Monday, 17 November 2014

'phoebe's border'

It was little Phoebe who made us aware of it.

She'd come to see us, a little two year old with Jos, her granny. As the car arrived in front of the house she looked across and summed it up  - 'Rubbish'.

And she was spot on. To suppress the weeds we had covered the ground with black plastic weighted with logs, pallets and old timber. Our collection of cardboard and newspaper was piled into open wooden crates. Wood that was waiting to be used in the kitchen garden was stacked ready. But Phoebe was exactly right - it looked like a junk yard.

And now that the Himalayan birch have been planted the time has come for us to develop what we'll forever think of as 'Phoebe's border'.

The area is 4m wide by 14m long. I'm digging it over and will then try and get some organic matter in before putting a mulch of chippings on. The soil in this border is very sandy.

This border will stand in contrast to the meadow I wrote about last time. It will be a mix of beautiful ornamental shrubs and some of Jill's favourite herbaceous perennials and grasses. Visitors will be greeted by a smokebush (Cotinus 'Flame') which is described by Bluebell Nursery as having 'dark green leaves which turn stunning shades of bright orange, red and yellow in autumn before falling. In the summer large panicles of smoke-like dark pink flowers appear which stand out well against the green foliage'. That should grab visitors' attention before their eyes move to the birch and front garden planting. We are sourcing the shrubs that will stand at the back of the border at the moment. Our own collection of herbaceous perennials and grasses will grow in front.

I'm sure Phoebe will be proud of it as it grows.

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