A Closer Look at: the Blue & White Border

IMG_5316In taking a closer look at different parts of the garden I was going to work round in the order of my usual ramble, but having been struck by the denseness of colour in the blue & white border today I decided to focus on this area now, whilst it still looks the way it does. Totally unprompted, the Golfer happened to comment on this border today too, unintentionally seconding my choice.

The blue & white border, now in fact three-borders-in-one, is centred around a circle of granite cobbles which I laid in 2003 as one of a pair, around which an S-shaped pergola snaked on which grew the original Zéphirine Drouhin and Guinée climbing roses which have since been relocated. A major rethink nine years later saw the removal of one circle – so, now you see it (2003):

Scan.BMPNow you don’t (2012):

DSCN3950Both the above pictures are rather different from what you can see today! The 2003 picture clearly shows the drop in level across the garden, incorporated into the old rose garden as a step which is still retained and is just to the left of the bench which is almost out of view on the right hand side of the very top picture. This steps down onto the remaining circle, with a border on the right and a narrow border against the wall, both following the curve of the circle of course:

IMG_5305It really took me by surprise to check back on the blog and realise that the wall has not  been there even two years, as it is such a solid and permanent feature and was a success from its inception (you can see how it came about if you look at posts from August 2013) There are two Snow Goose rambling roses growing against the wall and a Trachelospermum which I want to move as it is a yellow flowered T asiaticum and not the white T jasminoides. At their feet is the prolifically flowering Campanula portenschlagiana. The tree in the centre of the circle is Amelanchier lamarkii.

IMG_5306The bed on the right is a bit of a haphazard mixture – various echinops, a veronica, a delphinium (whoohoo, a first!), polemonium, geranium, tradescantia and various blue and white annuals grown from seed. White sweet peas and a dark blue clematis (in bud) are trained up the dividing fence, whilst dicentra, iris, aquilegia, brunnera and perennial centaurea are all but over. The centaurea will be partially culled to allow for other deserving plants, but I cannot fault its enthusiasm or the appearance of it at its peak. The brick column was built to hold the charity shop bowl and the swan purchased as something that would float in the bowl!

IMG_5307Facing the wall is the semi-circular bench built by the Golfer to my instruction, a replacement for the original design which sat in the same spot. This version is in three parts so can be used together or apart and makes access to the bed behind considerably easier! This bed is a similar hotch potch of perennials with the addition of annuals and will also be the subject of a cull of less worthy specimens later in the season.

IMG_5308A path separates this bed from a narrow one against a neighbour’s fence, turning behind the low wall & trellis and sloping down behind it with the left hand bold border on its other side. Comfrey grows at the foot of the elder tree stump on the left of the narrow border, whilst a clematis grows up and around it. In the rest of the bed (reclaimed after an old and tired ceanothus was removed) I direct sowed mixed packets of blue and white annuals and added other annuals grown earlier. As well as cornflowers, there are some annuals I do not recognise in the mix – nothing out of the ordinary but not plants I know.

IMG_5309blue.white.annualsThe contents of the borders have arrived on a ‘it’s blue or white and it’s pretty’ basis, so with no pre-thought or planning, but the overall effect  is not displeasing to the eye. Some things are really beginning to establish themselves – echinops, aconitum and that delphinium for example, and new clematis and the Snow Goose roses have made a great start. Adding annuals to the mix for the first time has given the borders a further boost too – so definitely worth taking a closer look, don’t you think?

 

 

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24 Responses to A Closer Look at: the Blue & White Border

  1. Amy says:

    I love the way the colour theme has worked here, Cathy! I always have trouble holding myself down to my original colour ideas so I admire your persistence. The Brunnera stands out very nicely in these pictures. And congratulations on the delphinium 🙂

    • Cathy says:

      The ‘original’ original concept of a blue border started with a blue salvia that just looked out of place everywhere else – adding white gave me more scope

  2. Eliza Waters says:

    Very pretty, Cathy!

  3. Enjoyed the view of this corner of your garden,thanks.

  4. Gina says:

    Pretty. I start out designing a colour themed part of the garden but it never goes to plan. I like how you’ve stuck to the theme

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Gina – there is a bit of a crossover now I have the ‘bold’ borders as I can put blue and shocking pink in them as well as ‘hot’ colours

  5. Pauline says:

    Blue flowers are my favourites! Your blue and white border is looking very happy, it must be a lovely place to sit and enjoy the flowers – you do make time to sit don’t you?!

    • Cathy says:

      Oh Pauline – I think you know me too well … 🙂 Re blue-ness, I think there is an overdominance of white now which needs to be rectified!

  6. AnnetteM says:

    Really lovely colour combination – blue and white are so good together. A lovely selection of plants too so hopefully you will have a lovely long flowering season.

  7. rickii says:

    How fortunate to have someone around who will build to your specifications. The three-part bench is brilliant. I always admire your brick work.

    • Cathy says:

      Oh indeed, rickii, but I do have to hold him back sometimes as his desire to please sometimes fails to consider the more subtle design considerations that I see as essential… 😉 The original one was a single bench and the new one was almost under construction when I had the brainwave of 3 separate sections – it works really well.

  8. Brian Skeys says:

    I like the idea of a blue and white border, very cool. I second rickii re: the bench.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Brian – and if the truth be known if he wasn’t there I would do it myself… 😉 I don’t get a look in with the woodworking jobs these days…. 😦

  9. Your wall is looking particular good. Hard to believe it is so new a feature.

  10. Anna says:

    Your blue and white border looks most pleasing to the eye Cathy. I imagine that it had a soothing and cooling effect in last week’s heat.

    • Cathy says:

      Thanks Anna – it’s quite a sun trap actually as it gets the sun in the afternoon and evening. The wall is on a roughly north/south alignment which is why it was worth doing as it limited the potential shadow it would create

  11. It looks wonderful, especially considering you didn’t have a plan. I started a blue and white border last fall. The drought and the slugs have kept me busy. The verbena is doing great, but I haven’t seen any flowers in the campanula. Hopefully next year!

    • Cathy says:

      Aw, thanks Pauline – after trying to add more white plants I think I may have overdone it and need to redress the balance again! Good luck with the drought and slugs!!

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