Ursula's Cambridge Garden

Professional gardener and plantswoman writing from my small urban garden in a great city


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A year in the making

My Client’s new planting scheme is falling into place now after a whole year of work.  The whole site was stripped of debri and old landscaping, retaining a few choice plants, then three new borders were dug.  The new East facing border, in the South-facing garden is now finished this week (all principle shrubs and perennials are planted – bulbs are to follow in Autumn).  A new Amalanchier tree and Beech hedge were planted in Autumn 2017.

The Clients wanted a garden with strong lines and classically elegant elements such as Box and Yew balls, bearded Iris, peonies, catmint and Japanese anemones.  The colour palette was to be primarily green and white, with pops of blue and pink, and only background yellow elements such as the gentle lime-green-yellow froth of Alchemilla mollis and Euphorbia robbiae.  This is how the same view looked exactly a year ago.

The bed is divided either side of the bench – on the sunniest side we have massed lavender, bearded iris, peonies, sedums, salvias, Acanthus and catmints, along with Philadelphus, Viburnums Tinus, Opulus and Plicatum and Choisya, as well as the classic cool white ‘Iceberg’ rose.

Exochorda x macrantha ‘The Bride’ getting established and flowering well.

On the other side of the bench which receives more semi-shade as the day progresses, there is Alchemilla mollis, more hellebores and japanese anemones and shade loving plantings of ferns, Cornus, hydrangeas and foxgloves towards the north-facing end of the garden, as well as a Japanese Acer.

The north-facing shade bed at the base of the mature beech hedge was planted in November 2017, before which it looked like this…

And now looks like this, with box balls, Brunnera and Euphorbias, ferns and Pulmonarias, (and a new screening to hide the shed and the ‘backstage’ elements of garden storage), all establishing nicely…

Watch this space for more developments!  Happy gardening!


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A gardening week in Spring

My own garden last Sunday – the end of the ‘heatwave’ ‘August in April’

Cotinus ‘Grace’ colouring up nicely…

Tuesday – Client’s shade bed looking good after several years from planting – newly added Grape hyacinths making a nice contrast…

Bergenia flowering well in the south-facing sunny bed…

Wednesday – Client’s shady bed under a large walnut tree doing well in the early morning sunshine…

And a double rainbow back in my garden…

Thursday – Client’s new north-facing semi-shade bed – new Spring plantings filling out nicely…

Variegated Cornus coming into bud, a dramatic contrast to the red stems…

And the apple tree blossom looking perfect…

And that was my gardening week this last week.