When did I plant that tree? Where did I plant those bulbs? Why did I think that was a good idea? My garden diary might supply the where and when (if I kept it up to date). The whys, which might be just as useful, rarely make it on to the paper.
I planted perennial foxgloves and ferns below the east facing courtyard wall thinking they’d do well in the shade. In fact the foxglove border gets full sun for most of the morning as the house is too low to cast much shadow. The ‘shade loving’ plants are thriving.
Blue and purple contrasts gently with the pinks and whites of June and boldly with the golds and yellows of August. The annual cornflowers and echium that spread through the garden all summer are the legacy of the Pictorial Meadows mix I sowed in a small patch two years ago. The changeable blue-purple of the echium is a perfect foil for many other flowers but the spreading plants do have a tendency to swallow smaller neighbours. A welcome self-sower but one to watch.
Satisfying plant combinations don’t only depend on flower colour. The dark leaves and arching tassels of red fountain grass (Pennisetum Rubrum) are the perfect foil for the bold and rather static rudbeckia. The Chinese lanterns (Physalis) pick up the colours of the rudbeckia varieties in a very different form.
Sometimes the best is something simple. This quiet corner doesn’t need much more decoration. Just a few bulbs to plant for the spring.
(Click on any photo to view the gallery)