I’ve not been to Chelsea Flower Show this year, because I am far too busy gardening for an increasing number of clients, but there is still much to report, even though I’m not writing up about an 8am arrival on first Members’ day, as I was last year!
Everything in the garden is racing back into full-speed-ahead mode now it is May!
After 18 months Client #1’s garden is now really coming together – the front garden is well stocked with healthy happy shrubs, perennials and bulbs which like the heavy clay/south-facing aspect. Especially the Tulips and Euphorbia oblongata which enjoy the hot dry conditions!
The Euphorbia characias wulfenii loves the flower bed alongside the pavement, where it is particularly dry, gritty and very sunny.
Hebe ‘Marjorie’ thriving in the pavement bed, a choice specimen from the Cambridge University Botanic Gardens shop.
Client #2’s garden is now one year on and doing very well. Three of the beds have been entirely re-planted and the pond has been turned back to a functioning pond.
The West bed was very tatty and rather tired and not making the best of the sunny aspect –
Now it is entirely replanted, with a reduced girth, new Everedge edging and filled in grass, and new plantings for a sunny bed of Euphorbia, Sedum, Phlomis, rosemary and Bergenia.
My Client #4’s garden has been completely redesigned and re-planted since it looked like this, in November 2015.
A much-loved and established garden with excellent soil and some classic mature shrubs (Choisya, Hydrangea, Pieris and Rhododendron.) However, there was far too many planting areas, and the owners were feeling intimidated by so much space to fill, and at the same time a bit bored with many elements of planting that just weren’t quite working anymore.
The bed areas were reduced by 50% and the paths widened, and shrubs that were no longer required were removed, including a vast Fatsia japonica with roots that seemed to go to Australia, and many hybrid tea roses.
The planting was completely rethought to give spring interest to the north-facing side of the garden with hellebores, Pulmonaria ‘Sissinghurst White’ and snowdrops and ferns, wending its way to a seating corner with foxgloves and japanese anemones, and a feature Acer palmatum, leading into a grasses and late-summer bed, with hot colours from Phlomis and Crocosmia ‘Lucifer’, then a romantic, south-facing high-summer bed, with established hydrangeas, peonies and new plantings of Gaura, Verbena bonariensis, Veronicastrum, Buddleja and Knautia.
A lot of hard work, and a couple of hundred plants later, and the new planting is all complete just by the end of May.
My Client #6 wanted the front garden beds to have an exotic, contemporary, spiky feel, but without having to use frost tender plants. The beds were therefore planted with a tough mix of Phormium, Astelia, Euphorbia and grasses, including the ever stalwart Anemanthele lessoniana.
This is before replanting began….
And after planting…
So, as you can see, there has been a great deal of planting for me to do, which is always so satisfying.
Back in my own garden, my Libertia has finally flowered after three years of waiting and I have a new Phormium and Yukka, seen here all together in my pot section.
And of course it’s Iris and Aquilegia time of year again – always such a delight…
And finally my dear cat kept digging up all my ferns in my shade bed, so I decided to plant them all in pots, and I am rather pleased with the effect. Happy gardening till next time!