Making changes in the garden, 3rd October 2018

We are now in the middle of Autimn and it is the perfect time for changing things that don’t please you. The Autumn border (one of my favourites) has become unbalanced, and the obvious choice is to take out the middle clump of grass of Miscanthus Sinensis Yakushima dwarf. All three have got huge over the years, and now the two on the left are touching. It is no way dwarf, and I put three in initially where two would have done. Taking it out will open up a view to the bench at the bottom of the paddock (which incidentally is soft mauve, and criticised by one of our visitors, the colour I mean) and also will give a charming view of the avenue of Malus Transitoria. That is what gardening is all about, opening up vistas. Mark Griffiths said in Country Life recently that it was his favourite avenue. I am lucky that Mark loves my garden. We have also discovered that Rudbeckia Gullicks variety is too tall, ten feet, and at the front. That is coming out and I am keeping my eyes open for a replacement, also maybe for the back. It is a bit coarse and runs; even though it has an award of merit. Today I am going to see Graham Gough of Marchants Hardy Plants, and will probably come back with the boot full of plants. Apart from the fact that it is uplifting to see Graham and Lucy, and I will have lunch with them where we will probably talk nothing but plants, always enjoyable. I am excited about seeing their garden, and how they have managed with what I considered a very difficult year. Polly coped with it amazingly, as I was not mobile until now.

The other thing you have to keep your eyes open for in the border is a plant which takes over. In the Chartreuse border Helianthus Lemon Queen has done just that. We have taken out the middle section which had swamped a new Veronicastrum that we had planted in the Spring. It has been replaced by Anemone Whirlwind which had already established itself at the front. The whole effect appears considerably lighter. My great friend Eric who works at Chanticleer in the States, and has a very good eye has been nagging me about the autumn border for some time. He came to stay at Pettifers this summer, but sadly I was in Corfu. The whole of the autumn border will be transformed , we will do it in about ten days with a digger, Changes in the Autumn are better than in the Spring as you see the full growth of the plant, and whether it is falling over badly, as on the whole I do not like staking as I like it all to look natural.

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