Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Some views of the garden - Part 2

Following on from my views of that part of the rear garden that's fit to illustrate here's some shots of the front garden.  This space is quite small - about 9 x 6 metres - 30 ft x 18ft, bounded by a garden wall and a retaining wall to prevent the slope sliding into the house.  It's shaded by the high house wall and various trees and shrubs - including Acer 'Bloodgood', Camellia 'St Ewe' and Magnolia 'Raspberry Ice'.  I've terraced it using breeze blocks and log roll to provide a set of planting areas in which I can grow a good many smaller shade lovers.  Over the years it's grown ever more lush and it's a constant battle to keep things within bounds.  My biggest thugs are three plants that a lot of exotic gardeners would love to have survive in their own gardens, never mind thrive.  Adiantum venustum, the hardy maidenhair fern, is slowly but inexorably producing quite a substantial patch.  Begonia grandis ssp evansiana is absolutely hardy with me.  The pink flowered form spreads itself around by the small bulbils produced in the autumn and is now taking up too much of the bed.  Because it doesn't sprout till late spring it can safely occupy the ground where I've got various bulbs - erythroniums, snowdrops and others - but it's starting to encroach on other plantings and needs controlling.  Saxifraga stolonifera - normally seen as the houseplant 'Mother of Thousands' - creeps around all over the bed and, again, needs controlling. 

Enough verbiage.  Here's some pictures.  Click for larger images:

The purple flowered plant in  the last two pictures is a hardy ginger, Roscoea purpurea.  I'll be illustrating this for the garden blogger's bloom day on Friday.  The beautiful variegated shrub is Pieris 'Flaming Silver', gorgeous all year but especially beautiful in April when the bright red new leaves flush.  This is about twelve years old now - they are slow growing!  Variegated Phormium tenax can be seen on the left of the final picture - with 'Lucifer' in front.  It does get everywhere.


  1. Very nice John and I especially like that variegated Lucifer. Very eye catching.
    Cher Sunray Gardens

  2. Hi Cher - the Crocosmia Lucifer isn't variegated, alas - I could make a (very) small fortune if it was! The variegated plants are Pieris 'Flaming Silver' and the Phormium. Thanks for the comments.

  3. I LOVE this part of your garden - especially the view shown in the last 2 photos. I love the form, colour and texture combination. This is the sort of thing my little fledgling garden aspires to! Wonderful. PS: LOVE the Pieris 'Flaming Silver'!
    Rgds, Christine

  4. Thanks Christine. Pieris 'Flaming Silver' is painfully slow growing - about 15cm a year. When I first put it in I had visions of growing the bright scarlet climber Tropaeolum speciosum through it as I'd seen that exact combination in a local garden. 12 years on and it's still not big enough - although the smaller creeping geranium 'Salome' annually weaves it's way through the Pieris. I'll illustrate that on Friday.

  5. John, The photos do show a very nice lush garden. I wish I had more share but I am pretty much all full sun here on Lake Michigan. There is something soothing about shade for me that the bright sun misses. But on the other hand, I get lots of blooms with all the sun at Gardens at Waters East. So it might be true as they say, "we always want what we don't have". Hope to visit again. Jack