As anticipated my visit to Great Dixter last weekend has really reinvigorated my enthusiasm for the garden. I have started to look at the borders and considered how they could be improved. There are some combinations which I am really pleased with which feature on this post but the lessons I learnt at Dixter are starting to help me re-evaluate those areas that I have struggled with for a while. I have removed the majority of the spent oriental poppies, leaving just a few to add seed to what Fergus Garrett calls the garden’s seed bank. Luckily yesterday when I got home from the monthly HPS meeting I spent a little time staking plants. I am hopeless at staking, always leaving it to late, but at Dixter I saw what a difference it can make to the border and how inconspicuously you can do it, so out came the canes and string. I am really glad I did as we had a heavy downpour overnight and I know that plants such as the Ammi majus would have been flattened.
In the poppies place I have planted out some zinnias which should contrast well with the agapanthus which look like they will have flowers this year, something I am really pleased with.
I have been looking at planting for the front of borders in particular to go in front of the roses which grow in the border along the top of the wall. Luckily at the garden club there are a number of nurserymen selling plants, as well as the members plant sales so I came home with a hefty haul of delights which strangely seemed to be predominantly pink. So planted out today were:
Viola cornuta ‘Clouded Yellow’Sanguisorba officinalis ‘Little Angel’
Geranium ‘Mavis Simpson’
Persicaria bistora ‘Hohe Tatra’
Helicrysum stoechas ‘White Barn’
Dianthus ‘Moulin Rouge’
I also included an Eryginum pandanifolium ‘Physic Purple’ which I bought at Dixter which should add some height to the Big Border.
I am really enjoying the profusion of flowers on the Geranium palmatum. I think it is my favourite geranium and I need to see about collecting some seeds as they are only just hardy and it would just be my luck to lose the lot if we have a hard winter this year. I fancy adding some to the front garden behind the Alchemilla mollis as I think the combination of the magenta pink and lime yellow would be electric. This is the best the top border has ever looked and I am finally feeling rather pleased with it. I want to relocate the Tetrapanex here, between the bamboos, as its leaves are swamping the surrounding planting in its current location just further down the slope.
As the garden was very wet for most of the morning today I made myself sort through the greenhouse. I don’t grow edibles any more but my youngest had a brief foray into vegetable growing which essentially meant that he acquired some seeds, sowed them, and then lost interest as his proposed house move hasn’t gone ahead so he no longer has a garden for them. The result is that I have ended up with some tomato, chilli, pepper, basil, parsley and sage seedlings as well as a rosemary and thyme plant. I managed to find space in the greenhouse for large pots for 3 tomatoes and then I planted another two in a very large pot along with the rosemary and thyme so hopefully there will be a fragrant productive pot on the patio.
I am pleased with the staging area this summer. The pelargoniums are flowering this year, after spending last summer producing lots of foliage. I took some twitter advice from Fibrex nursery and I am religiously watering them every day and feeding them once a week and it is already paying off, well apart from the one on the right hand side which is ignoring my efforts.