I’ve been feeling the garden needs a bit of a shake up. This week was a staycation and it provided the opportunity to visit a few places and take in some garden inspiration. Dan Pearson Studio has planted up a public park at Handyside Gardens, Kings Cross. Plenty of grasses of course but I spotted some wild strawberries used as underplanting. I’ve made a note for the future. In Oxford I laid eyes on a beautiful blue plant that is proving hard to id. Your thoughts are most welcome. On a very hot bank holiday Monday we visited the Ulting Wick open day. I went to view the dahlias. I know they are the one of the best flowers for late summer but I’ve not mastered the art of placing them in my garden. It just doesn’t seem to be dahlia friendly. I was also in search of some orange inspiration to balance out all my magenta colours. I struck lucky.
Dahlia ‘Orange Cushion’. Only one available so I snapped it up and hope to be able to propagate it next year. The dahlias at Ulting Wick are very impressive, I won’t be matching them for scale of planting but I’ve made a start. I’ve come to accept dahlias and even those with bronze foliage. I can see how to use it in the mix. I have great plans for next year.
Some kniphofias, divisions from the Ulting Wick stock and sold by the bag full. This bag had some new spires so I should get a few weeks at least out them.
All those oranges seemed to call out for a blue and there was a handy pot of salvia pratensis. On the right is the mystery plant spotted in Oxford. I thought it was also a salvia but does anyone have any ideas?
With my head full of thoughts for next year I decided that things have to move round in the garden, This anchusa azurea has been flowering away at the back of the border for a couple of years now and it is so often overlooked. I need to find a space for it show off in. I thought it was ‘Loddon Anna’ with a slightly less intense blue than ‘Loddon Royalist’ but I couldn’t find any images for ‘Loddon Anna’. Did I make it up?
Many of the gardens I saw this week had good shows of hylotelephium spectabile. Which is simply known as the ice plant in this house. I’ve inherited these and have let them do their own thing which often involves collapsing through lack of water. Now I’ve seen them put together with other planting I am going to consolidate the groups I have into one display…somewhere in the garden, for next year!
Staying put and doing both moving and shaking is pennisetum villosum. The very first flower spike. I need a few more to complete the picture but you get the idea. Floaty pennistetum with floaty gaura. I never thought I would have grasses in the garden either but I have been won over here too.
I soaked up ideas from gardens visited over the years but also from the many wonderful posts from fellow SOSers. Too many to name check but as always I recommend you take a look at the links on Mr P’s site. Thank you to the sixers who have inspired me. You have widened my horizons and added to my garden. There, that’s enough sucking up, I have some planting to do.
It was a week of hunkering down. The water butts filled up impressively. I then emptied them by filling up all the watering cans and then watering the greenhouse. It was mad, crazy, wet. I was happy from Monday to Wednesday, a little peeved by Thursday and downright fed up on Friday. But the garden did need it. I reviewed the damage: slugs and snails feasting on the lupins and flattened roses but most other things just soaked up the magic water.
The flattened and rain soaked ‘Scepter’d Isle’. The petals just fell off them as I deadheaded them. The alchemilla mollis underneath was cut and joined the forlorn rosa ‘Darcy Bussell’ in a vase. I was reminded of some beautifully crafted staking of roses at Waterperry gardens and again made a note to do better next year!
The collection of small plants I bought at the Finchley Horticulutral Society plant sale were short enought to withstand the rain, and positively thrived on it. These are alchemilla mollis alpina, tellima grandiflora or fringe cups, geranium ballerina and erinus alpinus, also delightfully known as fairy foxgloves.
I was pleased to see a mistreated geranium had forgiven me. ‘Ann Folkard’ was planted five years ago in the old house, moved around several times there, came to the new house and has been moved around several times again. I hope it’s in the right place now, I’m going let it stay for a while and see how it fairs.
Just before the deluge arrived the ailing choysia left. I now have that most desirable of garden commodities – open space. I wish I had worked out the plan of what to do next first but the urge to remove the choysia was too strong. Normally I would fill the space with annuals but I don’t think they will do well in this north facing border. On the other hand it is at the western end and I do have two or three trays of annuals looking for a home.
The much awaited melica altissima ‘Alba’ arrived. The final piece in the shady north border planting. Now it all has to knit together, the weeds are doing that rather better than the plants at the moment. The climbing hydrangea is making good progress but the first flowers on the geranium sanguineums were dashed to the ground by the rain.
The small and dainty dianthus deltoides stood up to the rain. They are about 18cms high and edge the border very well.
A little bit warmth would do very nicely now but dark clouds are looming again. The weeds are growing upwards and the slugs are growing fat. It is summer solstice next week so I am optimistically expecting a change in the weather! I think rain will be the word of the week for other SOSers. Take a look at The Propagator’s blog to see how everyone faired.
I’m just back from a week in Nice, France and so I am giving you six things from there. Some of these did give me ideas for my garden here and others are just interesting plants. So here for your pleasure are the sun soaked gardens of Nice.
From the Albert 1er gardens just off the Promenade des Anglais. A great selection of tropical plants, all of which were unknown to me except under the vague heading of palms or cactus like things. This one did have an information board close by so I can tell you it is Asparagaceae Dasylirion Longissium LEM. or Totem du Mexique. Frost resistant to -12 degrees apparently.
From a sun baked border at the Musee Matisse in Cimiez. A mixture of the familiar and the exotic.
On leaving the museum we ventured into an olive grove park and from there up some steps to a monastery where we were rewarded by the sight of the beautiful gardens of the monastery which were open to the public. The last three of the six all come from this garden.
I have long wondered if I should incorporate some grasses into the garden and I love this combination. Does anyone knows what the planting is? I don’t think it would fit the scale of my garden but it was so light and feathery that it did go on the ‘in my dreams’ list!
More beautiful grasses and ? I hope the photo is clear enough for you to put forward suggestions.
A view of one of the long borders looking great at this time of year and a detail shot.
A riot of colour to end on. I wish I could get my garden to look like this in September! Maybe this is the result of good deep borders and planting for height. Something for me to consider.
I hope Mr Prop will allow the deviation from the rules – I seem to remember holiday snaps are allowed. I also hope everyone is enjoying their garden at this time of year. On my return I did find the roses and verbenas still going strong and the asters beginning to open up so there was much to appreciate.