A Sructural Border in the Making

You may have caught a glimpse of a new archway in the recent EOMV post, either in the video or amongst the still photos; the archway has now been painted, and has another climbing rose ‘Claire Austin’ planted at its base, planned to link with the two roses already established on the pergola on the right of the above photo, thus extending the structure.

This new structure is the starting point for the rebirth of the ex-snowdrop border, currently filled for the summer with annual limonium. I have been seeking inspiration since the named snowdrops were moved to their new home in the woodland in March, walking past and studying the border, looking out for ideas from gardens I have visited, asking visitors to our garden open days for their suggestions and consulting books for ideas and inspiration…

…all to no avail. Instead of working to an overall border scheme as I had hoped, it now meant reverting to the incremental approach that most of the garden has been built upon. Had I any ideas at all? Yes, extending the pergola with Rosa ‘Claire Austin’; new posts added, painted and rose planted. Anything else? Yes, adding height that wouldn’t interfere with hedge cutting in the autumn; two obelisks have been added for clematis, which can be cut back and the obelisks removed before hedge cutting if necessary. More? Because the border is visible from the kitchen windows, ideally there needs to be something to see in the winter; as well as the obelisks, perennials with striking form that last over winter (I already have veronicastrum, phlomis and perovskia grown from seed, but grasses would work too) and shapely shrubs could fulfil this brief. I have also moved a struggling witch hazel, H ‘Ruben’ from the edge of the woodland to the far left of the border where hopefully it will survive and bloom again.

Will it work? Time alone will tell, but just adding the obelisks (of differing heights) to the border along with the pergola extension brought it to life, so replacing the temporary limonium at the end of the season with structural planting is looking promising and I invite you to follow the border’s evolution alongside me.

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12 Responses to A Sructural Border in the Making

  1. Brian Skeys says:

    We gardeners have to review and refresh both the garden and ourselves Cathy. As you say only time will tell if it’s right. I decided two years ago to gradually replant the main border with more drought tolerant plants mainly grown from seed because our soil is so free draining. I should have started years ago they would be established by now!

    • Cathy says:

      We are learning all the time, even at our age… πŸ˜‰ I am not ready to plan ahead for climate change though…

  2. Going Batty in Wales says:

    I love the ‘make it up as we go along’ approach. I am not one for planning it all on paper before starting. Once the bone structure is right it can be fleshed out in so many ways depending on what is available, catches the eye or whatever,

    • Cathy says:

      I admire those who can make a comprehensive plan on paper, but I suppose I do have other skills which of course I am grateful for. Hopefully the bones will provide a workable structure!

  3. bcparkison says:

    Gardening does seem to be an never ending challenge to “get it right”.

  4. Cathy says:

    The obelisks were a good idea. I remember once telling a non-gardener friend I didn’t have time to meet her because I had so much to do in the garden. When she asked me a few days later if I had finished I had to burst out laughing! There is always something to do or that can be done! Look forward to following the process and will it still be called the snowdrop bed?. πŸ˜ƒ

    • Cathy says:

      Haha – yes, although visitors tend to think I would have to spend more time in the garden than I actually do. I do try to keep a record of how much time I do spend in it though – will perhaps mention that in a post one day!

  5. Looking forward to seeing how that border will evolve. Planning usually eludes me and the make it up on the hoof approach is the direction I end up going in. Cathy has taken the words out of my mouth with her question about the name of aforesaid border/bed although perhaps it’s still too early in the day to come up with a definitive name πŸ˜ƒ

    • Cathy says:

      Me too, Anna – I am so pleased that I finally have some bare bones planned! I am still stumbling over a name – was wondering about it just being ‘the structural border’, but I suppose ‘obelisk border’ is another possibility…

  6. Such a beautiful garden πŸ™‚

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