jplot News


Where did the summer go?

The children are back at school, the mornings are cool, the leaves are turning…where did the summer go?

Michelmas Daisy - Aster Monch

Michelmas Daisy - Aster Monch

In June we visited Michael Heseltine’s amazing estate at Thenford, Northamptonshire – he has created a stunning garden with an impressive arboretum, beautiful mixed planting, waterfalls, sculpture – it left me wide eyed and wanting to visit again.  He only opens occasionally to a limited number of visitors so we felt very lucky to have seen it.

Herbaceous border at Thenford

Herbaceous border at Thenford

Thenford water cascade

His sculpture collection is fabulous – contemporary, oriental, classic – I loved it.  He has arranged the pieces in simple ‘rooms’ with plain clipped beech hedges on lawn, no distraction from shrubs or flowers.

Contemporary sculpture

Savill Garden recently had a month of sculpture scattered throughout the garden – I wonder, do you have room for deer or an owl at the bottom of your plot?

At the other end of the gardening scale, this is what you can do with flowers!  This front garden was created with love, from bare earth in 4 months by a friend of mine – stunning eh?

My little project this summer was to create a ‘cottage’ walk in the only sunny part of the garden.  I lifted an old path, formed an irregular walkway amongst the flowers and planted it with lavender, paeonies, fuchsia, iris, salvia, geraniums, bedding petunias etc – real old-fashioned favourites!

May 2011

By July it was lovely and such a pretty contrast to the massive bulk of the old rhododendrons and big trees elsewhere in the garden.

July 2011

This week I have stripped out the soggy petunias, cut back the salvias and am still enjoying the late flowering sedum as a good companion to the pink marguerites.

Sedum spectabile Brilliant

Some of you may remember I mentioned working on a client’s garden in Sunninghill this spring where the brief was ‘colour’ in a shady border.  I visited there yesterday and think I achieved my objective!

Woodland edge border

The border is viewed from the kitchen window and was previously overgrown with dark evergreens.  Now the semi shade tolerant Crocosmia, Geraniums, Anemone, Fuchsia, Aster and Hydrangeas repeated throughout the border give brilliant late colour.

Late colour perennials

This orange Crocosmia Emily McKenzie and blue/lilac Aster Monch move away from the classic pink and purple ‘English’ garden colour scheme. At the Chelsea Flower Show several gardens used this complimentary combination in spring plantings of Geum Fire Opal and Salvia Caradonna/May Night, or marigolds and chives in the kitchen garden!  I think I will try Geums with Alliums in a spare corner of the veg garden for next year.

Aster Monch and Crocosmia Emily McKenzie

Chelsea Flower Show small garden

Chives and marigolds at Chelsea

Some perennials are still looking good here – Japanese Anemones and Rudbeckia as always, late Clematis viticella twining through golden privet and the Fuchsia Genii still looks great.  The bulbs and winter pansies etc are in the garden centres now and I intend to pull out the summer bedding and plant up the tubs for the autumn this weekend. Enjoy the autumn sun!!!

Clematis Etoile Violette in golden privet

Fuchsia Genii

Autumn sunshine - Rudbeckia Goldsturm

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