Some plants make perfect bedfellows. Here are some of my favourite plant combinations.
Here’s an irresistible trio of plants for well-drained soil in full sun.
Alliums are flowering plants which include onions, garlic and chives, as well as a number of gorgeously trendy, ornamental plants for the herbaceous border. Allium sphaerocephalon is also known as the round-headed leek or drumstick allium.
The ovoid flowerheads, densely packed with bell-shaped flowers, sway on slender stems, green at first then maturing to a delicious dark red-purple. The strap-like foliage is already starting to wither when the summer flowers appear and can be cut back if necessary.
The intensity of the flowerhead fades to parchment as the summer passes. A bulbous perennial, it will...
“Daffodils that come before the swallow dares, and takes the winds of March with beauty.”
She wore her yellow sun-bonnet,
She wore her greenest gown;
She turned to the south wind
And curtsied up and down.
She turned to the sunlight
And shook her yellow head,
And whispered to her neighbour:
“Winter is dead.”
Daffodowndilly – AA Milne
The daffodil is the national flower of Wales. On March 1st – St David’s Day – we dressed up in Welsh National Costume, complete with frilly apron and tall black hat, and pinned on a daffodil. By the end of the day, it was a sorry, droopy little thing, but, still, I always preferred a real daffodil, with its fresh,...
When we first began planting up our garden, my parents dug up from their own garden and donated fast ground-covering plants, like pretty blue campanula, to help cover some of the wilder areas at the top of the garden. These did the trick nicely, romping off to cover up the bare soil and could be cut back whenever we found a choicer specimen to replace it with.
We soon found though that the cheery, bell-shaped flowers seemed to get on remarkably well with whatever we chose to partner it with. It is just the perfect purple-blue to set against yellow, orange and pink, as well as making a great partner for silver and dusky or darker shades of purple. And,...
Come spring, I race out into the garden and pit my weeding fork against the clock. I start off with the flower bed nearest the back door and work my way round to the top of the garden… and then start all over again.
I could make life easier for myself and pave it all over, but I want to look out of my window and see colour, not concrete. Once bitten by the gardening bug, it’s hard to resist the temptation to dig up one more flower bed or squeeze in one more plant. But when family and working life means that the time you have for gardening is limited, it’s time to look at ways to make managing...
One of life’s great pleasures is taking a morning stroll to admire the day-to-day changes in the garden. Soft, downy buds appearing on the Magnolia stellata – more numerous with each passing year, the bronzy, unfurling fronds of woodland-loving ferns, the exquisite scent of summer roses, evoking memories of crushing petals to make ‘perfume’ as a child in my grandfather’s garden.
But there is something even more special in observing others sharing our garden with us. Counting the different varieties of butterfly on the dancing clusters of lavender-pink Verbena bonariensis. The low buzz as you pass the lavender border. A thrush, driven by freezing temperatures, squeezing on to the bird table to enjoy its lunch.
Different garden styles evoke different feelings and emotions. While you may appreciate or even admire many gardens you visit or see photographs of, they will not necessarily be the blueprint you want to follow for your own garden borders. But if you’re planning to spend some time changing your garden either piecemeal or in one fell swoop, it’s useful to think about the atmosphere you would like to create in your own garden. It’s a personal thing – reflecting your own taste and individuality.
What’s your style?
Read through the style guides below. One or more of these will instinctively feel right for you – summing up how you feel about your garden (or the garden you are planning to create)....
Creating a successful planting design for your garden borders can involve hours of decision-making. I know – I’ve put those hours in and scrawled lists of plants on countless sheets of paper and backs of envelopes.
The first step is to know your garden.
1. Go on a fact-finding mission
Check out which areas of the garden catch the sun and at what time of day. In other words, where’s the best place to drink your morning coffee? And is it the same for your afternoon tea?
Know where the wind whips through, creating draughty corridors and which parts still have frost on the ground long after the rest of the garden has warmed up.