It’s a dog’s life….
In 2016 my partner and I acquired a puppy. ‘What has this got to do with open gardens?’ you may ask, and in response I might point out the bald patches of (dug-up and weed on) lawn; the trampled on plants or the poor limping frogs and if you think you have seen a very unusual spotted perennial lurking in the back of the border – that will be one of the 25 socks that have been nicked.
Thus provides the backdrop to our not-so-pristine but very much used garden. This garden is very much about the different textures and colours of the lush foliage. It’s an unusual shape and whilst it is south facing, much of the planting borders are in at least partial shade so the feel of the garden is a bit ferny and damp. A couple of months ago the iris sibirica were wonderful followed by the flag iris in the pond. I didn’t get to the hostas in time and they have been chomped disappointingly, but other things seem to thrive – the wonderful Euphorbia mellifera (the honeyspurge next to the pond) has self-seeded all over the place and I have had to pluck numerous shoots and seedlings from the borders; the tree ferns are doing well- we have the slightly tender squarrosa (in the courtyard area) and the sturdier fibrosa growing here.
Our Iris ensata didn’t make a show this year which is disappointing and I might have to rethink this variety but the poppies; crocosmia; astrantia and grasses have all thrived. In the front garden, which is north facing but gets shafts of sunlight throughout the day, the yellow and blue scheme continues to do well – against the odds. The iris ‘Butter and Sugar’, ranunculus acris ‘Hedgehog’ and the trollius ‘Golden Queen’ are now over but they have been succeeded by sysirinchium; salvia; tradescantia and knautia.
It’s a fairly low maintenance front garden believe it or not – all of these plants are good doers here although the achillea ‘Credo’ has struggled and the bearded iris ‘Jane Phillips’ donated by my open garden neighbours over the road didn’t flower (their irises, on the contrary, flowered in blowsy, beautiful smug abundance just in my eye line from the living room). I love my garden and so does my dog, the slugs and the acrobatic squirrels –
hey-ho…share and share alike.