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Friday, 2 June 2017

A Hebaceous Border In June

Take a walk through my garden this June

At one end of my garden floppy vivid 'Brookside' blue cranesbill geraniums merge with my orange annual calendulas, orange nasturtiums and a mix of tall and low growing orange geums. In the middle a twinkling of clarkei 'Kashmir White' geraniums  highlight against dark copper beach.

I cannot praise these plants enough for thriving in my winter waterlogged and shady summer baked bed. When the white geraniums fade I am hoping the small late summer flowers of my new white almond scented clematis flammula will entwine the dark beech.

I have restricted all pink tones to the opposite end of my garden away from the yellows and orange, so they do not grate with one another. A back drop of David Austin 'Queen Ann' rose, in a soft powder pink just opening gently harmonise with lavenders, astrantia, nepeta and Centranthus ruber. Large clumps of magenta pink Geranium psilostemons fill the gaps and hold it all together.  To flower later or for pudding I have stachis, asters, anemone and sedums. I shall enjoy these in late summer. I love to include blue salvias in my mixed borders Salvia Caradonna always seams to do well.  I like the  new popular Salvia 'Armistad' It is reputed to flower from May until November. Its purply blue with much larger longer flowers and tall at 1m should make it very bold and I think it will perform well for the summer.
I have chosen to edge this new pinky border with my new friend lamium 'Beacon Silver' (mauve flowers) and Geranium rivers 'Mavis Simson' 50x50cm. I feel the silvery tones will add a highlight to the border. Often planting schemes lack the pause or breath white and silver bring.

Cranesbill geraniums make a good backbone of colour and merge so easily into most borders. Once the Brookside has finished I am hoping my blue Rozanne geraniums that I have planted in waves throughout will create a sea of blue for the rest of the summer. If you find the RHS plant of the centenary Rozanne sprawls a bit too much for your space give it a chop. There are other great cranebil geraniums slightly smaller like 'sweet Heidi' or 'Blush Turtle'.Similar flowers but mauve nd pink respectivly. I found the gerniums blends in well between my other plants like my silverstachys lambs ears and Marmalade Heucheras, which edge my rusty boarder and provide a break from the frothy Alchemilla Mollis.
Alchemilla Mollis
 Blue is such a useful colour to add to planting schemes probably because it is neutral. I am drawn to look for blue and plant it where ever possible. Lavender and nepeta seam to fit anywhere almost. It works in my hot borders and my soft borders. The ceratostigima is my secret blue at the end of summer (less thugish invasive varieties do exist) and the silvery caryopteris shrub hidden away now is waiting in the wings. Ceanothus remains irresistible. Tall steely blue thistle like sea hollies, eryngiums are a great additions to mixed borders but the silvery variegated foliage combined with blue flower heads on the eryngium 'Jade Frost' makes it a 'must have!'

Cranesbill geraniums I would vote as the most useful plants in my garden. They fill the holes, provide so much colour and there appears to be one to suit every location. Planting colours that harmonise together or contrast well l find make the garden more inviting. Lastly silver is my secrete ally. When a border looks over complicated or even under planted, often a little bit of silver or white makes it complete.

Tuesday 20th June 2017 we had a wonderful Cottage Garden Plant Workshop with Rosy Hardy and very much look forward to having Rosy back next year.

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