30th June, 2018, to stake or not to stake

The latter is what we do here, with the exception of delphiniums. In the beginning people are constantly propping up plants with the most hideous stakes. Really you should try to make your garden look natural, which on a breezy day like today I am really enjoying my grasses blowing in the wind. Stipa tenuissima, which seeds mildly, easy to pull out, and all the Calamagrostis. Avalanche, green and white, acutiflora Overdam, same but with a pink tinge, El Dorado, green and yellow striped, and the most famous, Calamagrostis Karl Foerster. They come up the first, and can be used like punctuation marks through your borders. The latter is taller than the others, but not too tall, maybe to my shoulder. I like best metal stakes, or rusted iron, luckily I got some very good ones from a friends grandson, who was making them while at university. I dont really like wooden stands or pergolas as I feel they could have come from Colefax and Fowler if there are lots of them.

I have a very promising new Sanguisorba, from Avondale Nursery who has got the national collection, called Stand up Comedian, strong red stems, and white tassels later on, also with a very special leaf. The lawn is going brown, and Polly tells me not to worry as it will come back. The garden is a haze of blue, my eryngiums who love these conditions, and have bulked up a lot, a Polly expression. The tops of the walls need watering, as some things would die without. Yesterday I went to Burford Garden Centre, quite a long way for me, to get some plants for the two large blue pots either side of the blue bench. We have two large photographs by Clive on a sort of metal tin, to go in our new gents loo. They will blow everyone away. I am going to put some photos on of the autumn border, which I am really pleased with. The achillea Gold Plate, which has a good leaf, and will grow to 6ft, it is about 5ft this year. I saw it last year in the huge new border at Kew, really worth going to.

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