Six On Saturday: The borders take shape

This garden has a long history of growers. The very first owner here was a prize winner for a plate of three raspberries and the second owner was a committed fruit grower.  When I came along the fruit growing had taken priority and the borders were being taken over by weeds and grass.  There are still plenty of weeds and fruit bushes around but flowers are gradually being reinstated.


The monthly long border shot.  This year I have gone for two smaller wigwams of sweet peas.  I planted out the early sowings last weekend.  On the left  ‘April in Paris’, a white variety and on the right ‘Midnight Blues’.  I now have a gap where the large wigwam went and although I have some annuals lined up to fill the space I feel the need for an evergreen shrub to give more form to this end of the border.  The delphiniums are shooting away and with storm Hannah blowing through I need to get out there and do some tying in.  In case you are wondering, the bamboo cane is there to remind me not to step on the emerging echinacea ‘White Swan’.  Roses, geraniums and knautia are also making good progress, ready to take over from the tulips and euphorbia.


The left hand end of the north border. This used to be home to a stand of blackcurrant bushes and in turning over the soil for the nth time I found a label: Ben Tirran.  Four of those bushes went on to new homes so I will pass on the information.  The others have been found temporary homes elsewhere here.  So this end of north border was ready to plant up this year.  First to go in were two hydrangea anomala subsp. petiolaris, climbing hydrangeas for the back fence.  Last weekend I planted 23 geranium sanguineum ‘Alba’ and six anemone ‘Honorine Jobert.  I have two more geraniums waiting to go in once the front row three of pittosporum tobira ‘Nanum’ arrive.  I’ll fit the last two geraniums in around them.  The black pots along the back row are representing 10 melica altissima ‘Alba’.  These are proving elusive at the moment and I am hoping I don’t have to resort to a well known but more expensive on-line supplier.  I am following a plan from Joe Swift – Five plants for a deep shade border – as published in Gardeners’ World August 2018.  I also have some seedlings of astrantia major to fit in and finally I plan to add snowdrops for some early interest.


At the other end of the north border the Choisyas are opening up.  This can mean only one thing.  The days are numbered for the ailing one.  For the moment I’ll enjoy the scent and the green and white colours.


Patiently waiting to fill the space soon to be vacated by poorly choisya is a skimmia ‘Kew Green’.  Most descriptions use the very attractive phrase ‘no need to prune’.  The scent is described as’ lilly of the valley’ and it does well in shade.  Sounds perfect.


I was lucky enough to inherit a greenhouse, old and needing some glazing repairs but it looked wonderful to me.  I put in some automatic openers but the frame on one side sticks in one corner and I haven’t solved the problem.  Last week the frame gave way at its weak point – the glass.  I made a temporary repair with some left over plastic and clingfilm but storm Hannah has curled her lip!  I am hoping the local company that helped out with the glazing last time will come to my aid again.


The sowing of tomatoes for the greenhouse are coming along well.  Time to move them on I think.  That will encourage me to get that window repaired.

The weather has changed dramatically.  Cold, wet and windy.  I am grateful for the rain as already the water butts were getting low.  Fingers crossed that the wind isn’t too damaging, there is so much blossom around now.  I hope your garden stays safe and don’t forget to take a look at Mr P’s blog for more news from SOSs around the world.



20 thoughts on “Six On Saturday: The borders take shape

  1. It’s all looking good. I hope you manage to fix your greenhouse. Reading your Six has reminded me that I’ve not seen any signs of our knautia this year. I wonder if I moved it…

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Everything (but the broken glass) is looking good. In the border, I like the pavers/blocks work path. I typically let the dogs create paths & plant around their trails, rarely if ever paving them over. Might add some character, so I may steal your idea.

    Liked by 1 person

    • I sowed them end of Feb, I germinated them in the house on a sunny windowsill but they are for planting into the greenhouse, hence the early start. I have actually just sown some others for planting outside. I’m hoping they will germinate in the greenhouse.

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Have you checked that the frame of the vent and the frame around it are both absolutely square? If they both are, then it’s possible that the original sheet of glass wasn’t. Sounds a bit daft but it can make a difference if the glass distorts the frame the tiniest bit.

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    • It’s a very old gh and I doubt if anything is square!! I think the problem is due to the frame sticking in one corner as the lifter trys to open the window, it twists and eventually the glass went. Sadly the local company no longer employs an odd job handy man full time but they are trying to get in touch with someone for me. I spent the weekend sharing photos of new ghs but it didn’t produce the right effect!

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Everything other than the poor greenhouse is looking good. I love the tulips in the long border (are they Ronaldo and Barcelona then?) Look good together. And your tomatoes look very healthy. I will be growing six plants this year again. I grew 12 a couple of years ago and had far too many tomatoes for the two of us. I think even the neighbours were getting sick of them. But I did have some lovely fresh tomato sauce in the freezer for a while!


    • They are Queen of Night, Barcelona, Shirley and Violet Beauty. Shirley has disappeared from this end of the long border but has come up again very nicely at the other end! They look great when they are all together! What can you do? I always have too many tomato plants so I shall be giving a few away again. Last year I didn’t grow from seed but bought them from a local plant sale, this year I wanted to try some specific varieties so I went back to seed sowing.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. That looks like a classic old greenhouse. Not many are still glazed with glass! Here in our mild climate, glass works just fine. (We do not need to retain much warmth in winter.)
    Those tomatoes look like they are ready to start blooming! I do not feel so bad about not putting mine out by now. The garden was inaccessible until just a few days ago.


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