How does your garden grow? When is it at its best?

My garden is definitely at its best in May. I’ve created a sea of purply blues which are a haven for bees and early butterflies.

Alliums, Cornflowers, and Chives

Chives, Cornflowers and alliums in the garden
Chives, Cornflowers and Alliums in the garden

I wouldn’t say that I’m a lazy gardener but I do try to achieve the best results in the time that I have available. Like many people my garden tends to be a weekend project as weekdays are taken up with work work!

Flag Irises

Flag irises in spring garden
Flag irises in spring garden

Planting perennials is a great way of reducing your workload. These are plants that bloom at the same time every year with very little input. I have a fabulous stock of lupins, alliums, cornflowers, chives and irises which reappear each spring to fill this particular border. This is not only a less labour intensive way of gardening but it is also very cost effective. After the initial outlay they are very low maintenance and can also be divided up as the years go by.

My New Borders

New flower borders created in the summer of 2020
New flower borders created in the summer of 2020

In the summer of 2020, after the spring blooms had died back, I dug three small borders at the edge of my patio. My intention was to thin out the established border and to use the surplus plants in the new beds.

I was a little overwhelmed as each time I dug up one lupin it broke up into 2 or 3 separate plants. The photograph above is a picture of the newly planted beds. Below is a recent photograph taken approximately 10 months later.

The lupins are at their best at the moment and will, all being well, be replaced by the echinacea that I transplanted at the same time as they die back. The other two beds are stocked with summer flowering plants including verbena bonariensis, shasta daisies, small globe thistles, and ornamental grasses. Again, these are perennials and should, all being well, reappear each summer.

Garden Inspiration

I have always strived to create an English cottage garden and, with this in mind, continue to add plants each year. I hope to extend the flowering season and to provide more variety. This year I’ve invested in some climbing roses to train across the rusted metal arch. I’ve also bought some shrub roses to create consistency across the border.

I take inspiration from many places and the image below is of a garden in Knysna in South Africa. It is very similar to the garden my gran tended on the south coast of England when I was a youngster. Her garden inspired me too.

South African garden
South African garden

Bringing The Outside In

If you don’t have a garden, or don’t have the time or inclination to tend one, why not bring the outside in?

I’ve recently introduced a sofa to my dining room as it has the best view of the garden. I can now sit in comfort and enjoy the view through the window.

Sofa positioned in dining room to view the garden
Sofa positioned in dining room to view the garden

Similarly, a window seat allows one to while away the hours watching the weather or the wildlife. A well designed one might incorporate some much needed storage space.

Window seat
Window seat 📸 Rob Wingate

Bi-fold doors are an excellent way of connecting the outside with the inside. Try to keep the floor level the same either side of the doors so that it feels like one space when the doors are open.

Bi-fold doors by Just Roof Lanterns
Bi-fold doors by Just Roof Lanterns

It might be that you have no outside space at all in which case you could decorate you home with nature inspired wallpapers like this one from Mind The Gap.

Sanctuary Wallpaper Mural by MINDTHEGAP
Sanctuary Wallpaper Mural by MINDTHEGAP

The addition of houseplants can create an indoor oasis. Depending upon the size of the room you might choose a large floor standing specimen such as a Swiss Cheese plant. In a smaller area, such as a bathroom, you might choose a family of miniature succulents.

A selection of house plants at RHS Wisley
A selection of house plants at RHS Wisley

And if you’re still struggling for inspiration fresh flowers never fail to bring the outside in….

Home grown dahlias

Read more about British Flowers Week (14-20 June 2020) at here

External Links

www.justrooflanterns.co.uk RHS Wisley Mind The Gap

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