The Story of a border - update.
Back in September last year, we had an Escallonia hedge riddled with brambles across the back of our small back garden.
It was impossible to remove the brambles – we found out from the farmer next door that years ago, they had been cultivated blackberries grown as part of a market garden behind our house. No wonder they were so tough! The hedge was 8’ high and we discovered that it was actually 8’ in depth too! Trying to prune that lot was an impossible task. It had to go!
What a job we had – cutting back the Escallonias to stumps and then digging them out, as well as the Brambles. I was in charge of transporting the branches to the incinerator and we burned everything. Then I took on the digging, ready for my husband to put in a fence with a narrow path in front of it to reach the brambles in the field – I take my secateurs along every few weeks, which keeps them down. We wanted to create curved borders to match the existing stone circle in the centre of the garden.
It took a while to get the curves right, and then the trellis went in. We decided to mark the edges of the borders with reclaimed bricks and we had to re-turf the area where the hedge had been.
One immediate bonus was that we now have a view over the fields at the back of the house, and there are often sheep or cattle there. It is also much lighter in the garden.
I had thought about colour-theming the garden, and decided on purple, white and gold/yellow. It took a while to draw out a plan with felt tips (yes, really!) marking in what plants I wanted, to try to keep colour and shape from spring right through to late autumn. I chose climbers for each season, too, different Clematis species and a Solanum laxum ‘Album’. Then I went on a plant hunt! I placed the plants carefully to get them in the right position.
Some of the plants on my list would not be available until the spring, so I had to take care to leave spaces. I strated some off from seed in the greenhouse, too.
It was the right time to plant spring bulbs and I chose small types so that the leaves would not be in the way later..I also planted a lot of winter pansies and Violas. They have done so well and are still flowering madly 7 months later!
So here we are in May, and this is what my border looks like now. There are still plants coming up or waiting to flower, so I hope that my vision will keep working for several more months.
Of course I added plants to the border that were not on the original plan – browsing in the Garden Centre I sometimes spotted a plant that seemed made for the job – like the Erysimums and those little white ‘African Eyes’. I have also planted some seeds which have germinated – they were meant to fill the gaps – but there aren’t many of those! I have pots of Acidantheras in the cold frame ready to go in – it will be a tight squeeze! They were on the plan – so I have a space ready for them… I will post some more photos later in the year so that you can have another look. It’s been fun and I’ve enjoyed every moment of it! I love my made-over back garden.
So does Henry!
- 18 May, 2008
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