Six on Saturday | New Shady Border

September 2019 – fresh compost on top of cardboard

Last autumn I got rid of a bit of unnecessary lawn that was mainly used as a path through from the lawn to the raised bed area (herb bed and what was going to be a veggie bed) and extended a semi-shady area of the garden under my two main trees – the twisted hazel (left) and the Kilmarnock willow (right). Last week before the winds arrived, I pruned a lot of the lower branches from the hazel to a) let in more light b) be able to walk past without bruising myself and c) expose the lovely twisted trunk of the tree. I also need to lop off some of the willow’s branches too, but my garden waste bin is full and I already have a pile of bamboo to get rid of.

Late August 2020

Originally in this bed is a lovely Epimedium and some wild oregano. I also planted Golden Marjoram, cyclamen and crocuses. The area is covered in a bark mulch.

  1. New to the planting is Hydrangea paniculata ‘Vanille Fraise’ . Bought for a container in the courtyard I soon realised that the flowers were too heavy to withstand the wind that swirls around that area so I cut it right back and planted it in this bed last autumn. It was very slow to grow in the spring and I though I might have lost it, but eventually some new buds appeared and form rather long stems, but only very recently any flowers! Currently they are a shade of greenish white, but I hope they will flower for another month or so and eventually turn the pink they are supposed to.
  2. A low growing Nepeta × faassenii Junior Walker was also planted here and is doing very nicely, although it does flop over the lawn somewhat.
  3. Cerinthe major ‘Purpurascens‘ seeds were sown directly into three different spots and two lots came through, they are very susceptible to the wind though and I usually find them lying flat on the ground. Such a shame as the glas coloured leaves and the purple flowers are very pretty. It should self-seed so here’s hoping. I will collect a few seeds from it though just in case.
  4. St John’s Wort has self-seeded here. I’ll leave it for now as it adds some extra colour at this time of the year with the berries.
  5. Geranium x oxonianum ‘Thurstonianum grows nicely here in the shade too. Featured earlier in the year it is still flowering. The leaves need a bit of a tidy up now though
  6. The Origanum and the Golden Marjoram seem to be very happy in dappled shade and the bees love the flowers at this time of the year. I planted this simply to prevent weeds from growing here and I will probably remove it after it has finished flowering as I have planted several Heucheras and Heucherellas in this bed and they need room to spread.
    I am quite pleased with how this bed has filled out. Now that the tree shape can be seen it does look much better than before and the rest of the shade loving plants appear to be very happy. There are a couple of stepping stones in the bed so I can still access the other part of the garden, but they are rather over-grown at the moment! I hope that all the crocuses I planted last year will return and perform well in the spring, last year it was too wet and windy in February for them to look their best.

As always, if you want a peek over other people’s garden walls then please pop over to our host, the lovely Jon, AKA ‘The Propagator’ where you find links to many more wonderful garden enthusiasts from all over the world.

See here for the participant’s guide.

Six on Saturday


  1. Su Leslie says:

    I really need you as my consultant gardener Jude. What a shame no one has invented teleporting so you could pop over here and overhaul my 1/4 acre of chaos while I feed you and ply you with wine.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Oh, I would be very happy to pop over Su!

      1. Su Leslie says:

        I’d love that!

    2. BeckyB says:

      oh what a fabulous idea – I certainly need her!

  2. Suzanne says:

    Who needs grass when you can have more plants. Once Su finds the teleporter inventor I will join in 🙂

  3. Jo Shafer says:

    As we move into September, I want to prune back some lower limbs of a dogwood around which we must walk from the courtyard toward the lane leading to the front gate. Your comments give me courage! I LOVE to prune things, just as I enjoy decluttering and overgrown wardrobe. I think of pruning as decluttering the garden — but not too much, just enough. I do like your shade area under the little willow.

  4. What a lovely view you have over your fence. 🤣

  5. Graham says:

    Seems to me a garden is always a work in progress. I like the changes you’ve made. Replacing lawn with flowers is always a positive in my book.

    1. Heyjude says:

      Thanks Graham. I will keep some lawn around the rotary drier as it is nice to have some to walk barefoot on, though it’s mostly daisies, dandelions and clover than grass!

      1. Graham says:

        So long as it’s soft!

  6. Cathy says:

    Gosh – what a glorious shape your twisted hazel is, Jude – love the trunk! It’s always exciting to gain extra planting space and you seem to have filled the space well. Glad to hear your hydrangea is flowering again

    1. Heyjude says:

      I hadn’t realised how beautiful the trunk is as it’s been hidden since moving in. It’s lovely and shiny too. The hydrangea is looking good, the flowers have grown quickly.

      1. Cathy says:

        I was looking at our twisted hazel today, and after having seen yours have decided to cut off the lower growth – it won’t reveal as much stem as yours, but it will still be an improvement

        1. Heyjude says:

          Problem now is that I have decided to cut other things down and it’s getting a bit out of hand. I think I will be visiting the tip shortly 🤔

        2. Cathy says:

          It’s been like that here too, Jude, especially now that I am making inroads into the ivy! I think there must be a seasonal urge that comes on us at this time of year…

  7. BeckyB says:

    Looking so very gorgeous and wonderful.

  8. margaret21 says:

    Yup, I agree with everyone who’s said ‘no’ to grass and ‘yes’ to plants.

  9. Tina Schell says:

    Love the new path Jude. As always your garden is enchanting and I remain envious!

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