Sunday, 16 May 2021

A simple border for three seasons

This was a small project of mine from last year, now come nicely to fruition: a Client has a narrow border in front of their house, so it's very much on display all year round. 

It was planted up, many years ago, with a large number of patio roses, which make it colourful and lovely through all the summer and autumn, and it has an absolute mass of daffodils in it, mostly towards the path edge, which, of course, gives us a lovely early spring show. 

But when the daffodils start to die down, we end up trapped in that late-spring limbo where the roses are not yet out, but the daffodil foliage is lying there, all untidy and messy-looking.

So: what to do? We wanted something cheap, quick, simple, and low maintenance, which would give us a splash of colour at low cost, just for a few weeks.

My solution: let's move some of the Cowslips! 

And here we are:

They're free (we already have lots of them elsewhere in the garden), they are tough, they flower at the right time, and by the time the roses are starting to come into flower, they will have died down and will be nothing more than a very ground-hugging clump of leaves.

I moved them last June, and they settled in well: and as you can see, they are flowering their socks off now, in mid May.

The daffodils are pretty much over, but now we have another flush of yellow, to brighten up the day.

Although one thing interests me: all the Cowslips came from the same place in the garden, so they are all "the same" - I thought.

But there's one clump which is a distinctly paler yellow than all the others. Can you see it? Fourth clump from the right.

How intriguing! I shall have to take a closer look at those ones, because they might be False Oxlip (Primula veris x vulgaris) as opposed to normal Cowslip (Primula veris).

I will report back, at a later date... but in the meantime, there you go, how to increase the season of interest by adding a few extra plants, at no cost at all!

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