February is the time of year when I am quite likely to do something thoughtless to the garden! It is the time of year when I see a space and plan to fill it, or move something, totally forgetting that beneath the ground there may be something going on …. like bulbs! I have found Helen’s end of the month meme very useful indeed, although this year, my end of the month posts are going to focus on particular flower beds. Shedman and I have more or less finished all the design and building work in the garden. Now I want to really focus on the planting in various areas of the garden and I think the End of Month views will be a good way to make notes for myself about what is needed and why. This month it is going to be the “Shady Spring Border” In April, this border will be 4 years old and if you want to see it when we started, then I have written a post about it here on my old wordpress blog
Half way down the garden is the Spring border. It has Pieris which was here (somewhere) when we arrived. A camellia ‘Anticipation’, which my Mother bought for me and through the border are hellebores, which I moved from other areas of the garden. At the end of the bed, by the return of the wall is a black bamboo and a Hydrangea ‘Fireworks’. The Hydrangea is struggling a bit in this location, it didn’t flower at all last year. So this year is make or break time for it. I think that there is water running underground in this area. The bottom end of the bed and path is quite sodden. It is also a cool area as it is on the north/east side of the stone wall that you see in the picture.
This is the view look across the “river of stones” path and I have marked where the spring perennials will fill in the gaps – but there is room for improvement! Although as the season goes on the hellebores will fill the spaces with their leaves, at this precise time of year I was thinking some early dwarf iris reticulata would be a welcome splash of colour and, if I plant them amongst and around the hard cut back alchemilla, at the edge of the border, fingers crossed it wont be too cold and wet for the bulbs. A couple of years ago I ordered some ‘plug plants’ of double hellebore – I planted 4 of these in the flower bed above, and 4 in another one. It took a couple of years for them to flower, the 4 in the other bed were white, and the 4 in this bed were dirty pink!
In this image – the “dirtiness” of the pink is not as bad as I perceive it in the flesh. I believe the red of the camellia and the dirty pink kill each other stone dead, so I am thinking that I will move the pink hellebore and replace them with the white doubles and perhaps add some tiny early flowering daffodils – as the red of the camellia and the yellow of the daffs would add a little zap for this time of year.
Notes to myself:-
- Plant miniature iris and daffs in the Autumn.
- Swop the dirty pink hellebore for the white doubles in another bed
- Keep an eye on the hydrangea – its days are numbered unless it perks up!
- Think about other early flowering spring plants that dont mind a bit of cold and damp.
If you haven’t joined in with the end of the month views – it is not too late to start, and dont forget to visit Helen / The Patient Gardener and have a look and see what is going on in her garden, and then you can visit the other folk who join in the “EOM Views”.