Success is the compost of failure

Are we there yet? No, I have one more day to go until I get back to the farm. And I have been gently fretting about the state of things I will find on my return.

A month long drought and heatwave is a challenge for any newly created garden.  So I expect a high body count of some of my latest plantings.

Take these verbena bonariensis plants I dotted all the way through the eragrostis grasses on the huge bank above the lawn.

The idea is to break up the rather homogenious look of the grasses with drought tolerant plants that offer colour and interest.  That limits my planting choices; but I do have lots of verbena bonariensis plants which do the trick.  They are a bit tall for the scheme, but at least they are fine once they get going. And they flower all summer and have thus far survived two winters. They aren’t famously frost tolerant, but these ones are.

I shifted them (self seeded in the soft rich and irrigated soil of the potager) late winter.  And they settled in beautifully with our nice damp spring.


I suspect I moved about twenty plants. And they had that ‘please don’t leave me to the elements all summer’ look about them when I left.

Which I promptly did.

The plants doing best are the ones situated right near the underground spring above the huge miscanthus hedge.

You can see where the spring is from the growth patterns of the grasses.


They will be fine. But it’s the ones I dotted about at the rather parched end of the bank which won’t be thriving.

So like all these things; real gardens take longer than you wish.  I may be set back a year with this unforseen trip away.  But the ones that do survive will be tougher as a result.