Well, we have been busy. One of the nice things about visiting other gardens is that you can get some inspiration for your own place – especially those problem areas. Handily at Charlecote there is a huge plant shop next to the car park! We were quite restrained, though and restricted ourselves to a selection of trailing plants for the hanging basket and troughs on the front of the house. I wanted something a little unusual rather than the petunias and fuschias which you can get anywhere, and the Charlecote shop came up trumps – helichrysum, nepeta and a couple of other things but I can’t remember their names! Suffice to say I’ve never seen them before.
Buoyed by the Charlecote experience, yesterday we went on a proper plant hunt at the garden centre. We had a list, partly concentrating on the rather shady spot near the house where the sandpit used to be – it’s very free-draining as well as shady. We already have a few things in there doing well, especially the mahonia, and we’d seen some bergenia at Charlecote in the woodland garden so thought that might be worth a try.
As usual, once we got to the garden centre and started poking about in the reduced section we found many other things none of which were on our list. But we did find a reduced mahonia. We had to pay full price for a bergenia and a hardy rudbeckia, but everything else was either reduced or on offer. In all, we bought four trays of bedding, a deciduous azalea, the mahonia, two hardy geraniums, the rudbeckia, a foxglove, an erigeron, two achilleas, a tray of six chrysanths, the bergenia, two hebes, two veronicas and a drimys aromatica (mountain pepper) which was our star buy – £5, reduced from £35. Full price, the plants would have set us back £195 but we paid the princely sum of £84.43, plus another few quid for a tub of plant food granules. We even got a free bag of compost.
So the afternoon saw us out in the garden getting plants in the ground. J dealt with plants in borders while I attended to containers. We still have some things to move around, but by and large we are happy with the way the garden looks. In the next few weeks we’ll be finding room for asters and rudbeckias, possibly by cutting out some more lawn; we are thinking of making it more oval. But for now, it looks like this:
The flower beds at the front are crammed and colourful, just how I like a garden.
Special mention for the nemesia, covered in flowers:
And the new photinia, which we bought from Stowe on our birthday visit. I’m hoping it will bring some interest to Peony Corner for the months when the peony isn’t doing much.
The troughs now look like this:
And once the geraniums get going and the trailers get trailing they should look really good.
Most of the bedding plants have gone in containers – we bought gazania, verbena, nicotiana and lobelia to go with the reduced chrysanths.
One of the hebes went in a pot to replace the patio rose over one of our little ratties – the rose got eaten away by something last year.
J had another go at thinning out the lychnis, especially in the border by the fence, which now looks like this:
If the lychnis doesn’t flower this year it will all have to go – I keep telling it that, as well. Just to encourage it.
In the end flower bed, the cistus is just starting to unfurl its tissue paper flowers. This one opened yesterday and has already shed its petals but there are three more open today.
The end bed overall looks like this – the lavatera is taking over to some extent but there are worse things that could be taking over! Perhaps we will give it a good cut back once it has flowered. It’s covered in buds.
Just a few more individual mentions – a hebe and a cotoneaster, bought last year, settled in and flowering.
The drimys aromatica – we had never heard of it, but it’s evergreen and seems to cope with most conditions, so was worth a try.
The deciduous azalea – the flowers have just about gone over hence why it was half price, but the colour is still lovely.
And the new mahonia – let’s hope it does as well as the first.
We’ve been incredibly lucky with the weather this weekend – I hope that you have been able to enjoy someone’s garden, if not your own. We were fortunate enough to manage both!