Simplifying the other side

I’ve been taking a long hard look at my front garden and how it has been developing over these past 18 months. I’ve already covered what I call the fence border in a previous post. It is beginning to come together nicely, and with a bit more simplification I’ll be content to leave it to become fully established. Not so the wall border, on the opposite side. This runs along the boundary between the front garden and the small road into the estate. I did some planting in it last year, mostly of shrubs to add structure and privacy, later to be joined by a trio of birches and a rowan. The overall “feel” that I am aiming for has been clear in my head for over a year now, lots of silvery foliage, white, blue and lilac flowers. A slightly wafty feel, meant to hint at the sea and sky. Afraid that too much silver would be a bad thing I decided to add in some bronze contrast in the shape of Carex comans ‘Bronze’ and the slightly burnt orange flowers of Agastache rupestris. Add Verbena bonariensis, Echinacea purpurea ‘White Swan’, Perovskia ‘Blue Spire’ and Stachys byzantina, and you had the basic planting palette. I knew I would want to add other, different plants up near the driveway, around the newly planted trees, but in the mean time the huge gaps have been filled with forget-me-nots and later lychnis. So what do I think.

too much lychnis

Too much lychnis for a start! Though it did do a good job of filling the space in early summer. I have been gradually thinning it out to create more space, literally uncovering plants like the hebe that had been totally submerged.

space for more plants

The gap that you can see between the front-of-border planting and the remaining lychnis is where the tulips pop up. Always assuming they return… The lychnis did a great job of disguising the tulip foliage, but as it begins to fade the lychnis, in turn, require some concealing – or ripping out altogether. Later flowering perennials are the obvious answer, though in a perfect world I would have a swathe of nepeta along there. The cats make that impossible, but I have been considering trying Amsonia instead.

more planting space

I’ve started adding some tall, late flowering perennials around the trees, and will add to the spring flowering bulbs in the Autumn. So far I have soft plumes of colour from veronicastrum – one white, one pale lavender. They have beautiful foliage.

veronicastrum foliage

The lavender one, Veronicastrum virginicum ‘Lavendelterm’, is actually an old friend, being a division from a division of the one I had in my previous garden, come back to me via Gardening SIL.

Veronicastrum-virginicum-La

In the interests of simplicity and the pleasure of repeated plantings I want to add a third, assuming these two do well, the third will form part of the “hide the messy lychnis” planting, or that’s my current idea. So far they have settled in well, which is more than can be said for the astrantias I have tried to establish. More water and a better mulch might save them. I’ve also added a Thalictrum delvayi and a Penstemon ‘Blackbird’, with the aim of getting/making more of each. Add in a trio of Echinacea ‘White Swan’ and it has the beginnings of something pleasing. Gardening-sil also gave me a small Calamagrostis ‘Karl Foerster’, which I may try adding in to complement the tall perennials, it is a good place to audition the grass for a more extensive role elsewhere in the front garden. The thalictrum and penstemon both came from the plant fair I went to at the end of June, and go beautifully together.

penstemon blackbird

thalictrum delavayi

I am quietly excited about how the planting in this area is coming together, even though the plants are very young at the moment and there still seems to be more bare earth (currently dust) than foliage and flowers. I’ll be taking cuttings from the penstemon, and from the other plant that is delighting me in this corner, the perennial and perennially popular wallflower ‘Bowles’ Mauve’.

erysium bowles' mauve

What’s not to love? it even has great foliage (another candidate for lycnhis cover), and the butterflies certainly approve.

small tortoiseshell on wallflower

I love ‘White Swan’, and it is great to see the flowers starting to appear on the plants I grew from seed, but they certainly take a lot longer to establish than the plain pink version. Still, ‘White Swan’ has certainly earned a place in the front garden, and will be staying – and I will be sowing more seed this Autumn to increase its presence in to something more noticeable! Such a beauty close up though.

Echinacea 'White Swan'

So, promising, but if you look down at this end of the border from upstairs, still a lack of visible cohesion.

wall border right hand side

It will be a lot better once the escallonia hedge along the wall starts to thicken up. It is making good progress, but the Verbena bonariensis is still providing the only screening, as such – another plant that has sailed through its auditions with flying colours and will hopefully help to knit the whole garden together.

verbena bonariensis

This business of managing the plants you want to self seed, but which look horrid whilst they are doing so, is something that I am still struggling with. Perhaps in future years I will be more proactive and demanding, collecting seed and sowing it myself in pots to then move in to position later, rather than seeing where the plants themselves see fit to place their progeny. At the moment I have ugly little stems of forget-me-nots lying hopefully on patches that I would like to see filled with the next generation, but at least where they have sown themselves around they form a lovely mat of evergreen groundcover – as does the lychnis, though ever-silver, in that case, I suppose. The cerinthe, which I have also been auditioning, seems less obliging, at least so far. I loved the way it contrasted with the plants around it, particularly the stachys.

cerinthe and stachys

But it dies horribly. So I am collecting seed, have already sown some and put the tray aside in a cool corner, and will be cutting the rest back. What do you do with your cerinthe, or other early flowering plants once they start to look *cough* past their best?

It’s funny, I really thought, when I planted up this border, that I had taken the mantra of simplicity seriously, but it still looks messy from above, partly because I have not block planted, but also, I think, because there are still too many different plants.

wall border left hand side

I love the Allium sphaerocephalon, and will plant lots more.

allium spahaerocephalon

I also love the steely blue globes of Echinops ritro, another gift from Gardening SIL.

echinops ritro flower

The echinops has great foliage, and I will be collecting more seed so that hopefully I can add to the ones already established. The perovskia is every bit as beautiful as I had hoped, and apparently easy to take cuttings from, so I will be attempting to generate more of what I hope will be another mainstay of the border, running all the way down. I do find it hard to photograph though, so far this seems to be the best I can do. Pathetic! Just doesn’t capture it at all.

perovskia blue spire

I had hoped to use more knautia in this border, to tie it in with the fence border, but the flowers are too red to work, so they will get moved over to the other side. Likewise the pale creamy Californian poppy ‘Ivory Castle’ is wrong, it needs to be proper white, bluey-white, to work on this side, but the poppy itself is lovely, so I will try and collect seed and sow it in the middle bed instead. And no doubt resign myself to having to pull seedlings out of the wall border for years to come… I also had to yank out a fluffy pink poppy that suddenly appeared in the back garden last year. I collected seed and spread it in the wall border thinking it would work well, but it was too salmony to work, plus I didn’t like how fussy it was. Once again Gardening SIL came to the rescue and sent me seed from a deep purple poppy she has in her garden, and it works beautifully, and has lovely foliage. Definitely an audition passed with flying colours.

poppy foliage

purple poppy

By far the least successful experiment in this border was with the coppery foliage of the carex. It just detracts from the clear colours of the other plants, so it has to go.

the bronze grass experiment

I was wondering about trying another evergreen grass Festuca ‘Elijah Blue’, but it is the wrong sort of shape, from what I can tell, and too short. Instead, I find myself gravitating towards Elymus magellanicus, which though only semi-evergreen, looks to be more the correct form and size. Another audition. And then I will use another plant that has worked really well for me, Erungium yuccifolium, for evergreen straplike foliage and a strong year round architectural presence.

eryngium yuccifolium foliage

eryngium yuccifolium buds

It’s a shame that, apparently, it doesn’t take easily from root cuttings, so this is one plant I may have to spend actual money on, but I think it will be worth it.

So mostly a clear pass or fail for all the plants I have been auditioning, and what feels like a fairly clear plan as to how to take the whole border on the next step, but there is still one plant that the jury is still out on. A plant that I really want to love, and to have a place for. Agastache rupestris is a native of Arizona, and has wonderfully aromatic fine grey foliage. I grew it from seed, and it didn’t really flower last year, but it seems to be settling in well this year and the flowers are beginning to open.

agastache rupestris

I’ve seen photographs of it shining and shimmering like a soft, coppery cloud. The flowers seem to have a hint of the plummy colours that are working so well here, but I’ve seen other photographs where the overall effect is more fiery orange. And I still don’t really know what to expect.

agastache rupestris flower

It might be a case of the right plant in the wrong place, like the knautia or the creamy poppy. It might be just plain “no”. I’ll just have to wait and see. In the mean time I am eyeing up the rain that seems to be forecase for a week’s time, and wondering if I can do some moving and planting. I should probably wait until the autumn. Probably…

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38 Comments


  1. Hi Janet,

    Have you considered maybe some Thistles? I think Brook Thistle might be slightly the wrong colour – it’s more of a reddy purple – similar to the drumstick alliums (and it blooms nice and early). But Turberous is similar to v Bonariensis, and its foliage is a silvery colour. It has plenty of height – will match v bonariensis again. However, it blooms at the same time, so doesn’t add an extra period of interest. And it dies horribly. I have to chop it because it looks so bad. That might be a result of my clay soil though and it might be fine in your sandy coastal soil. I could send you some seeds if you do decide you want some (plant them behind the lychnis, so they hide the foliage as it dies away ;) )
    Maybe some sea holly too? They come in different shades – bluey or white – and I think I remember you posting photos of wild ones in your area?? Maybe bring some seeds in; can’t get more natural. If you get one of the metallic blue ones, it’ll mirror the metallic blue of the echinops.

    lol, I have to laugh at me making these suggestions when I shove anything and everything anywhere. When it comes down to it, regardless of all my planning I do whatever takes my fancy at the time.
    Liz recently posted Friday Flowers


    1. Hi Liz, I have indeed thought about thistles, and sea holly, but I am leary of having too many different forms, maybe a later tweak? Sea hollies in particular appeal to me, but the echinops ritro already gives me that rough type of foliage. Watch this space!


  2. Naah, if you feel the urge to move soon then go for it, why not :) so many things to consider isn’t it but overall the merits of the bed far overturns the gaps and flaws that you, being the gardener tends to focus on even it’s barely noticeable to others. You have so many gorgeous plants, enjoyed going through your photos! Have to say the Lychnis in the first photo looks great as a large patch like that (had if not it was smothering other plants left as such).
    Mark and Gaz recently posted The Royal College of Physicians Garden


    1. Well you’re no help ;-) I think the thing that will stop me doing much is the need to grow more plants from seeds and cuttings before I can really do a complete revamp. I’d be sorely tempted to spend out on more perovskia so that I could do more earlier (patience not being my strongest characteristic), but I am getting close to having the rest of the front garden to play with… I agree about the large swathe of lychnis, it has been rather glorious, but leaves gaping holes once it finishes. I think I’ll settle for smaller but regular clumps. Glad you enjoyed the photos!


  3. Hi Janet, I think you can be pretty content with what you have achieved in just over 18 months in your garden. Your color palate of silver, white, blue and lilac is right up my alley and I am impressed by all the lovey different plants that you are using in your beds, my favorite being echinops ritro. I might borrow some plants that you are using for my own garden. I think, the idea of sowing lychnis to tie the garden together is a fabulous one. Wishing you fun tweaking your beds! Warm regards,
    Christina
    Christina recently posted Thinking About Getting a Dog


    1. Thank you Christina, the echinops ritro is a great plant because it comes relatively easily from seed. I agree that the lychnis does a good job of knitting things together. Borrow away, I get so many of my plant ideas from blogs, its good to share plant ideas and experiences.


  4. Hi Janet: I posted an earlier comment, but I don’t think it worked. If so, please disregard this one. You have a great collection of plants … including Rattlesnake Master (Eryngium yuccifolium). That plant is native around here, so we see it often when we hike near prairies. Such a fascinating one! Is this garden in Wales more arid than your previous garden in England? It looks like the plants are a little more succulent or semi-succulent? I enjoy both types of gardens–and you always add amazing touches to your plantings!
    Beth @ PlantPostings recently posted Plant of the Month: Wild Columbine


    1. Hi Beth, sorry you had commenting problems, thank you for persevering! Particulalry as you said such lovely things ;-) I hadn’t heard the name Rattlesnake Master, it’s great, I’d love to see it growing wild in the prairies. I think we do get less rainfall here, we are in a little microclimate that gets less rain than elsewhere on the Island, let alone mainland North Wales. I think the main difference is the soil though, my last garden had heavy clay, here I have free during soil that, particularly in some areas of the front garden is very sandy.


  5. Fascinating post, Janet – I had to look up a couple of the plant names you mentioned. I agree, it’s hard waiting for plants to bulk up! I’m trying to do something similar with the ‘hot border’ here but have the luxury of time as there’s lots of euphorbia that has self-seeded into the gaps and can be ripped out when I have something else to replace it. You have some lovely plants but I agree with the copper carex, although lovely, detracting from the overall scene. (Perhaps better in the back?) Have you considered agastache officinalis? It’s a lovely purple and semi-evergreen; also artemisia ‘Powis Castle’ for e/g winter foliage, lavender, purple sage, flag irises (would echo the euphorbia yuccafolia), rosemary to give a deep background to show off the silver leaved plants (and purple spring flowers!)? Hot sunshine is not the most flattering light for garden photos – at garden school, we’re taught to look at the shape of our planting before colour is considered and one way of doing that is to turn your photos into black and white to see the shapes better. The lychnis is fantastic because it creates a very bold rounded shape; perhaps by grouping other plants together, eg echinacea & perovskia, this could be recreated. Sorry, I’m banging on here and I’m pretty sure you know a lot more than me!! One last thing (promise!) is cerinthe. One of my faves (as you know) I keep seed sowing and keep new plants coming up through the old so that I can chop back when it get tatty. It’s also (like borage) better propped up or staked. Hope I’ve given you some ideas and not been a know-all so-and-so!


    1. Hi Caro, your list of plants made me smile, I have considered all of them at one time or another. I need to see ‘Powis Castle’, I fear the foliage is too fussy to go well with the other plants in the mix, but it is an alternative to a grass to replace the carex. I completely agree about the evergreen backdrop, and eventually that is what the escallonia hedge will provide. Eventually… Actually, it is growing well now, but it will be another two years before it completely conceals the wall behind, and a year or so more before it is offering privacy too.

      I am considering purple sage, as I love it, and the leaves would echo the stachys in shape and texture. And I am after a salvia, for contrasting flower shape, leaf colour and shape. That “put it in black and white” trick is a favourite of mine, but I didn’t need it this time to know where the border lacks structure.

      Plant grouping – yes, that would work, but I am trying for a looser, more ribbon/tapestry effect. I might yet resort to blocks, and there will be mini blocks. The echinacea already are, you just can’t tell because the plants are so tiny!

      Top tip on the cerinthe, thank you, I just need to find plant supports that I can bear to give space to. Something sculptural in rusting metal perhaps… Thank you, really enjoyed how your comments made me think!


  6. Love all your Lychnis, it looks so good in a large swathe, but I understand what you say about splitting it. I hesitate to say this, but, if it was me I would add something with a larger leaf, as all the leaves seem to be much the same shape and size, something that could rise up in front of your Lychnis when it is over. I have a Plectranthus which I hope will survive here, as it is an annual and I will keep it going by taking cuttings, but it grows into a nice rounded bun shape about 3 ft tall and wide with gorgeous silver leaves.
    You have such a super selection of plants, I wish I could grow them, but not with my heavy soil! I know you’re going to enjoy playing musical plants until you’re happy with it!
    Pauline recently posted Perfume on the breeze in the night.


    1. You are right about me needing a different, larger leaf shape in the mix Pauline, though possibly a doming grass would work. What Plectranthus do you have? I shall have to google, not a plant I know at all. And I love your “musical plants” phrase, that is spot on!


      1. I had to look up my plectranthus, what would I do without Wikipedia – it wasn’t in my plant encyclopedia ! Mine was given to me as a cutting last year by the owner of the cottage where we stayed on the Isle of White, it is Plectranthus argentatus, common name silver spurflower. I have taken a few cuttings from it, they seem to take very easily, would you like me to do one for you?
        Pauline recently posted Perfume on the breeze in the night.


        1. What a lovely looking plant Pauline, in principle it would work perfectly for me, but I see it needs some shade and a sheltered position. I fear it would get destroyed in our northerlies over winter if it didn’t fry in the sun. Thank you so much for the offer though. I am wondering about purple sage, not least because I have a fine plant flourishing in the herb bed I could take cuttings from.


  7. As always a most enjoyable, and interesting, post and wonderful photos, especially the one of the butterfly.
    I’m rather glad that I don’t have a front garden like that as I really don’t know what I’d do. What you’ve done so far, and plan to do, sounds good to me.
    Good to read the other comments about what other think and would do. xx
    Flighty recently posted It was still…


    1. Hi Flighty, it is strange, having such a large and visible front garden, I am enjoying the challenge but I am always conscious that I am developing it in public, as it were. Certainly lots of people are watching progress with great interest. The comments are brilliant, they really help me think through different options.


  8. Lovely photo of the butterfly Janet! I have a question about something. Couldn’t help but notice that your Hydrangea was pale and I wondered if you get a lot of bleaching sun in the summer months. I’ve always thought of your zone and area close to the sea as one that would help maintain bright color. (Even our Lychnis here are hot pink!) Aren’t you in a zone 7 like me? I also love your Echinacea “White Swan”. I planted a lot of those this past year and am hoping they will naturalize like their goldenrod cousins. It’s glorious when a summer bloomer like that naturalizes. Also, do you like the blue salvias? They might go in your garden and the pollinators go wild with them. Thank you as always for visiting Janet.


    1. Hi Susan, I don’t think the sun bleaches the plants, the pale hydrangeas are just that sort of hydrangea, we have a lot of them around here, and in other coastal towns and villages. And the lychnis is the white form, I though I had some of the magenta as well, but it came up white too! I am still looking in to salvias, but certainly hope to have one or two different types. I am trying to pick plants that the insects will enjoy, they are certainly going nuts for the echinacea, verbena bonariensis, wallflowers etc.


  9. Excellent overview of your front garden. Managing self-seeders I also find to be an on-going challenge. I’m thinking of putting Nigella and California poppies in one of my beds to generate more early color, but some have warned me against it. I don’t like most of the Echinacea varieties in different colors, but ‘White Swan’ is a beauty.
    Jason recently posted A Garden to Kvell Over


    1. Hi Jason, thank you for dropping by and commenting. I am certainly finding managing self seeders more challenging than I had expected, the trick seems to be to have plenty of things to follow up with, that hide them once they start going over. I share your dislike of a lot of the very over breed echinacea, even the ones in beautiful soft sunset colours, as they never seem to last long as garden plants. ‘White Swan’ is lovely though, if a little slow to get established.


  10. Having just completely pulled apart our terraces I would say go for it too, but I know it’s more difficult if you’re waiting for seed and cutting material. If I feel something is wrong it needles me so until I can do something about it.
    I love Allium sphaerocephalon and will definitely be getting some for here. The minimum of real estate for a real punch in the border. Good to see your ‘White Swan’ flowering too, it’s a beautiful thing. My seedlings were growing so well until I planted them out. I gave them a generous mulch of Slug Gone but to no avail.
    rusty duck recently posted That’s It, It’s Them Or Me


    1. Hi Jessica, I am exactly the same on the needling front, which is why I currently have a dying knautia in the front border, it didn’t take kindly to being moved! Still, I have others I can replace it with, and I seem to be able to grow it from seed well. ‘White Swan’, on the other hand, seems to take forever to grow into a decent sized plant and start flowering, I may end up giving in and buying some :-( As for waiting until things fill out from cuttings etc, it is only the promise that the perovskia will flower the following year from Autumn cuttings that is stopping me from blowing the budget. Well, that and the awareness that I will soon have the front end of the garden to plant up… It’s quite large…


  11. reading comments of thistles and large leaves, the wanting of silver leaf, and I think of the Scotch thistle, it would also make a strong upright to complement the wafting shapes, ;)

    Janet, the border looks good and so different to how it was originally, I think you need to give it time, it will change again when the escallonia hedge gives a green background, all will change again when the trees and karl foerster in time add uprights leading the eye upwards, also just because the lychnis took over this summer doesn’t mean it always will as shrubs, trees and other plants fill out there will be less room for the lychnis, I like most of the plants/flowers you show in this border but agree re the carex, though I must admit I just do not like the bronze one, just my personal taste, re blue grass what about helictotrichon sempervirens, blue oat grass, it grows taller than festuca and according to the book I have of tried and tested coastal plants it does well, stands up to strong winds and likes a free draining soil, Frances
    Island Threads recently posted fruit and berries


    1. Hi Frances, I am still considering thistles, I can quite see something spikey and steel blue working well. Thank you for the blue oat grass suggestion, I remember reading about it a couple of years ago but I unaccountably failed to add it to my possible plants list. What is the book you refer to, it sounds as if it might be rather useful?


    1. Hi Sue, I always find astrantias hard to get established, and they don’t seem to appreciate being moved either. I am finding the thalictrum entrancing.


  12. Now I can see clearly what you mean about the Lychnis getting the upper hand! I expect mine to sow itself where it likes again…. I have learnt that my garden will not be tamed and things will only grow where the conditions suit, but wish you luck with the seed sowing and planting out. I love the white Echinacea and definitely like the silvery theme too. Stachys and Perovskia go so nicely together and verbena bonariensis always gets a thumbs up from me. It seems to look good wherever i see it!
    Cathy recently posted Just Beeing


    1. Hi Cathy, the lychnis has been a very welcome filler this year, but hopefully as the shrubs and other plants fill in it will become an accent plant rather than taking over! Mind you, it looked mighty fine in early summer. I am going to try sowing some forget-me-not seeds in trays so that I can fill in gaps this autumn. I do love the stachys with the perovskia.


  13. I love the idea of frothy blueness to reflect the sea and sky. The silvers all work well together I think they always do because they all need similar conditions so grow naturally together. Maybe you could add (sorry I know you want to simplify) a silver leaved shrub, there’s a couple of Eleganus that would work; dare I say it but I think the hydrangeas are the problem – they (for me) just don’t fit with the silvery leaves of the other plants. I love that Agastache rupestris, I think I will have to try it here, I must look for seed. The first image of the Lychis is lovely but I know it becomes ugly very quickly here so needs to have plants in front that won’t obscure the flowers but will hide the foliage as it dies back.
    Christina recently posted The Slope on Thursday – ..and it’s getting better….


    1. Hi Christina, I do know what you mean about the hydrangeas, I have come close to ripping them out several times, as they prevent me from having a totally coherent border on that side. Somehow they have wormed their way in to my heart though, so I will make one more attempt at knitting them in somewhat. Otherwise a silvery leaved eleagnus sounds rather fine, it would bridge the gap between the escallonia and the teucrium. I am currently thinking that a combination of ‘Bowles’ Mauve’ and perovskia would do a good job of hiding the base of the lychnis as it starts to go over, a whole new challenge, working with these self seeders. Otherwise I rather fancy the idea of using rosemary.


  14. Such a lot of thought! It will be great when it pulls properly together and you have overcome the challenge of balancing interest with cohesion. You will be so happy and proud. I only came across penstemon last year even though I’d known their name for ages. I was an instant convert.
    Lucy Corrander recently posted STUCK FOOT POST


    1. Hi Lucy, my brain is aching with all the possibilities! I just hope I get to the happy and proud bit. I had forgotten about penstemons for years until I saw this very same one on another blog last year and remembered what fabulous plants they are. I practically snatched that one up from the plant stall as soon as I saw it!


  15. You are certainly transforming the gardens from where you inherited them. My one lychnis is so aggressive I am ripping out the volunteers as the space is too small…and you have one of my all time favorites the agastache from AZ also called hummingbird mint…hummers love it and I love the scent.
    Donna@GardensEyeView recently posted The Complete Kitchen Garden


    1. Hi Donna, I know what you mean about the lychnis, once you have it, it is hard to get rid of! I do love the foliage over winter though. I love the scent of the agastache too, it makes weeding near it a real delight. No hummingbirds here, sadly.


  16. So a few auditions have failed to meet expectations, but overall the border is certainly starting to come together. I’ve found calamintha nepeta a lovely non-cat-nibbled alternative to nepeta in our garden; I grew it easily from seed and every summer it comes back with low (1 -2 foot) clouds of tiny pale lavender flowers, and smells wonderful when it is brushed against.
    I have thalictrum envy; I bought some seed in the winter but it did not get sown this spring, what with one thing and another! Hopefully it will still be viable next spring, and I may find the opportunity to sow some!
    Your verbena looks fantastic, really doing its job well even without much of a supporting cast as yet.
    Forget-me-nots are terribly ugly in their demise; I rip them out when they turn grey, and the act of doing so seems to scatter the seeds around enough to bring on the next generation. I agree that the cerinthe has similar issues too, and usually rip out the more obvious ones when they begin to tatter, but try and leave one or two in. If the seeds are already ripening when I pull them up then I scatter them around, and indeed this year we have a dozen or so that have all sown themselves from last year’s plants.
    The perennial scabious Clive Greaves, with its lavender-blue tones, might be a good alternative to knautia? I do love the silvery-lavender of perovskia, and while elusive to capture up close, you can see in some of your ‘further away’ shots that it is already bringing grace to the border.
    I agree that the carex does somehow detract from the otherwise cool planting; I’m sure you can find them a good home elsewhere, perhaps with the agastache if it proves too warm in tone for that border?
    It’s all looking full of promise though, and plenty to enjoy already despite the planting mostly being so young.
    Sara x
    hillwards recently posted Riches


    1. Sorry about your thalictrum envy Sara! I’m sure you will eventually have plenty in your garden, I am going to get some seed for the white form, though apparently it can be a little tricky. I am really glad to hear that you find Calamintha cat proof, I have planted one in the front garden, though it is yet to flower. I am going to get more ruthless with my forget-me-nots and the cerinthe, I think it is just taking me a while to trust that they really will come back again, and I always fail to do what I always intend to do, which is collect seed and sow backup plants to fill in gaps, just in case. Mind you, the joy of self seeders should be that you don’t have to bother about such things, shouldn’t it! I shall look up ‘CLive Greaves’, thank you, and I do really like the combination of the agastache and bronze carex, so I am hoping to use that combination elsewhere, great minds think alike ;-)


    1. Done, I shall collect you some seedlings – would you like seed too?

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