New for 2019

With our initial motivation to transform the garden, an area remained challenging to plant.  At the time, we couldn't access it.  We had been using the space to store tree litter (trunks and huge conifer roots dug out of the ground, branches, pruning's, leaf-litter).  For several years we did nothing but watch the waste break-down and partly rot into the soil whilst nettles and other weeds began to rise up and take over.   

Then we tried a wild flower area.

Another option we attempted was the purchase of a ready-made 8x2m border pack.  A couple of weeks starting them off in the potting shed and we were ready to go.  This was planted out and fingers were crossed with our limited horticultural knowledge.

We had mixed results.

But the winners were mainly perennial weeds.

The time has come to focus on this border.  It is an area opposite the wildlife pond right at the back of the garden hidden from view by the potting shed.  It holds much potential, and whilst south-facing it is very sheltered, surrounded by fencing, a neighbours out-building and tall evergreen trees.

In addition to the plant choices, I would like a seating area by the pond too.  This is my favourite place to come and reflect whilst being immersed in the diverse wildlife interacting with its surroundings.

The soil itself remains partly shaded and damp for much of the year which will need improving, it contains pockets of very heavy clay close to the surface and deeper below.

To begin this process, I have painstakingly removed all trace of weeds by digging the soil, removing the root-systems of couch grass and nettles and applied a thick layer of bark mulch to the surface.  When it comes to planting, I will dig the mulch in and combine with well-rotted compost.

The mulched area can be seen below, the foreground is yet to be weeded and planted.  The willow panel will be used to split the 8m bed in half to create two distinct separate areas.

A recent visit to Birmingham Botanical Gardens has inspired the main structure for this border.  I adore the Fern Garden and Woodland Walk areas and return to its calming space time and time again.  One plant that I love is Rodgersia podophylla and I am using 3 here for structure.

This border is going to be green and white.  The rough plan that I will be planting up as Spring really gets going is below.  The plants chosen for colour and contrasting foliage shapes are:
1) TBC - small narrow tree with white blossom max 3 meters - SUGGESTIONS WELCOME!
2) Rodgersia podophylla x 3 
3) Polygonatum x hybridum x 1
4) Astrantia major involucrata 'Shaggy' x 6
5) Lamprocapanus spectabilis 'Alba'
6) Astilbes x 5
7) Aquilegia x hybrida 'Green Apples' x 3
8) Asarum europaeum x 9


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