A visit to Hidcote Manor Garden had me drooling over the Red Borders again this month. The entire garden is quite lovely but in September the Red Borders are the stars for me. My garden design training usually kicks in whenever I visit a garden. I find myself trying to work out what appeals to me and why. At Hidcote I lingered at both ends of the Red Borders taking it all in. Obviously colour is a big factor in their appeal to me. We all respond emotionally to colour whether we are aware of it or not. I already know that I love the warm shades of orange and vibrant red. But in this case there’s more to it.
Looking Good this week.
We are well and truly into autumn now here in North West England.
Many things are changing in our gardens and in the wider landscape too as shorter days and cooler nights creep in. Some of our trees are beginning to change colour as their leaves lose their green pigment and vibrant shades of pink, gold and red burst into sight.
In my country garden early this morning there was a distinct hint of autumn in the air. Heavy dew covered all the plants with diamond drops, even those close to the house were decorated with tiny crystal jewels. The air was fresh and completely still and a light mist lingered over neighbouring fields.
You may not be a fan of Orange but in August I think we need to see brighter colours in the garden. Pastel shades tend to look faded in the bright summer light. And orange is particularly good right now…
A patch of purple in autumn is always welcome, especially if you can cut the flowers for the house. Salvia viridis commonly known as Clary Sage is easily grown from seed. In my garden they are usually over by the first really hard frosts which luckily haven’t arrived yet.
Late flowering perennials are valuable for any garden, particularly woodland gardens or gardens in shade for part of the day. A beautiful plant from Japan known as the Toad Lily, Tricyrtis formosana is a star plant at this time of year.
Shade is often though of as a big problem in a garden. It can be. Especially where there is heavy shade beneath evergreen trees. But if you have deciduous trees and large shrubs casting shade in your garden it’s a different story. Many lovely spring flowering plants will grow well in those conditions.
Closer inspection reveals bright orange stamens.
On a dull February day the flowers of the Hellebore hybrids add colour and life to many a country garden. They are the perfect companion plants for Snowdrops as they both enjoy the same conditions in a woodland setting or in a shady border situation.
It always amazes me when the first plants bloom in January. Despite the cold, wet and windy weather delicate looking blooms appear without fail each year. The first Snowdrops are flowering now and in my garden one tough shrub has been flowering all winter.