Sunday, 27 September 2015

prairie planting

We've made a lot of landscaping progress this year. Too busy to blog.
''Hrmph. Unforgiveable".

When Jill first saw the 'prairie planting' landscaping schemes of Dutch garden designer Piet Oudolf, her life changed.
prairie bed 1 - after first season
And as a consequence we've spent a number of years selecting and propagating plants and preparing ground. Now we're at the end of our first season of the first phase of our own prairie bed planting and beginning to prepare the ground for next spring's extension which will see this part of our garden completed.

The plants in the first phase have still got to develop but the mixture of summer flowering perennials and ornamental grasses is already eye-catching. It's certainly catching Jill's eye as you will find her looking at the beds from windows or from the lawn. Or she'll be in the middle, chest deep in her favourite plants running her fingers through the inflorescences of the ornamental grasses.

prairie beds - phase 2
Jill says that she was attracted by the relaxed informality of this planting style. When Dave visited over the summer he commented on the effectiveness of the contrast between the formality of the mown lawn and the exuberance of the perennial planting. He was spot on.

view across lawn towards prairie beds
Fo my part I love the fact that the flowers are all insect friendly and the deepness of the borders and the height of the plants provides excellent cover for wildlife. At the moment we frequently have half a dozen pheasants appearing from the jungle to feed on the lawn.

This week I watched a young kestrel sail down from a perching post and kiss the tops of the flowers with its talons. I'm guessing that it was catching a large insect.

And now the work has begun on the second half of the prairie beds. We're back to digging soil, removing rubble and barrowing soil in to provide the 'hummocky' effect that the head gardener requires.

A lot of hard work.

But all worth it when one can look across on opening the bedroom curtains and see the view.
I've been playing 'This must be what paradise is like' by Van Morrison in my head for days now. You may be able to guess why....

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