiting list) but not the choices you have to make re time!
Thanks for your autumnal tour of your garden :)
And thanks for your comments over at mine this week. You’re my Comment of the Week in today’s Sunday Supplement for your comment re the Forest Commission sell off. Thanks for letting me know about the problem with the link re the Olympics website – for some reason it’s redirecting to the login screen even though the actual link is for the actual images themselves. I’ve gone back 1 level with my links and given instructions for which image set to pick on the blog post. Not as neat but at least you can get there now!
VP, I’m blushing! Glad to help re Olympic Park pics, I loved that post, I hadn’t realised how much new Park there was going to be.
Thanks so much for visiting my own blog! And I appreciate your kind comment.
I very much enjoyed the tour of your garden. It was nice to read how how progress and changes are occurring. That is a great thing about gardening: the joy is in the doing, and the doing is never done! Your fall colors are wonderful, and I saw some plants that grow in my own garden, though I am on the other side of the Atlantic, in a different climate. I love all the glorious golds, pinks, and tans, along with the shades of green that create such a colorful tapestry in the autumn garden.
Hi Deb, thank you for popping over the pond! I love that with all the differences UK to US, we also have so much in common re gardening, both plants and gardening. You are so right, a garden is never “done”, that’s one of the main things I love about it.
That first photo is stunning and the others aren’t bad at all!
You compliment me on my use of grasses but you certainly use them beautifully yourself. You are so right that doing the end of month review really makes you think, so very useful.
Thanks for your good wishes about my wrist too. Christina
Thank you Christina, that means a lot coming from you. Hope the wrist doesn’t stop you gardening any time soon!
Your garden looks so nice and well kept. Around our parts summer is so hot weeds just take over. Enjoyed my first visit here.
Hi Randy, thanks for stopping by! I assure you I get lots of weeds, but try to plant so closely that they don’t show… This year I had tomatoes and squash seedlings popping up everywhere from using our own compost!
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