There is nothing better for the soul than a couple of hours in the garden, steadily working through a border, clearing and tidying especially on a grey damp Autumn day when any garden time feels like a gift.
I have been cutting back, weeding and collecting leaves in the borders either side of the grass path, although its more of a mud path at the moment and I really do need to sort this out in the next season. There are few flowers in evidence aside from some cyclamen and violas but the garden is still full of colour and texture thanks to the evergreens. I continue to be more attracted to plants with good foliage either evergreen or deciduous. Having had a very catholic taste in plants over probably the last 20 years I now find my interest becoming more focussed on certain groups of plants: good foliage, bulbs, ferns, woodland plants and I find myself looking at the borders to see how I can utilise the space better and incorporate more of my favourites.
One of the borders that I have struggled with for some years in the border in front of the old pond. I need to bring some cohesion to the space. The more shady end isn’t too bad and I think there is some structure forming but it is the opposite end by the workshop that really challenges me.
The bare soil is witness to my indecision and confusion. It isn’t a big space I know but it needs to have some impact due to its location and I am crippled with indecision here. It is currently home to late spring perennials including lathyrus and aquilegia as well as various digitalis but there is no wow or impact here. I have toyed on numerous occasions over the last year with putting in a rockery or a crevice garden here; I thought it would blend in with the path and the slope of the border would help. I am full of enthusiasm when I have been to one of the Alpine Garden Society meetings but although I love alpine bulbs and some alpines my reaction to rockeries, even the modern crevices, in the flesh is indifference. I can’t get excited about the tiny plants and all that stone. I need foliage, texture, glossy leaves, fine leaves, silver leaves, lushness with seasonal floral highlights to add sparkle.
As I posted a few weeks ago I was inspired by Keith Wiley’s approach and coupled with an article in the RHS The Garden magazine by Roy Lancaster on evergreens this month I can feel some ideas forming in the recesses of my mind which hopefully will have formulated properly by next spring.
The next task is to tidy up the Woodland Border and the Rose Border (top of the wall) and to clear the way for the bulbs which hopefully will be appearing in the near future.