This bed has gone through many a reinvention over the past 5 years. I suppose you could say it has had a bit of an identity crisis. At one point there was a pond in here, it's humble beginning was small rockery - I learned fast that plants suitable for rock gardens really do prefer much more sun than this bed offers. It doesn't even have a exciting name! I call it the 'shady bed in the gravel area'. This area used to be home to a rather large kiddies trampoline in the dim and distant past. I am hoping over the coming months I can get a bit more creative and give it a more becoming name.
|Shady bed in gravel area|
So why am I focusing on this area? The answer to that is two fold. Firstly, after paying slightly more than passing attention to this border last year it became apparent that the colour scheme here leaves a lot to be desired. At certain times throughout the year there are a bit too many pinks clashing with yellows. Secodly, planting too is a bit mish mash. There are too many single specimens, although they are pretty in their individual rights, they are too small to make much of an impact. By observing this area over the coming months, I hope that by autumn or at the latest next spring I will know where I want to go with it all.
Sideways back step this is the view you get as you walk immediately out the back door. This border at it's widest is about 3m deep. At both ends the planting areas jut out far enough to catch plenty of sun. This corner is an extremely wind spot, the wind batters up the side of the building.
The shade comes by way of the fence on this side of the garden. In summer it is sunny for a good few hours in the afternoon. Evergreens at the fence are a bit run of the mill I suppose you could say. Euonymus japonica Ovatus Aureus and Mahonia Charity. Both said to do well and have done so here in shade. They don't exactly excite me. A purple leafed Cotinus, C x coggygria Dusky Maiden will eventually fill out the other corner. Although shady, the Cotinus does receive enough sun to retain those dark leaves. In fact they haven't all fallen off yet. You can see them just behind the large fern.
More individual plants will be highlighted in future posts but for this month the stars of the show are/will be my special snowdrops. There are 12 of my specials growing in this bed. All except 4 of those 12 were new to the garden last year. I am happy to grow them here so I can keep my eye on them until they all make good sized clumps and I can be confident to try them elsewhere in the garden. Update: There are now only 11 specials. Galanthus Jonathan has failed to show and on rooting around in the soil, I find that there is no sign of a bulb in the planting basket.
Blooming or about to bloom are G. Mrs Macnamara, Trumps, Augustus, Jaquenetta and S. Arnot. Others are only just showing foliage and one or two are only just poking their noses up. I have inadvertently selected early, mid and late varieties so the snowdrop season should be quite extended here. Another positive.
|Flower bud - Galanthus Trumps|
|Iris reticulata Pauline|
Lastly, I'd like to include the section of border on the other side of the trellising. This was at one time a continuation of the same bed but was divided when I put in the trellising 2 years ago. This area also needs a bit of attention. There are way too many plants growing in here. It is not so obvious at the moment but later in the year it gets rather cramped. Common snowdrops, G. nivalis line the stone edging and other than that small clump bottom left there is little else of interest other than varying shades of green right now.
I hadn't realised I had prattled on so much, I hope I haven't bored you all to tears. Perhaps the teacher was right - I do talk too much! Thanks for reading and I hope the coming week is a good one whether you are in the garden or out. Storm Henry is raging outside right now - not pleasant at all!