End of Month View – February 2016 Hugh’s Border
Ok so the quick-witted amongst you will have spotted that this isn’t my front garden which I said last month was going to be the focus of the End of Month Meme. And you are right. I had fully intended to focus on the front garden in the meme this year but having written last month’s post, received lots of inspiring comments and done much pondering I think I have decided to dig up the front lawn and re-design the space. Now I am sure that would be very interesting to follow on the blog month by month but as I don’t know when I will have the time and/or energy to start the work and as I am pro actively working on reducing unnecessary pressure on myself to compensate for the pressures of my new role at work it seemed silly to me to set myself up to feel like I was failing every month. No doubt when I do get my act together I will be showing you the progress on the front garden but I’m afraid you will have to settle for another year of the main garden this year.
Having made that decision I was then perplexed about what to focus on this year. My garden isn’t that big and there certainly isn’t anything new to showcase but I was determined to focus on something I hadn’t focussed on before so I have ended up with the border you can see in the photographs. This is what has been known as the former bog garden and you can locate it if you look at the garden plan. When I first started blogging a large portion of this border was a pond put in to the convenient hole left by a huge inherited conifer that we had removed. It was a foolish place to put a pond as it was under the Prunus and Willow so I spent my life, or so it seemed, fishing leaves out and really putting a pond near the top of a sloping garden is just fundamentally wrong. Some years back I decided to fill it in and create bog garden. To be honest this was a very lazy approach to dealing with the pond liner and not the best idea I had especially given that I become a little over enthusiastic in puncturing holes in the liner and inadvertently improved the drainage so well that the likelihood of a bog garden was remote. So now it is just a border which is mainly in the shade but with the shed end in the sunshine. Interestingly, when I took the photographs for this post I was struggling to find a good view, which is why it has rarely featured on the blog, but then I stumbled on the view from the shed (top photo) which I really like. It’s almost as if I designed the border deliberately to be that shape!
Like I have said the border has a sunny end, just in front of the bench and when we put the bench and gravel in a few years back we cut into the border to create a bigger gravel area where I could also put some of my pots. Not a very prepossessing collection I know but these are the remnants of my dabbling in alpines and they need to be sorted and tidied. My intention when I put the bench in was to try to create an area which would be surrounded in plants in high summer like a hide away. I haven’t achieved this as I have been just too conservative in this area and I need to throw caution to the wind and go for it. You will see there are a number of hellebores in this bed. These are last year’s hellebores acquisitions and I was looking for a new location, rather than group all my hellebores in one area. The only trouble with this location is that, just like dahlias, hellebores face towards the sun (well they do in my garden) and consequently when I sit on the bench I am looking at the back of the flowers. I have decided to move these plants further along the border to the shady end near the grass path so I can actually see the flowers. Then I need to start thinking about how to achieve the feel I want here. I think some big leaved plants would be good….more pondering will now take place.
This is the view of the shady end from the grass path. Again I have struggled with this area – in fact I have struggled with all this border. I am trying to get a more cohesive feeling and move away from the bittiness that predominates so much of my garden; the downside of having a magpie approach to plants. In the back of the border there is a paulownia, which I am growing as a tree rather than pollarding, and lots of ferns. I think I need to start incorporating some hostas in this end and the hellebores will also add interesting foliage when I move them but I feel it needs something maybe a bit more architectural or striking to give it some sort of focus…. maybe the fatsia japonica Variegated that found its way home from today’s HPS meeting would be a good starting point.
As for what I call this border, well the ‘former bog garden’ doesn’t trip off the tongue so I am think maybe I will call it Hugh’s border as that is the name of my willow owl.
If you would like to join in with the end of month view meme you are very welcome to. There are no rules but I do ask that you link to this post or blog from your post and if you leave a link to your post in the comment box below then we can all find each other.