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.