Mediterranean dry garden in Spring

This garden is just gorgeous.

There, I’m boasting. It has all come together so well that it’s a joy to amble along.

And now that I have a deck with a direct view onto this Dry Garden from my office, I do look a lot.

Naturally what you see from the deck is just a garden glimpse.

You see mainly the fig, the walnut and the two monstrous pines. Plus a bank of quince. And a very fluffy oak tree.

Oh, and the lavender hedge I grew from cuttings.

But stepping into the garden reveals all sorts of lovely spring flowering delights. And as it is not watered, then this might be the last time it’s such a joy to behold. But the scents from the shrubs and the different greens and greys are still worth enjoying all year.

I am learning to layer textures like the uprights of the irises, the continuously flowering bupleurum fruiticosum. The sages that flower long. The phlomis that look great even when they have gone over and leave behind upright flower spikes. Even the spikes of the yuccas are fun. I expected them to get strangled by the rather rampaging achillea. But they hold their own.

The lavenders do a find job until August. As do the balotta. And the euphorbias. I will cut off the flowering bracts once they are ripe. And then just leave behind the mounded dark green leaves.

And the satureja Montana will throw out the white flowers any moment now. I need to cut them back in a month lest they go leggy and flop.

And how wonderful the mauve phlomis came through the cold snap in February and March. I tried as hard as I could to protect the plants as they are not as hardy as the more typical yellow flowering phlomis russelliana.

Some were slammed back to sticks and I have pruned out the nasties.

I’m thrilled about the centaurea Bella – the ground cover plant that throws up these gorgeous pink flowers in spring. After a few quiet years they are finally starting to carpet the bare patches.

The salvias too are now making a run for any bit of spare soil.

Perfect for cutting, but a bit floppy as they are so tall.

Everything is so nicely crammed that they do tend to hold each other up.

Further up the path you come to the new part of the garden I have been planting up since autumn.

This is the time when you need to be patient. There are gaps. Which I will ether fill with ground covering plants or mulch.

I have planted achillea The Pearl, the transplanted sage, lavender and giant stipa. And I have left all the self seeding euphorbias in place. Even if they are in the way of a presumed path. This is definitely the sort of garden where you just pick your way around the plants.

The giant cistus on the far left is a good example. It is in the wrong place. But thriving and delightful, so I am loathe to move it.

It’s about to flower. And thank goodness it’s white, not the garish pink of my other cistus in the barn garden.

And I am making good use of all the mowing grass clippings I have. I am building up the narrow strip of new garden next to the fence which we moved last year to give me more garden. (Ever greedy to expand the Empire of plants.)

I just bag up all the mowing stuff, and then tip it over the fence.

You can’t of course walk on it or grow through it yet. I’m years off getting this combination of branches, logs and grass cuttings into any decent shape. Plus I am not certain I want soil to abut this fence and then over time make its way down onto the road.

Better, for now, to have a pretend strip of garden, covered up with grass.

The cat loves it. She treats it like a warm, slightly fermenting bouncy castle.