The instant carpet on the iris bank

iris bank 1Yes, I must confess, it’s a bit of instant gardening.  I have been stalking past this bank for months now pondering what to plant.

Irises were the first to go in. I planted up two narrow rows right underneath the wall I built last month. (Or was it the month before? Time flies in wall building mode.)

You can see them as I put in a thin chestnut log to hold the plants in place with their gravel mulch.

And then I wondered what else to plant with the iris.  The problem is the green.  This is a huge shrub garden and right next to the zillions of shrubs in the shade garden.  Very green. And linking the barn garden, very grey. iris bank

I tried pots of viburnum and portuguese laurel.  But they just didn’t work. And that was a relief as I had planted them beside Sarah’s path and ran out of plants.

I think I could plant my favourite ground cover plant – stachys – here to try and blend the greys with the green. I have left a bit of soil bare at the base of the bank.  I certainly don’t have any problem harvesting spares from the thick carpet of stachys in the barn garden.

That might knit together quite nicely. A stachys carpet fighting it out with an iris carpet. I spent a happy hunting session with my fork grubbing up iris from all over the farm.

You have to love irises – they don’t mind being yanked out the ground, plonked into any old soil, watered once, forgotten and then left to thrive.

And thrive they do here. I really only grow them for the foliage. The flowers are way too fleeting and ridiculously top heavy when in bloom. But it will be quite fun to see if this bank does come into flower in spring. Watch this space.