Rebecca Smith - Garden design & consultancy
 

Cutting Garden and Planting

May has vanished in a cloud of cold air and we all welcomed in June this past weekend wearing shorts and suncream. I cannot remember ever being cold enough to light the fire in the kitchen log-burner over May Half-Term before this past week but it was very cold here in Wyck! What a change the weekend brought!

Tulips West Point and Angels Wish

Our big project in Cranleigh which was planted last October has settled in nicely and the plants are doing what they do best - growing and flowering. I went over on Friday to check on the mulching being done by the team.

Calamagrostis Karl Foerster and Allium hollandicum

 

The main borders have plants which will flower in varying tones of pink ranging from pale through to deep claret. This is prevented from being a bit overwhelming by having large swathes of green running through, with low buxus hedges curving through the planting. The ridigity of the box hedges is contrasted by using lots of grasses in this garden. Grasses such as deschampsia cespitosa, calamagrostis 'Karl Foerster' and penisetum 'Karly Rose', with their different flowering seasons add interest through the year and between the grasses we have planted both alliums and nectaroscordum.

Papaver Karine, calamagrostis Karl Foerster and alliums

 

The movement of the plants is wonderful; the seed heads of the deschampsia which are out now in June shimmer and wiggle in the slightest breeze. The bees are in heaven on the nectaroscordum silicum, which is commonly known as Sicilian honey garlic, dotted through the planting. It is a great bulb - not too showy - which tones wonderfully with the grasses and Papver Karine in this garden. Sadly it is not so great inside, the garlic smell is strong enough to be off putting but it deserves a space in the garden. 

Bees on the Nectaroscordum

On Friday I was setting out the plants for the newest area of the garden to be tackled. The Cutting Borders. The owners of this property have a lovely working kitchen garden which was in place when they contacted my office. This had been edged in lavender which had grown leggy and woody and the decision was made to scrap the lavender and create something which was more in keeping with the rest of the garden. 

Cutting Border plants

Here we have planted some stronger colours and plants which have a brief season and therefore can be hard to incorporate into a border which is on show from the kitchen window. Pink peonies, both Bowl of Beauty and Sarah Bernhardt, are planted here in blocks, with underplanting of achemilla mollis. Sisyrinchium striatum, one of my favourite plants, adds its pale yellow spikes to the mix. Early summer flowers include claret coloured Knautia macedonica, the dark purple knapweed Centaurea Jordy and Aquilegia Ruby Glow. These lead to late summer blooms of Aster frikartii 'Munch' and Echiops 'Taplow Blue' which will provide a cool respite in the heat of August. The existing Queen of the Night tulips will be replanted in the autumn with additional tulips. I am thinking the frilled edge tulip Bulldog will add a good textural contrast and tulip Cummins with its pale mauve edged in white will lighted the look. 

Cutting Border - Setting Out

 I look forward to seeing this garden developing in the next few weeks and months. 

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