GBFD: Bordering on the Splendid

img_8220This probably doesn’t look very splendid to you, but it was the best adjective I could come up come up with and it looks pretty splendid to me every time I walk past this end of the shrub border so I thought I would feature on this month’s Garden Bloggers Blooms Day, the meme kindly hosted by Christina.

The shrub border did not exist two years ago, so that in itself is makes the progress of this bed pretty splendid. The three cornus in the left half and the ornamental quince Chaenomeles ‘Madame Butterfly’ were transferred from pots early on, followed by the moving of the Fuchsia magellanica from another bed shortly after. Here is this section of the bed in October 2014:

captureI dithered about cutting the cornus back the following spring and selectively cut just a few stems and was still reluctant to give them a more comprehensive chop this year. I needn’t have worried as the top photo shows how much they have benefitted, throwing up a veritable small forest of new coloured stems, making for three shapely shrubs.

Behind the cornus are rugosa roses ‘Agnes’ and ‘Alba’, planted in November 2014, their bright green foliage now making more of an impact this year and also providing their first few blooms but no hips as yet. In front of these shrubs are the Primula ‘Harlow Carr’ grown from seed and still surprisingly leafy despite the dry summer, Viola odorata ‘Magenta Red’ and Pulmonaria ‘Victorian Brooch’, the latter not such the perfect clump it was earlier in the year, all added in spring 2015. The tall grass is Miscanthus ‘Ferner Osten’, and like all the taller grasses added in autumn last year excites me every time I go past, especially as most of them have thrown up a flower stem for the first time as well. You can just see the fluffy heads of Pennisetum villosum peeping through the cornus foliage too. The bright green grass in the bottom right is a carex whose label has been subsumed within the expanding clump and needs to be rescued. The yellow fruits of Malus ‘Golden Hornet’ are also just visible on the right.

I have mentioned many times how much I have come to appreciate the benefits of foliage since blogging, both through interaction with other bloggers and their blogs, but also with observing my own garden more closely, and this is illustrated especially by the pleasure I get from walking past the shrub border several times a day and especially this end of it. Observing the shape and form of the shrubs and the different shades of the leaves and stems has been a real joy, and this pleasure will continue throughout the different seasons whether blooms are present or not. To me, it paints a splendid picture.

Thank you, Christina, for giving us the chance to highlight our foliage each month – do visit her blog to see more.

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13 Responses to GBFD: Bordering on the Splendid

  1. Noelle says:

    Those are lovely…shrubs can be just the right thing to give structure and also a backdrop to front of the border beauties.

    • Cathy says:

      Yes, and if it hadn’t been for the opportune topsoil in my neighbour’s skip I wouldn’t have had this border or most of these shrubs

  2. Christina says:

    You don’t often write about your shrubs, it’s lovely to see them. I’ve also noticed that even vases need their share of foliage to be successful. Thanks for participating in GBFD this month.

  3. Splendid is as splendid does and this has done splendidly!

  4. Pauline says:

    Your shrubs have certainly settled in splendidly, they are obviously very happy in their new home!

    • Cathy says:

      Yes indeed, even though some of the rescued topsoil wasn’t brilliant, although I did add as much homemade compost as I could spare and will certainly be mulching it again ths winter

  5. Sam says:

    Fabulous foliage πŸ™‚ We had a Cornus sanguinia ‘Midwinter Fire’ in our previous garden that I cut back hard every spring (coppicing really) and it threw out the most magnificent coloured stems for us to enjoy in winter. They’re great shrubs.

    • Cathy says:

      Taking that first step to cut them right back is hard though – and I cut that fuschia right back as well each year and it thanks me for it, growing back tall and bushy

  6. It’s always nice to see other parts of your garden. I think splendid is the perfect word especially as you only did this bed two years ago.

  7. Splendid indeed. Another year on and you will be chopping back to keep it under control.

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