Six on Saturday | (Chelsea) Garden Views

Given that this week has been the Chelsea Flower Show with all its media coverage I thought I’d take a look at my garden to see how the views compare. Of course we all know that the show gardens are precisely that. For show. Not for copying except some of the planting ideas may inspire you to replicate them. As usual irises, alliums, lupins are in evidence, not so much foxgloves this year which I suspect is due to the cold spring. Even the wild foxgloves here are only just beginning to open. And weeds. Apparently we all need to be less tidy in our gardens and embrace not only the S&S but also weeds. I have numerous reservations about the show gardens, how much they cost, the huge carbon footprint of all that heavy machinery being brought onto the site, transporting huge blocks of concrete etc. and I much prefer the smaller gardens for ideas and inspiration.

(1) My Woodland border is exploding with colour – mostly green – with ferns and hardy geraniums having obviously loved the damp start to spring. Here we have the Chilean Lantern tree with Clematis Nelly Moser entwined. Bringing somewhat clashing colours to the border that I suspect would knock off points. Nelly prefers shade otherwise her colours fade.
(2) Midway along my garden is the Gravel Garden where several grasses and geums and camassias (on the right) are grown. They are late this year, only just coming into flower. Possible bonus points for the daisies in the lawn and the use of the driftwood?
A closer look at Thalictrum ‘Black Stockings’ with her lovely dark stems and frothy purple flowers. Geum ‘Red Wings’ floating amongst her and the stripy grass of Calamagrostis Overdam. Possibly a more orange Geum would have worked better.
(3) Cast your eyes towards the back of the garden now to the raised beds. The nearest one is the herb bed with sage, golden marjoram, lemon verbena, sweet rocket, sweet cicely and borage, the lupins have also taken hold here. In the foreground is my Golden Lanterns Himalayan Honeysuckle and on the fence is my Asda clematis. In the perennial bed you can just make out the orange Californian poppies, lime-yellow Euphorbia and the magenta-pink Whistling Jacks. Lots of lovely shades of green here. And surely a tick for all the different heights and leaf shapes?
Masses of lupin flowers this year though the snails have already begun munching on the leaves.
Rosa ‘Gertrude Jekyll’ joins in with the clematis. Wafting her scent down the garden.
(4) At the very back in what was once the Bamboo hedge I planted the remaining bulbs I had left over in the autumn, a mix of Alliums and Dutch Irises and Narcissus Poeticus (the poet’s daffodil, poet’s narcissus, nargis, pheasant’s eye, findern flower or pinkster lily), though not a single one of those has appeared. My very important gate is in desperate need of repair / repainting.
(5) Here is my new sunny bed. Formerly the location of the Kilmarnock Willow tree which was removed last autumn after being blown over. The roots were very shallow. I quite like the openness this has provided as well as better views over the fields from the house. A few perennials and grasses have been planted, and a packet of bee friendly annuals scattered over the bare soil. Fingers crossed some germinate.
(6) View towards the house from the back of the raised beds. I don’t think I have ever seen them quite so packed. I love the contrasting yellows greens and purples seen from this point. Additional points must surely be awarded for all these pollinator friendly flowers?

I can happily say that I am not a tidy gardener. Leaves simply get left on the beds and borders to die down, weeds such as daisies freely decorate my lawn and cracks in the patio and gravel paths, speedwell and scarlet pimpernel are mostly left to roam and Ivy-leaved toadflax is welcome to scramble up the rocks. Herb Robert happily thrives in the shade. My bug-bears are cinquefoil, bindweed, hairy bittercress and cleavers (goosegrass, sticky willy), brambles and dandelions which I will try to eliminate. Living where I do it is impossible to prevent weeds being blown in from the lanes.

I’m now going into my 8th year with this garden and somehow I have ended up with an English Cottage Garden though that was never my intention. I’m still lacking a water feature though I do have a shallow dip in my huge flat rock which I constantly fill up for the birds to drink from and bathe in. They seem to appreciate it.

Jim of Garden Ruminations is now our host and as a former nurseryman has a lot more than the SOS happening over on his blog so well worth following. As always, if you want a peek over other people’s garden walls then please pop over to his site 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

49 Comments Add yours

  1. Your garden is looking wonderful Jude, definitely a winner. I particularly like the photo of the Lupins with the ClamTis in the background

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