Well, on the upside, I am actually doing an EOMV post. On the down side, the weather is totally rubbish, so no arty close-ups of perovskia ‘Blue Spire’, verbena bonariensis, cosmos ‘Purity’. No clever shot showing how the deep purple foliage of sedum tenuifolium ‘Purple Emperor’ is echoed in the colour of the newly-flowering knautia macedonica. Instead, shots taken from the landing and lounge windows showing wind-blown plants, though in fairness they are probably delighted to be getting a drenching. And at least it demonstrates that the colours work well even on a dull grey wet day.
Eventually I will deepen the wall border and propagate the perovskia so that they dance and waft and soften the solid mass of the hydrangeas behind. I also have a large number of stachys byzantina which I have grown from seed to edge the border and some Echinacea ‘White Swan’, also grown from seed, to add late season interest and contrasting foliage. It is a very young border, but I am pleased with how it is evolving, though I really should have pruned the escallonia hedgelet back to encourage it to bush out more. I haven’t been doing much gardening lately, what with Project Kitchen and visitors, but I did manage to squeeze in a mass planting session before the many, many plants I had lurking in pots became irredeemably potbound.
The main focus of the Great Planting episode was the fence border. In total I planted 58 plants, mostly grown from seeds or cuttings, or brought from my previous garden, but with enough nursery-supplied plants to represent more money than I ever imagined planting in the ground in one go! I’ve been lucky enough to get enough work to pay for lots of lovely plants, including the sedum above, euphorbia myrsinites, cephelaria gigantea and a beautiful bronzy-green carex, carex testacea. Rather than planting in blocks, as I usually have in the past, I have tried interweaving the different plants through the border to create a more tapestry-like effect. The jury is out on that one, the plants are mostly too young to make much of a statement and I have had terrible problems with weeds, since I at least tried to use sensible spacing. In the end I have let the wild euphorbia romp around to fill the gaps on the basis that it is more attractive than the alternatives, but it does mean that the overall effect is, at the moment at least, rather muddled to the eye.
This is even more obvious viewed in greyscale:
The area I am most pleased with at the moment is the central bed. Eventually this will be dismantled and the stone used to edge the fence and wall borders, and the planting will spread out through a sea of gravel, once the grass has been removed. In the mean time, and after re-homing the hundreds of orange and yellow marigolds that had self-seeded with either ‘Cemaes in Bloom’ or my next door neighbour, I planted achillea ‘Terracotta’ in a sea of stipa tenuissima with anthemis tinctoria ‘E. C. Buxton’ as contrast.
It was Sara over at Hillwards that confirmed that the pretty pale yellow daisy I had seen in an image on line was ‘E. C. Buxton’, and I like the idea of contrasting the daisy heads of this with the flat tops of the achillea. I added a deeper yellow achillea, ‘Moonwalker’, grown from seed, to pick out the center of the anthemis, but wax and wane about that. I often think the yellow is too strong for the overall effect I want in that bed. The photos above were taken a couple of weeks ago, but the colours have faded now, and do exactly what I wanted them too, echo the yellows and browns on the cliffs on the opposite side of the bay.
Having skipped an entire month it probably looks as if I have done a lot, but other than the mammoth planting exercise, and pulling out armfuls of weeds, I haven’t. The fence remains half finished, the front half of the garden is a wasteland, and the fuchsia and Bear’s Breeches are still there, periodically obscuring the view until ruthlessly cut back. But the mystery foliage I asked about in the April EOMV is no longer a mystery:
Do pop over to Helen@Patient Gardener to catch up with her garden, and to follow links to all sorts of other gardens too.