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Mind the gap


By jan65


Well I went ahead and did it! Anyone who had seen my question about planting montbretia over my daffodils might be interested in seeing the end result.

To recap – I asked whether planting montbretia in the same spot as where there are some daffodil bulbs would work, in that I was looking for something that would disguise the fading daffodil leaves once the blooms had finished, enabling me to leave the daff leaves in place to maximise the show next year.

My idea was to plant crocosmia lucifer and orange montbretia in roughly the same spot, so that their emerging leaves would disguise the rotting leaves of the daffs.

I had a mixed response to my idea – some people thought it would work, and others thought that the crocosmia/montbretia would be too invasive and eventually choke the daffs out of existence.

I was in a bit of a quandry … what to do? After reading the initial positive responses, I’d gone out and bought the plants, but following a more cautious response I was unsure of whether I should go ahead and plant.

But then I thought – what the heck! Let’s do it! After all, this gardening malarky is such a learning curve – if it doesn’t work, or it goes wrong, then I can always pull them out again!

So, here we go.

Firstly, I had created some gaps because I’d had to pull out some lupins that I wasn’t happy with – they’d gone all powdery, and were about four foot tall when they were supposed to be a dwarf variety. They didn’t look good at all, even the flowers weren’t too good, so I decided to do away with them completely. Sadly I forgot to take some “before” photos, but did remember to take some “during” photos, showing the newly created gaps:

These gaps also contain my daffs, of course.

I planted the Crocosmia Lucifer at the back, against the fence, with the orange montbretia in front of it. I chose two varieties of the orange montbretia – Golden Glory and Meteore. The Golden Glory is a lovely apricot colour, while the Meteore is a more fiery deep yellow with orange splashes. I love them both.

My original idea was to split the orange montbretia plants in their pots and mix the colours up, for something a bit more interesting, but I found this too difficult to do when I took them out of their pots, as the roots were well established, so I settled for planting each one as it was. In this photo, the Golden Glory is on the left with the Meteore on the right, either side of my griselinia shrub:

And this gap contains just the Lucifer and the Meteore (I had also taken the opportunity to transfer the Choisya on the left to a bigger pot, kindly donated by my mother-in-law, as I think it had outgrown its old one):

Especially for Seaburngirl, here is a close-up of the Golden Glory:

and another of the Meteore:

And finally, here is a photo of the whole border, which also shows some new New Guinea Impatiens which I decided to pop in, too, for a bit of extra oomph.

I’m so pleased that I’ve got a bit of colour back into this border, I was beginning to think that winter had set in early! Watch this space, because as I’ve said before, I’m the first to admit my mistakes, so if it all goes pear shaped I promise you’ll be the first to know!

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Several years ago I planted a campanula on top of a patch of dormant daffodil bulbs - I'd forgotten they were there. Now the campanula coming into growth completely swamps the scruffy daffodil leaves, it really works a treat so hope yours does too. It'll be the survival of the fittests, won't it? lol.
It looks great, by the way.

15 Aug, 2009


Thanks Wagger, I'm keeping my fingers crossed that it works as well as your campanula does!

15 Aug, 2009


It look ok to me Jan i've got some daffs and tulips under campanula, and they work fine.

15 Aug, 2009


Lucifer is not that bad, but be careful, just make sure U keep an eye on the orange Crocosmia. They R easy to pluck out, but if you don't keep a tab on them the job becomes quite enormous. Interesting idea though, keep us posted.

15 Aug, 2009


Nice idea will have to try that one, thanks Jan.

15 Aug, 2009


It's looking great Jan. If you fancy doing somthing then give it a go, that's part of the fun of gardening isn't it! The yellow crocosmia is lovely. I have that variegated Griselinia 'Limelight' and it's one of my favourite shrubs, so bright and cheery in winter but also well behaved. Mine has slowly grown to 6' in 9 years, no pruning required - perfect!

16 Aug, 2009


Thanks all, for your positive comments! I'm very pleased with the result, the only reservation I've got at the moment is that I'm worried I've planted the Lucifer too close to the fence. Some of the flowers are actually brushing against the fence, and I've noticed a fall of petals on the soil, I hope the stems turn away from the fence towards the light eventually. Otherwise I might move them slightly forward - if I can summon up the energy!

Lily, I'm pleased, now, with my Griselinia, but for a while I thought it was looking a bit poorly, but it seems to have picked up now and is looking good again, so I'm very relieved!

16 Aug, 2009


It looks great, and as you say if it doesn't work you can move them. You don't know unless you try.

17 Aug, 2009


Thank you Hywel, I must admit I do like the new look, so fingers crossed!

17 Aug, 2009

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