Finally I can show you what has been keeping me busy during lockdown, and keeping me sane… 😜 I think!
In the middle of winter I started planning my next garden bed. The long-term plan is to have several beds like islands on the south side of the house, with grasses being the linking feature. This latest bed is intended to bring the garden – and the birds – closer to the house. The centre will have a stone birdbath. I hope I will find something suitable from a local stonemason once things return to normal.
This was the view in winter, photographed from the warm living room, when only the edges had been marked out…
And then before planting began…
Don‘t worry, the obelsiks have been straightened out…and fixed with steel rods deep in the ground. Let‘s hope they withstand our strong winds on this exposed hill! They will look lopsided at certain angles anyway as the whole garden slopes slightly.
This is what it looked like after the first planting session on Good Friday:
Waiting for plant orders to arrive meant constant weeding was necessary in between. But finally, last week, the newly sown grass leading to the centre was up, and most of my planting was complete (for now!). So I spent several hours spreading wood chippings as mulch to suppress the weeds and retain moisture…
There are about 80 plants in there, some of them divisions from other flower beds, but don‘t they just disappear! To give you an idea of size, the tallest obelisk is about 2 metres, the smallest 1.2 metres.
I put the sprinkler on it afterwards and am very impressed with the moisture retention so far. I also like the appearance – softer than gravel, but distinctively different to the other beds.
I have chosen Dianthus and Phlox for ground cover, Stipa tenuissima and Miscanthus as grasses, and several Clematis on the obelisks. Two are flowering already…
Nubia (which should flower all summer)
And the Duchesse of Edinburgh, just unfurlinge her petals…
I also planted Centranthus ruber, Verbena bonariensis and Gaura for height, Echinacea, Salvia and Scabiosa for the pollinators, and added my favourite Viburnum – V. carlesii ‘Aurora’.
Scabiosa Butterfly Blue
All these plants should be eventually be happy with our dry well-drained soil and south-west-facing position. The wind may be a problem. But I will cross that bridge when I come to it! 😉 After all, my word of the year is HOPE, and I hope to gradually find plants that are tough enough for our hot summers, cold winters and strong winds!
Helianthemum ‘Ben Hope’ (chosen for the name!)
Now I need to plant out my annuals grown from seed into all the beds – sunflowers and tithonia for the sunshine bed, calendula for the herb bed and gaura, cosmos and cleome in the Oval Bed. So glad I have had this project (and such good weather for it) to keep me physically and mentally occupied over the past two months. 😃
Have you had any particular projects or done anything different in your garden this spring?