My vase this week for Cathy’s meme at Rambling in the Garden uses flowers from an area of the garden that I planted up in March this year. The lower half of the Hornbeam Gardens has been planted as a shrub garden – we didn’t have much in the way of good flowering shrubs here until late winter 2015.
This year I added herbaceous under-plantings to try and achieve a meadow effect without wild flowers (although they are not barred, if they care to join in).
The garden doesn’t look much like the vase yet, but the colours of the vase are what I’m trying to achieve.
I started with Calamagrostis ‘England’. Only one plant in 2014, but this year that one plant has provided me with about 20 divisions.
The foliage is yellow and green variegated and when it flowered pink in 2015 I was a bit shocked – pink and yellow together! Ugh! But if you look at the stems you will see that they are yellow and the ‘pink’ flower spikes are composed of violet-tipped individual florets.
How we change – now I think it’s perfect (I’ve even grown to like pink weigela with the upright spikes of Asphodeline lutea – is there something wrong with me?)
To the Calamagrostis I added a few stiff, nearly flowering stems of Deschampsia cespitosa (which add more in life than they do in my pictures).
Then I dotted in the ‘meadow’ flowers growing down in that part of the garden:
Geranium ‘Mrs Kendall Clarke’ and a dark-leaved Geranium himalayense seedling that came from Hardy Plant Society seed. The foliage of this last proves that you don’t need to buy a named cultivar to add a good plant to the garden.
I think I’ve mostly photographed the dark-leaved seedling, because even the stems, buds and sepals are a good dark colour that pleased me.
Then golden Geum ‘Lady Strathenden’ …
… and Scabiosa ‘Butterfly Blue’. This last is probably a bit too droopy for a vase, but I’ve got high hopes of the taller S. caucasica plants added in March.
There are also the dark stems of Salvia ‘Caradonna’ …
… and a bit of Nick’s delphinium ‘King Arthur’ to add deeper colour. This is a cheat, because it won’t obviously be growing in a ‘wild flower’ meadow – even a fake one. But maybe I could add some larkspur to do the same job? Does anyone have experience of it self-seeding?
Finally, I picked some more of my precious Scabiosa atropurpurea, because my new plants are now doing really well (huge with all the rain – they must be nearly three foot tall from soil to flower tip) …
… and the first ‘almost there’ flowers of Achillea ‘Pomegranate’. This, with ‘Strawberry Seduction’, were also new additions to the garden for 2016. They know how to name plants, don’t they? Choosing between a number of achilleas was hard and I think the names swung it in the end.
And my ‘meadow in a vase’!
I doubt it will be long-lasting (and you can see my house needs a lot of work doing to it!), but it was fun to dream about what that part of the garden could look like in the future.
Here I hesitate … but I will. My vase is dedicated to Jo Cox and her family this week, because both the vase and the woman represent (to me) all that’s good and joyful in life.
Now take a look at everyone else’s Monday vases at Cathy’s blog … and see you next Monday.