Tag Archives: Thalictrum

The Summer Garden’s Second Phase

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The Cottage border has now done its thing, and is looking a bit flat and tired out. Even the brave attempts by the Leucanthemum daisies, are now looking a bit half hearted. But all is not over yet.

Travel through the archway, and you’ll find our Grass garden, a border of grasses and hot coloured prairie style planting, that happens to flower later in the summer, providing a well received injection of colour. You’ve had glimpses of it in the past, but now is the time to show you in detail.

Hot Grass border

Hot Grass border

This was the border, as we saw it from the archway, way back in June, when it was just filling out. It’s looking nice and “tidy” (a word I hate when applied to the garden!) at this time, and you can make out the basic layout.

It’s a border about 30ft long by 6ft wide, bounded by two paths – the long central grass path, and a concrete/slab path, that originally ran the length of the garden by the garden wall. The slabs had been removed from the top half of the garden, right at the start, to create our cottage border, but the solid concrete path remained, and has now been incorporated into the gardens designs, as an alternative route round the garden. A gravel path links the concrete path to the Cottage Garden beyond the trellis fence, and has been continued to cut through the Grass border. As the border is so long, with paths either side, I thought it would be nice to link the two paths, creating a path through the planting, to “get up close and personal” with the plants, in particular the oh so tactile grasses. In actual fact, at this time of the summer, it is probably a bit too “close and personal”! More like cutting through the undergrowth – not an easy route!

You can also make out our homemade bench. Two metal gabions, filled with empty wine bottles, and a scaffolding plank across the top. We had fun making that! It’s a lovely, hot sunny spot to sit in, in good weather (with a glass of wine, of course!) Several rusty artefacts have also found their way there, their colouring blending in well with the colour scheme here.

The border is, in actual fact, a combination of three colour-themed borders, merged together.

Firstly, the Chocolate-orange border is the one furthest away in the photo.

Chocolate-orange Border

Chocolate-orange Border

The border is backed by the shrub, Cotinus “Grace”, with its gorgeous, chocolatey leaves. It needs to be hard pruned every spring to maintain its size, as it can grow quite large, but this way it produces improved leaves. Akebia quinata, the chocolate vine, clambers over the archway. The orange flowers here are Helenium “Moorheim Beauty”, and the remnants of flowers and seed heads of Crocosmia “Lucifer”. The spires you see, are the dead flower spikes of Digitalis parvifola. Geums and Kniphofia continue providing more orange elements. The grasses here are Stipa gigantea, the bronze Carex buchananii and Miscanthus “Ferner Osten”, with its wonderful chocolate/wine plumes.

Miscanthus "Ferner Osten" with Cotinus "Grace"

Miscanthus “Ferner Osten” with Cotinus “Grace”

The central section is the Wine border.

Wine Border

Wine Border

Here, the colour scheme is of deep winey reds, with Persicaria amplexicaulis “Firetail”, Sedum, Knautia macedonia, Sanguisorba menziesii and the annual self-seeder, Atriplex hortensis rubra all set off with the silver Artemisia ludoviciana, and pink Echinacea purpurea. The grasses here are the upright Calamagrostis “Overdam”, the ethereal Molinia “Transparent” and the silvery fountain that is Miscanthus “Morning Light”.

The Grass Border finishes (or starts, depending on how you look at it!) with the Gold border, in shades of golden yellow contrasting with blues and purples.

Gold Border

Gold Border

The gold is provided mainly by the flowers of Fennel and of an unknown perennial Helianthus. At the back of the border, the steely blue orbs of globe thistle, Echinops ritro, tower over 6 ft tall. Thalictrum delavayi, with its lilac froth of flowers blends well with the fennel, creating a very hazy scene, punctuated by spots of purple provided by Phlox “Nicky”. Aster x frikartii “Monch”, is yet to add its lilac flowers to the froth. Elsewhere, there are the blue spires of Perovskia, Veronica, and, earlier, Salvia, with added gold shades from an orange Hemerocallis. Another Calamagrostis, the green “Karl Foerster”, repeats the punctuation provided by the previous silver edged “Overdam” and, sadly, a Melica Atropurpurea, with its beautiful purple plumes, struggles to break through.

You may also have noticed popping up, the purple flower heads of Verbena bonariensis, allowed to self seed throughout the whole border, its repetition linking the three borders together.

And when this border has finished its flowering, it’s still not over. Flowers have been chosen, that have interesting seed heads and shapes, to remain with the dead grasses, giving texture and interest into autumn, and hopefully winter, when frost creates yet another beautiful picture.

There you have it! A riot of colour! Hope you like it!

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“June is busting out all over”

All the buds are now well and truly bursting!

The Cottage Border

The Cottage Border

The Cottage Border is showing its first wave of flowers. The irises, pink poppies and aquilegias have been flowering now for a while, and geraniums, and the first of the roses, are starting to join in.

Angelica archangelica

Angelica archangelica

The Angelica buds I showed you last month, have exploded now. I’ve counted 14 flower heads! Quite dramatic. If only it was perennial!

Iris "Jane Phillips"

Iris “Jane Phillips”

I also showed you last month, buds of, what I thought, was “Jane Phillips”. THIS is she – those buds were an imposter! I’ve been told that they were the buds of “Immorality”, (although I’m not 100% convinced!)

Alliums

Alliums

The allium bulbs are blooming now. I think they’re Allium aflatunense. They have been there, under performing, for several years, and now that I have revamped this bit of border, they have decided to remind me they are still there. The border was redone as a “Champagne border”, trying to reproduce Luciano’s Laurent Perrier garden. Thankfully, they fit in with the scheme – they’re the bubbles!

Astrantia "Buckland" with Nectaroscordum

Astrantia “Buckland” with Nectaroscordum

The Nectaroscordum, now that they are flowering, has thrown up an unexpected plant combination, with Astrantia “Buckland”. The colours mirror each of them, creamy white tinged with pink and green. A pleasant surprise!

Papaver orientalis "Patty's Plum"

Papaver orientalis “Patty’s Plum”

Papaver orientalis  "Patty's Plum"

Papaver orientalis “Patty’s Plum”

This is definitely my favourite flower – at least today! Sadly, these 2 pictures were taken only 1 day apart. Maybe that’s why it’s my favourite – because it’s so fleeting, and longed for. Thankfully, I have more buds. Isn’t the colour so dramatic?

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And the first of my roses have started to bloom. Think of this as a taster. I hope to do a future post on my roses. The pale pink one is our rambler, rosa “Albertine” and the deep pink one is the beautiful English rose, “Gertrude Jekyll”, nestled among more emerging buds, of Hydrangea “Annabelle”.

Papaver orientalis ( unknown)

Papaver orientalis ( unknown)

Iris "Cable Car"

Iris “Cable Car”

And two more recently burst buds. They certainly demand to be noticed! P.s the iris smells like it looks – chocolate/orange! Mmm!

Thalictrum "Elin"

Thalictrum “Elin”


And what do you make of this? This is the flower spike of Thalictrum “Elin”. I checked – it’s supposed to reach 6 ft. This is more like 10 ft. Honest, I’ve not been feeding it steroids!

And on that lofty note, I’ll say bye for now! I’m off to see what else is blooming lovely!