End of Month View – April 2016 – Hugh’s Border

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Hugh’s Border has really filled out in the last month especially with the hostas planted under the Prunus incisa ‘Kojo-no-mai’ emerging. I am determined to crack this border this year.  It looks Ok but in previous years there has been something lacking and it has felt bitty and not really me.  Over the last month I have added some lupins with red/orange flowers and also Rosa ‘Hot Chocolate’.  These will add to the red and orange theme that seems to be the emerging in this area.


Here’s the other end of Hugh’s Border (Hugh is the owl).  This part of the border is more woodland/shade planting.  The Pulmonaria are beginning to go over which I am sure will disappoint the bees.  Just behind them are some trillium and lots of Onoclea sensibilis as it seems to have decided to spread after sitting quietly for years – I presume due to the mild wet winter.


Here is the other end of the woodland bit of the border (nearest the bench).  The big round leaves are Cardiocrinum giganteum which has reappeared this year and hopefully will flower. The lime green strappy leaves are Iris sibirica, I think it is a pale blue variety but it hasn’t flowered for a few years due to being moved so maybe this year will be the year when I discover which variety they are.


This is the front of the border and the area of the border which has been really perplexing me.  I have moved a couple of hellebores here from near the bench as it was difficult to see their flowers in their old location.  It seems hellebores like to face the sun so from the bench you just saw the back of the flowers in their new location you can see the flowers from the grass path.  I am trying to bulk up the planting and foliage textures in this area so plan to add to it as the year progresses.

So that is the border at mid Spring, lots of new shoots appearing and promise of things to come.

If you would like to join in with the monthly meme you are very welcome.  All I ask is that you add a link to this post in your post and leave a link to your post in the comments box below.  You can use the meme however you want – to focus on one area in particular, to look around the whole garden, whatever suits you.


45 Comments Add yours

  1. Helen , I think Hugh’s Border is border to be proud of. I hope you sit on that bench with a cup of tea and feel proud at what you have done. A border like that doesn’t just appear, it takes a lot of hard work, well done!

    My EOMV post is a bit like a bus – you don’t see one for a long time and when it finally arrives it comes early! I wrote yesterday so will now go back and add your link to it. http://wp.me/p1jkAI-2PY

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Ronnie
      I do sit in the bench a lot, and do much pondering. The only problem is a spring has appeared right in front of the bench so you have to be careful where you it your feet, one of the joys of living on the side of the Malvern with lots of natural springs!

  2. Jim Stephens says:

    I am looking carefully at your pictures for ideas to bring my spring greening up forward; I have so much bare ground still compared to you. Must also check all the other EOMV posts with the same thing in mind. A mine of information and inspiration in a meme. My post is at https://gardenruminations.wordpress.com/

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Jim
      Yes the meme is good at seeing what others are growing at the same time if year. I have a lot of epimediums, bergenias, bulbs,tirella, pulmonaria all of which add early spring greenery

  3. hoehoegrow says:

    It all looks lovely and burgeoning – more so than we are here! The Cardiocrinum looks interesting.
    All we need now is some decent weather so we can all get out there and enjoy all the lovely new growth.

    Thanks for hosting – here is my link

    1. Cathy says:

      Hi – this is not so much a reply as a plea for help! (Sorry Helen!) I’ve tried to leave a comment on your post and about four others this afternoon. I can’t seem to use get the Atom ‘post comments’ to work, no matter what I do. Could someone help me with the technology? Apologies again, Helen.

    2. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Cathy
      I got your earlier comment Ok so not sure why you got messages saying it didn’t work. Hope you managed to leave comments in others too

    3. Cathy says:

      Hi Helen – I’ve confused everything, I’m afraid! I tried to leave a comment on Hoehoegrow’s EoMV this afternoon, but couldn’t not work out the ‘system’ (same with one other contributing to your EoMV and Kris Peterson). But Hoehoegrow has just sent me a message – hopefully she’ll fill me in (these are not WordPress sites). So sorry … you could delete all these nonsense comments from your post if you like! (My first comment about Hugh was the real one!)

    4. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Cathy
      I bought the cardiocrinum last year but it didn’t flower. I believe they have to build up to flowering and then die but produce bulbils which is 3-4 years will flower so it seems hard to build up any stock

  4. How nice to see Hugh and his border again! My pulmonaria are going over too, which disappoints me as well as the bees, since they are so useful at this time of year for picking for little cheerful vases around the house.

    Here’s a quick EOMV post from me. It’s pretty short and sweet because I am newish to this meme and it’s been a busy day today and it took me by surprise! thanks for hosting.


    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Elaine
      To be honest the meme took me by surprise too as I was convinced I had another day, but of a late evening rushed post from me

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Diana
      Will pop over and enjoy your first year in your new home

  5. rusty duck says:

    Plenty of promise.. It’s all looking so lush and fit to burst! Rosa Hot Chocolate intrigued me so I looked it up. What a fabulous colour, can’t wait to see that in bloom.
    Apologies Helen, I am going to skip a month. My attempts to garden on one foot didn’t prove entirely satisfactory so the bank doesn’t look all that different from last time.Well only in so far as the weeds have grown!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Jessica
      Sorry to hear you are in the wars, how very frustrating for you

  6. jenhumm116 says:

    Hi Helen, as always, plenty to admire now and even more to look forward too! I too am intrigued by Rosa ‘Hot Chocolate’.
    Here’s mine for April, thanks for hosting.

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Jen
      I just hope rose hot chocolate lives up to my memory of seeing it in a garden last year

  7. It’s extraordinarily difficult to get enough of a sense of a garden from photos to say anything intelligent, but I do think it looks good!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Thanks Rachel

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Anca
      Hugh is very proud of his border

  8. Linnae says:

    I think we use this meme in much the same way–as a chance to look around and document our plans! I wish I could ramble through your garden in person–it looks so lovely!
    Here is my link for this month: http://ofbooksandblooms.blogspot.com/2016/04/april-end-of-month-views.html

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Linnae
      Thanks for joining in, I’ll pop over and have a nose around your garden

  9. the border looks good to me, lots of foliage textures and some spring colour, your garden has developed so much over the years I have been reading your blog Helen, you have achieved a lot,

    thanks for hosting this meme, my contribution is posted, Frances

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Frances
      Thanks, your garden had developed lots too and you have such difficult conditions

  10. Alison says:

    Hi Helen

    Your Prunus kojo no mai is about 50 times bigger than mine – it looks wonderful, I can only hope that mine grows to that size. It is a wonderful tree.

    My EoMR is here http://www.blackberrygarden.co.uk/2016/04/end-of-month-review-april-2016.html

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Alison
      I think I have had my prunus for 7 or 8 years so it is well established

  11. I found you via Cathy at Rambling in the Garden.
    Thank you for hosting this meme, it has been a great motivation to get things done!
    Here’s mine: https://daffodilwild.wordpress.com/2016/04/30/end-of-month-view-april/

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Wild daffodil
      Welcome, the more the merrier, glad you find it useful

  12. Jim Stephens says:

    Helen, what is the plant between the hellebore and the camellia to the left of your last picture, looks like it’s about to flower?

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Jim
      I think you are referring to a small shrub which is probably some form of spirea, it has tiny white flowers on it but I have had it for years so can’t remember what it is

  13. Cathy says:

    Hi Helen – I’m sure Hugh will be a proud owl this summer when the border takes off! Wonderful to have a cardiocrinum as well. Fingers crossed it flowers. Your garden always looks so wonderfully well-tended in comparison with mine. I’ve written a contribution to your meme this month, which is at
    Thanks so much for hosting!

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Cathy
      Sadly I think Hugh will be a little disappointed in the summer as the area he is in is more spring planting than summer, probably something I need to address

    2. Cathy says:

      Well – it’s a hard trick, isn’t it?

  14. Cathy says:

    Each tweak you make seems to pull it together all the more – but then again will we ever be fully satisford with our borders?! Every time I see your prunus, I think “Shall I…?” but so far have not indulged… 😉 Interesting to read what you said about the hellebores – mine in the snowdrop border definitely flower differently from those in the woodland edge, certainly much taller. Thanks for hosting. My EOMV is now posted at https://ramblinginthegarden.wordpress.com/2016/05/01/end-of-month-view-a-brief-respite/

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi Cathy
      It’s a lovely prunus, has wonderful autumn colour and twisty stems

    2. Cathy says:

      Hmm, it’s sounding even more appealing now… 😉

  15. jpstacey says:

    Thanks, Helen. I like the pleasing shape of the Prunus canopy: tall, even though it’s still a young(-looking?) tree; but spreading a lot once it gets clear of the underplanting. Have you had to prune it at all to get that?

    Here’s our EOMV: mostly next door’s landscaping, with specific plants coming along for us with varying success, until we start to get our own landscaping sorted: https://nextsquaremetre.wordpress.com/2016/05/01/end-of-month-view-april-2016/

    (Also any thoughts—or pointers to old posts!—about gardening on a slope would be gratefully received….)

    1. Helen Johnstone says:

      Hi JP
      I have only removed a few twiggy lower stems. The prunus does have a lovely shape, I have seen it grown as a small tree with the crown really lifted and it looked wonderful. If you are interested in gardening in slopes check out RustyDuck blog, she has a steep slope too

    2. jpstacey says:

      Oh, yes, I’m already scouring Rusty Duck’s blog too! Our long-term plan involves terracing, but it could turn out to be quite expensive so we need to feel confident it’s the right thing to do….

  16. Helene says:

    Hi Helen, your border looks lovely already and I am sure it will bulk up as the spring turns to summer. I am also struggling a bit to find plants that will want to face me when I am facing the sun – not always easy, we all like to turn towards the sun it seems 🙂

    It is a year since I moved house and my EOMV post has some before and after photos from my garden plus the usual garden movie. http://graphicality-uk.blogspot.co.uk/2016/04/end-of-month-view-april-2016.html

  17. Chloris says:

    It’s all looking great Helen. Everything is coming on beautifully. I have had Cardiocrinum for some years now. There is always a long wait after blooming whilst the little offset bulbs build up again. It is worth the wait though. I am joining in this month https://thebloominggarden.wordpress.com/2016/05/01/end-of-month-view-april/

  18. Angie says:

    All looking very healthy and full of promise it seems. I like the height you have achieved in Hugh’s border with the tree. Although you are still tweaking here and there you sound much more pleased with it than I remember in the past.
    I hope those long waited Cardiocrinum and Iris bloom for you this year.

  19. Hi Helen, it looks like spring is treating you (and Hugh) well… atlhough you are not satisfied – are we ever? – I think you have much to be proud of and everything looks healthy and green. A pleasure to view! Here’s mine… https://edinburghgardendiary.com/2016/05/05/end-of-april-view-2016/ and sorry it’s late as usual, I was away at the weekend.

Please feel free to leave comments as its always lovely to get feedback. I try to respond to comments as much as possible but sometimes life and work get in the way but I will do my best to respond especially if your comment is a question.

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