It’s all very well, me deciding to redress the balance and give the back garden some attention, but it means I haven’t been blogging about the front garden at all. This seems very wrong as there are bits of it that I am really delighted with. Way back when I first started to think about what I wanted to do with the front garden I decided that I wanted the corner nearest the house, that you can see from where we sit to eat, to have mainly spring interest, and for the focus to then cascade down the garden over the course of the year until the very front would have lots of late summer colour. Here’s the view from the window on 24th April of this year.
Not perfect, by any means, I lost a few plants over the winter, and the epimediums upped and died earlier than that (although I have seen small signs of growth from the remnants recently). But it was doing what I wanted it to, giving me a dose of Spring from the dining room table. The added bonus of the flowers on the Euphrobia myrsinites convinced me that it was a good thing that I had sown lots more from seed.
A week later, on 2nd May, it was really filling out.
It is now at its best, though I still want to add another couple of the yellow aquilegia and I certainly need to remove some of the Spannish bluebells. This was the view from the window today, in a gap between the rain showers.
I know I have planted everything too close together, but I just can’t bring myself to be sorry, this little patch that is so close to what I had in mind is helping me both enjoy Spring and to believe that eventually I will tame the rest of it.
I’ve been loving the sight of the Anthriscus sylvestris ‘Ravenswing’ go from a small mound of purple foliage to a billowing mass of flowers, and I have really fallen for the subtle beauty of Tellima grandiflora. It goes beautifully with Aquilegia chrysantha, and I plan to add some more now that I can see which aquilegia is which. That is definitely the last time I make my own plant labels from milk bottles, the writing all faded away to nothing and I am left guessing. Or waiting.
The next section of border is bulking up nicely, and there should be plenty of material on the purple sedums for me to attempt leaf cuttings.
I’m sure over time I will manage to cram in more spring interest further down the border, and likewise add later season interest up closer to the house, but I do rather like the changing focus, and am trying to replicate it on the other side of the garden. The contrast between the fence border, planted up last year, and the wall border, which I only shaped a couple of weeks ago and am still adding to, is dramatic. Here are some views from upstairs.
I’ve begun to experiment with how to edge the borders so that I can keep the gravel from spilling in to them, but it will be Autumn before I stand a chance of starting to get rid of the grass. Still, definite signs of progress, and I find that more and more the feel of the garden starts to make me happy. I have no real idea where this feeling comes from, I spend hours thinking about plant combinations, colours, leaf shape, spacing, but in the end it all seems to come down to gut. I am groping my way towards something, and although I sometimes feel as if progress is almost unbearably slow, I am also really enjoying the journey.
Here are some of the plants currently making me smile, inlcuding the very pretty geranium I picked up at an NGS Open Garden on the Bank Holiday weekend.
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