My Garden This Weekend – 5th July 2015

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The garden is slowly moving out of the quiet June phase and the late summer colour is beginning to appear.  I am really pleased with the Calmagrostis x acutiflora ‘Overdam’ and Sanguisorba combination.  I would love to claim that it was planned but I struggled last year with how the plants would work together in the Big Border so this year is a case of waiting and see what works together and what needs tweaking.  There is a Cornus ‘Grace’ adjacent to this pairing and the sanguisorba really picks up on the colour of the foliage; so I think this planting will be staying.


The Anthemis ‘Sauce Hollandaise’ has started to flower.  I love this plant when the flowers are open but it has an irritating habit of letting its flower petals go limp in the heat so this last week, with the high temperatures we have had, it has looked as though it was dying but as you can see each morning it perks up and looks great.  Hopefully with the rain we have had today it will be a little happier.


The high temperatures and distinctly low rain levels this year has had a negative impact on some of my plants which need a little moisture.  The Regal Fern (Osmunda regalis) above is a case in point.  It is planted in the former pond, which was meant to be a bog garden but I suspect I was a little over enthusiastic when I was piercing holes in the pond liner as it’s not as boggy as I would hope.  However the fern has been  planted here for a few years now and has had its best year to date with long fronds and lots of growth but now it is looking really singed.  The Prunus kojo-no-mai also has dry and crispy brown leaves on some of the branches but the shrub has been planted for years so I am hoping that it will be OK.


This Hemerocallis is growing next to the Anthemis and I am pleased that it is picking up on the yellow centres of the daisies.  I’m not a fan of day lilies but this one was looking sad in a nursery sale and I like the smaller delicate flowers than you normally get with day lilies. There are also white phloxes about to flower and this weekend I have added some zinnia seedlings and a couple of Amaranthus ‘Autumn Palette’ grown from seed from Special Plants.  I’m not sure about them as the flower tassels are very orange but we shall see how they bulk up and what they look like with the zinnias.


Amongst my many plant weaknesses are Alliums.  I do like the large ones like Globemaster but I really like little alliums and have a growing collection.  The one above is Allium caeruleum which I had bought for showing but they now live on the edge of the Big Border where they can benefit from baking in the sun.


Another favourite, Allium cernuum, which I think has a lovely graceful appearance and I think I might add some more of these, particularly as they don’t suffer with the large leaves like some other alliums.


Finally, this must be one of the gaudiest roses around.  I inherited it with the house and have developed a peculiar fondness for it.  I would never buy a rose with such flowers but it makes me smile.  It lives next to a Choiysa ‘Sundance’ which has quite luminous chartreuse leaves and seems to compliment the roses – somehow! I like the combination so much that I have planted the Lathyrus rotundifolius that I bought a few weeks ago to grow over the Choiysa.  Who knows it might look amazing next year, we shall have to wait and see.


14 Comments Add yours

  1. Linda from Each Little world says:

    That combo in the first picture is lovely. I grow mainly the small daylilies. There are quite a few that are very delicate and work well in borders. The tetraploids are the really big ones and I steer clear of those.

  2. rusty duck says:

    I’m liking sanguisorba more and more, especially combined with grasses. Love that shot.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Jessica
      The grass and sanguisorba is my view from the living room which is an added benefit

  3. alison says:

    Thank you – you’ve introduced me to two plants I was totally unfamiliar with; the two, very pretty Alliums. The Sanguisorba looks similar to Allium Sphaerocephalon or ‘Drumstick’ Allium which is waiting to flower in my garden, but because the Sanguisorba is more delicate, it looks perfect amongst the grass. It certainly is disappointing how Sauce Hollandaise sulks in the heat but always nice when it perks up again. Love that rose!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Alison
      The sanguisorba has more flexible stems so wafts with the grass which looks good

  4. That’s an astonishing rose!
    And I like the sound of “Watch, Wait, and Tweak”, as an approach to gardening!

  5. I love the lightness and movement that grasses bring to a planting combination…l find myself incorporating them more and more. My Anthemis E C Buxton seems to have grown out of all proportion this year and I have had to stake it to stop it flopping all over the place! Not satisfactory as it now looks as if it’s in a straight-jacket.Maybe I should have given it a Chelsea chop.

  6. Yvone Ryan says:

    Hi Helen – I like your rose and imagine it has a lovely perfume? Nice to have some surprises in your garden! Must look out for sanguisorba and I love all your allium’s.

  7. AnnetteM says:

    Your first plant combination is stunning! I have grown Alliums for the first time this year – I love them as they are so photogenic – sure are huge and I have to admit I bought them because they were named after my son! (Allium Christoph) I love your smaller ones though and am sure I will be planting some more this autumn.

    1. AnnetteM says:

      I mean Christophii!

  8. homeslip says:

    I love this combination. You and Rusty Duck have put a sanguisorba on my wish list. I have calamagrostis Karl Forster combining with self-seeded verbena bonariensis with sedum and now cut-back hard geranium Kashmir white at its feet. I split my two clumps last year so they are still re-establishing and I really need to give them a good soak. I also have the switch grass, Panicum Virgatum which has a slight maroon tinge to it.

  9. Hi Helen, like many others here I love the combination of C. ‘Overdam’ with the sanguisorbia – which one is it? Looks a perfect match for the height of the calamagrostis.

  10. Chloris says:

    I love the Sanguisorba with the grass, a really lovely combination. I am fond of Anthemis ‘Sauce Hollandaise but this year mine is covered in pollen beetle. My Osmunda regalis is looking like yours even though I have kept watering it. Lovely alliums.

  11. hillwards says:

    I really love that opening combination too. A Sanguisorba has been on my wishlist for a while , must do something about it !

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