Today I thought I’d focus in a bit more detail on the new beds created this year. I took the view that I didn’t want to spend a fortune on plants (although the roses were clearly an exception!) so I grew a lot of plants from seed. As a consequence, it has taken a little while for the bed to get going, but you can see from the picture below at the end of March, what can happen in just over a couple of months.
Sadly the whole bed has got rather droughted (especially the hamamelis, H. Aphrodite, which now has very crispy leaves) but I think a couple of good drenchings have saved the position, and things are looking perkier.
The initial planting in the photo above left shows the Calendula ‘Sunset Buff‘ grown from seed last year and the small Libertia peregrinans, I added some more C Sunset Buff grown this year, but all have suffered with the drought and become rather mildewy. The photo below shows them at their peak a few weeks ago – I do like this soft apricot colour.
As well as the calendula, I planted seedlings of Eschscholzia “Cameo Dream”, but these too have struggled with lack of water. I’ve definitely lost a few and have yet to see any flower, which is a shame, as it’s a lovely, jolly flower I remember fondly from my childhood home, so I’d like to try to establish it here.
More successful has been the Nasturtium Caribbean Crush. These echo the colour of the Calendula, but are shorter and so have been planted nearer the edges of the bed.
In the photo above you can also see one of the two Rosa Pat Austin I bought for the bed. I had this as my Wordless Wednesday on June 10th, but that one was actually in Louise’s garden at the Old Rectory. I guess mine have been a little later to flower as they have been newly planted this year.
Another plant I bought in was the Achillea Terracotta. I’ve admired this for a while so it’s been lovely to have a bed where it looks at home. I’m hoping as the calendula (and maybe nasturtiums) give up, these will keep on flowering.
And lastly in this bed, another plant grown from seed (actually last year, and then never planted out!) the beautiful Hordeum Jubatum. I do wonder whether it’s a bit odd combining grasses with roses, but I love both. The grass provides such lovely movement and looks particularly special later in the day.
The photo below shows the view from ‘my’ seat at our out door table. I’ve struggled a bit with the photo as the new bed looks rather bleached, while the oak bed and the over-the-road-Oak are virtually black. Whilst it’s not exactly like that in real life, the oak bed certainly recedes into the shadows at this time of year and so doesn’t provide a very entertaining view from the table at exactly the time of year when you might be thinking of eating outside.
Later in the season I have some (sale bargain) dahlias to add, some kniphofia and geum and also Scabiosa atropurpurea Fata Morgana. The Scabious were from Chilterns and have dainty scabious shaped apricot flowers which I’m excited to see!
Hopefully the bed will continue to evolve and improve over time as I edit the plants and decide what works best.
The other new bed, has also come on dramatically since March:
One of the early highlights, together with the transplanted Cerinthe, was the ‘mistake’ ranunculus, supposed to be dark, but actually bright pink. They are just about over now, but have been flowering continuously for over two months.
Seedlings planted here and already flowering include Stocks ‘Ruby Punch’, Malope trifida Vulcan, Moluccella Bells of Ireland, Dianthus baratus Nigrescens and this lovely poppy, Papaver somniferum ‘Lauren’s Grape’.
In this bed I’ve planted three different roses, two Rose Munstead Wood, I’m delighted with:
and two Jubilee Celebration I like, but really think are too pale here. I think I need to ponder on this (and also have somewhere else to put them if I decide they have to move.
The third rose is Falstaff Climbing, which was bought to climb the ‘obelisk’ birthday gift.
The rose has not even flowered yet, and will clearly take some time to make a real impression, so in the interim I bought a Rhodochiton atrosanguineus which is just romping up the support.
As with the Bronze Bed, there are hopefully more delights to come – again some dahlias, and further seedlings yet to flower including Daucus Carota Black Knight.
Whilst I can’t pretend creating these new beds has been cheap, I’ve thoroughly enjoyed trying to minimise the expense by planning and growing a significant amount from seed. And, as with much gardening, not everything has gone to plan, but we wouldn’t want it all to be too easy now would we?