My lovely client has just sent across a photo of the planting we put in in Spring this year in St Albans.
Mother Nature has worked her magic and the juvenile plants we brought in have blossomed beautifully in this bed.
The pink you can see is Monarda 'Jacob Kline' and the yellow is Helenium 'The Bishop'. Such a pretty little show on the approach to the summerhouse hideaway.
After (July '21):
Before (April '21):
So lovely to see the Snakeshead Fritallaries abound once more after nearly a year of dormancy.
These are one of my all time favourite plants. So dusty, so delicate.
Euphorbia to the rear and Spring Snowdrop behind that. The yellow sedge to the right is a Carex. We planted a whole load of these last year to keep some rampant Vinca at bay and it's doing the trick with finesse.
Just submitted: Gardening with Grasses assignment 3. This time was tasked with creating a planting scheme for a roundabout.
I now have a planting plan I am happy with. The plan is underpinned with a base level of around 30-60cm height around the perimeter of the circular bed, rising to a slightly taller level of around 90cm height for the inner circle. Additionally, a taller still level is included to provide a kind of 'above the parapet' floating dimension (the Alliums and Achillea).
My first pick of grasses was Stipa tenuissima, whose bleached blonde look I love. I can imagine this looking very atmospheric to drivers in its exposed position on the outer edge of the traffic island to be tussled by the wind and motion of the traffic.
The Sporobolus heterolepis I added in as the Summer green tones and Autumn orangey tones, greater bulk and sparkly flower heads give range and depth to the ornamental grass element of the scheme.
Perennials I have picked based on contrast to each other and the chosen grasses, with which I've aimed to provide interest across a late Spring to first frost spectrum. The bulb underplanting is intended to address a potential gap in seasonal interest following the cutting down of the grasses at the end of Winter (likely late Feb time).
The Rosemary islands are intended to carry a deep lustre green throughout the year and particularly in Winter and provide an impactful backdrop to the blonde Stipa ten. It seems good to have a robust vertical consistent form in there against which the globes of the Alliums and umbellifer flower heads of the Achillea and Hylotelephium may rise and fall over the course of the year.
Just submitted: My latest assignment for the Gardening With Grasses course I am completing with ornamental grasses expert Michael King.
The brief here was for broadly evergreen planting for a series of troughs to sit beneath a window and provide year round interest in this front garden.
This was achieved using a combination of Fern, Pittasporum, Helleborus and the endearingly heart-shaped foliage of Epimedium. A smattering of Gaura and Anemone is included to punctuate the leafy line-up with some low key but luminous blossom occasionally throughout the year.
This bench belonged to a client's Mum and had sentimental value. The task: to restore its former loveliness.
A rock garden in a shaded corner is a slightly tricky prospect. We used gorgeous red-purple Ajuga repens and bright Heucheras for ground cover here teamed with late flowering and cascading Tiarella cordifolia to beautiful effect.
After (Oct 2020)
Seeds have arrived for our latest project... wildlife friendly planting in a smallish garden in Hendon. All best sown immediately, can't wait to see how they do and looking forward to nurturing some seedlings come the Spring.
Prior to us planting, this area had been given over to bamboo. Unfortunately, the bamboo had blocked out significant light and its density felt claustrophobic.
Our brief, therefore, was to select planting that would grow to only a moderate height and to introduce some colour to this South-facing terrace made of gorgeous wooden sleepers.
Reluctant to rely on flowers alone, since blossom can come and go relatively quickly, we made sure to include several grasses with impactful colouring (Imperata cylindrica 'Red Baron' or Japanese Blood Grass and Hakonechloa macra 'Aureola' or Japanese Forest Grass) alongside some deep red foliaged plants (Sedum 'Black Emporer'and Loropetalum chinense or Chinese Fringe Flower').
Upon completion (July):
Spent a lovely week in the Brecon Beacons getting some valuable carpentry tuition (team effort to build a Composting Loo!)