A spot of mass planting

shade garden set outWhat else does one do on an overcast Thursday afternoon?  Mass planting. And in this case, about two hundred plants.

Fun and games. Andrew came up for lunch and after catching up over a good grilled chicken, mushrooms and squeaky beans from the garden, I must confess to kidnapping his amazing talent.

Did he know he was going to be put to such work?

He may have had an inkling when I admitted I had bought a car load of shrubs from Vachon nurseries yesterday.

He is the master of the tricky design, and this shade garden is so difficult. To start with it’s massive. Over 14 metres long and about six metres wide.  And it just swallows plants.

So we started out with the Viburnum tinus and Prunus lusitanica that I had bought. Andrew placing plants

And then Andrew wove through his design ideas : Iris foetidissima, euphorbia Mrs Robb’s Bonnet, Hemerocallis Gentle Shepherd and Corky, a few Helleborus x sternii Boughton and we kept the Euphorbia Polychoma and Hosta Sieboldii which were already in situ.

We ran out of plants, but Andrew kept doggedly working away with the design. And I raced to catch up with upturned pots and labels, stand in agapanthus, and placed bamboo poles in the cistus x hybridus and euphorbia polychromas which I need to move.

shade detailLuckily I have heaps of euphorbia x wulfennii babies which will go in the south side of the shade garden.  And my cuttings from the lavenders will also go in among the sunnier parts of the bed.

But not only did Andrew place the plants on the upper storey, he also had a good long look at the bank that leads down to Alice’s path and the steep pool garden bank.

And we have come up with a plan.  Out with the calamagrostis Karl Foerster.  Too linear, too unyielding.  And out with the half dozen miscanthus which have clung on but not thrived under the chestnut.

What would thrive under a sixty foot chestnut I hear you ask.  We shall see.

And once I’ve managed to plant up this section, order about sixty more plants (a voracious space), then I can turn my eye to the bank below.

He is pleased with the look of the barn garden, so more of the same please: eragrostis grasses, euphorbia wulfenni (I’ll need to loot the small self sown plants that have peeked out of the herb garden gravel), cistus x dubius, santolina primrose gem, iris and stachys.

Just writing out the list makes me quiver with excitement and fear. How on earth am I going to find the time to plant this up? And take cuttings for the Cistus x hybrius and Santolina primrose gem. plan for shade garden

But you need a master plan and you need fresh eyes to look at the garden at least every six months.

The rain started to come down as I was out writing up the planting plan on paper. I dread a storm coming up and blowing away my plants and pots. And Artur didn’t help by brushing up against the markers for moving the polychromas.

If all goes well I can get started on the actual planting of the viburnums and prunus. But rain is forecast.  So that might mean house arrest and Cleaning My Office. I know which chore I’d rather do.