14th November Difficult Borders

For some time the front border has proved difficult, partly because it is small and has to look good all the time. Finally I am pleased with it, because the beech hedge has recovered from last year’s ‘scorch’ as Sybil put it, and Polly has clipped it an undulating shape that we both approve of. The Miscanthus sinensis ‘Morning Light’ is flowering which is unusual, and flowering well. The gift from Sue Dickinson of Buddleja Agathosma has had to be removed because of the water coming into the study. This has been a blessing in disguise because although a very beautiful silver felt leaf it was very untidy. Funny, as one continues to garden, that one appreciates things that are tidy. I used to get furious when James said at the end of a week that it was all very neat. Doing a block planting of Rosa Mutabilis has proved a great success as they are still flowering away now. My Eremurus ‘Obelisk’ are doing well but where they are covered by Clematis Armandii ‘Apple Blossom’ they refuse to flower. We have planted a Magnolia Stellata ‘Royal Star’ outside the study, and the Ptelea trifoliate ‘Aurea’ has easily doubled in size having done nothing for three years. It keeps its lime green colour throughout the summer. When I start to get cross with a plant it suddenly seems to jump to.

The Old Rose Border. The change here in the border in front of the two lead urns is one of the most exciting things we have done for a while. After being moved 3 or 4 times we have the final resting place for Astrantia Roma. Giving it the companion of Calamagrostis acutiflora ‘Overdam’ I cannot think why I did not think of it before. We have got quite a lot of snowdrops in this bed, and the Greatorex doubles go deep down doubling up and up in a rather fascinating way. We have also planted 100 Black Parrot Tulips from Bloms, and these should look stunning against the Valerian Phu Aurea which is a bright lime green at that time of year. The best thing we have done is to remove the roses.

Burgundy Border. The main problem here is the huge ash tree which has increased in size hugely since we have been here. It sucks all the moisture from the ground of this particular border, which is only small. Certain things can cope with it. Skimmia Kew Green is looking happy, and so are Agapanthus Windsor Grey, with its seedheads still very decorative. Allium Globemaster is a major feature, and the second Miscanthus sinensis ‘Cabaret’ has taken off.

My fourth border is so embarrassing that I am not going to talk about it at all. I just hope that we will have time to do something about it before next year.

7 thoughts on “14th November Difficult Borders

  1. Hello Virginia,

    I have been following your posts since I bought the book featuring your garden. I much enjoy your comments about the way you organize and re-organize your borders.
    Could you add some pictures of the garden as it is at the present time, it would help to visualize better the subjects you talk about, as I have not been able to visit your garden when I went to UK last summer.
    Best regards

  2. My front border always has issues as well. Is it just because it should be looking good all the time? Perhaps I am not quite so critical of the other sections of the garden. I think the bones might need work. Now that we have snow on the ground, maybe I can look at it impartially and come up with some changes.

  3. Hello Gina and Polly,
    I’m enjoying reading the progress of the garden, so the old roses have finally gone! I like the idea of planting a block of Rosa mutabilis, it can look a bit weedy on its own.
    Have you come across Evolution Plants, a new nursery near Bath? it has very special plants indeed, including newly introduced species. I immediately thought of you. Perhaps you know of it already. They may have some gems for your fourth border!
    Best wishes

    1. Hi Helene, Lovely to hear from you. Evolution Plants. . .weren’t they in Gardens Illustrated recently? The website is good – one of those where you haven’t even heard of some of the plants. I want Galanthus snogerupi. No reason, just the name!

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