This time of year you evaluate your borders, and once again there is a groan when I look at the Burgundy border. It has always been a problem child, but now that the overhanging ash is down it really does not have so many excuses. I have high aspirations for all my borders, but this is a small one, and an important one as it leads directly across to the par terre., It is like a half moon but has two straight sides, and finally I have fallen out of love with Miscanthus Cabaret. It has been in a long time and is huge, ungainly and awkward looking. The border’s crescendo is in the beginning of June, when it is flowering with Allium Globemaster, the longest allium to flower and it even dies well. A pot containing three alliums quickly became 30, which gives you some idea of the problems we have in this bed. It is also full of camassias which drive Polly to distraction. It has Valerian Pyrenacium, which is a tall froth of pink and seeds mildly. There are plenty of Asters and Phyllyrea Latifolia in a corner, which is finally on the way to getting large. The mistake I have made is too many bulbs and too many different plants all round.
I have just got back from taking the dogs to the hairdressers, Peters Posh Pets, and while they were there I went to Wisley and was pleased with what I bought. Three Miscanthus Morning Light, no wonder I like grasses, these are going to look pretty and fresh for at least 6 months, and three Veronicastrum Virginicum. Fascination, which I do not have, and have a good shape and colour well into the Autumn.. We are going to take out three Sanguisorbas, too much leaf in ratio to the flower. This border is absolutely full of Agapanthus Windsor Grey which do not seem to mind being smothered early on. Amazing. The star of this border is the liquorice plant, Glycyrrhiza Yunnansis. In the middle is a large Euphorbia Cornigera, and also a Skimmia Confusa Kew Green. When this is planted up I will put a photograph or two on the blog.
The last month has done nothing but rain, and it really shows. Everything is so green. Things that looked dead have come back, and all the prostrate Rosemary is very luxuriant. We went up the mountain of Pantocrator to Old Perithia, and scattered everywhere were tiny little white crocuses called Crocus Boryi. Very high up there WA s a shepherd with his flock of sheep, and a few sternberghia were on the lower slopes. There were not half as many as when we first saw them. There seems to be absolutely nobody here, though Nicos of Gallinis, says tourism has been 60% up, probably taken from Turkey. We have had beautiful sunshine every day, and rain at night. James has been working very hard outside cutting off all the Kermes oak which has seeded everywhere. It has covered huge boulders and little stone walls. We are hoping to start rebuilding the stone walls, and in the winter to get Jiannis to cut the dead wood out of the ancient olive trees. Then we are going to strim the land not once but twice a year, and see what that looks like. Considering this is five acres of land I do not think Jiannis does at all badly looking after it.
At this time of year we seem to have the twittering of a lot of songbirds, that I do not remember in the summer, and driving at night managed to avoid going over several huge toads. Just below us on our left hand side a flock of sheep have appeared to graze the ground, and they all have tinkling bells round their necks. We have more cyclamen than you could believe all up the left hand side. They love the crevices of the rocks. The strawberry tree, Arbutus Unedo, is flowering and fruiting, and in the past peasants made a drink of the strawberry like fruit. We have planted three Agave Americana down overlooking the pool house. Up by the cottage has gone in three Cortaderia Selloana ‘Rosea’, all these will get huge, but they are in scale with the landscape.
I have plenty of photographs to illustrate what I am talking about, but the wi fi here is not up to it so I will do it when I get back to England.
Polly and I have just been over to see Harriets garden (See Helping Harriet), and what an achievement in two years. If you have a house set in the middle of fields, not an unattractive thing to be seen, and horses on the horizon, you have a head start. She now has two borders, the second one started this year, both backed by a brick wall. The green beech buttresses in both borders look as if they have been there much longer than they have. The idea of these are that they should give structure in the Winter when the herbaceous plants have vanished below the ground. We have now made a decision to have three large clumps of Miscanthus Yakushima Dwarf down the right hand side of the garden, set at specific intervals. Harriet is going to ring up Neil Lucas of Knoll Gardens to see if they have got them in stock, otherwise it can wait until Spring. Justin, meanwhile, had made an impulse buy of several small plants of Buxus Sempervirens, and we think we have found a home for them. We are going to put about three together to make large box domes by the back entrance of the swimming pool.
The shocking pink aster that I have put on my photographs is called Aster Harrington Pink. We have put canes at the top end of the Klimt border, as in the spring we are going to divide it. It is definitely a star at the moment, but you have to wait until Spring to divide it. Needless to say we have put canes where it is flowering now in case we don’t remember where it is in the Spring.
We have finally sorted out the oil tank border. It has certainly taken me long enough. Polly and I are both pleased with what we have done. You walk in through the large blue gates and it is not an eyesore anymore. It is helped a lot by a huge iron tripod, with a large gold ball on top.
The main excitement for Pettifers Garden, is that we have ordered a new pretty greenhouse. I am already getting a lot of fun from the whole procedure. It will be the same size as the one that is there already, and we have to choose from Pigeon Blue or Willow Green.