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.
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.
- 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.
- A low growing Nepeta × faassenii Junior Walker was also planted here and is doing very nicely, although it does flop over the lawn somewhat.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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.
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