We must all have parts of our garden which disappoint us every time we pass by. Our disappointing bit is a part of the garden we not only walk past but also drive past as we enter our property and it is the first thing visitors see. We have a gateway at the end of our drive with a walk creating a funnel effect. Sadly this wall is not made from beautiful stone or old brick but dingy old 1960’s reconstituted stone or perhaps even concrete. It is an eyesore and at last we have got around to doing something about it – it has only taken 11 years to get started!
We decided to paint the wall a pale cream to match the house and then place some planters in front of it. We hope this will create a feeling of a warm welcome as you enter the driveway.
We bought three personalised planting boxes and a trug and went off to our favourite nursery, where after our usual coffee and carrot cake we bought a selection of perennials for the boxes and alpines for the trug. We bought 3 each of five different perennials and planted them out with our own seedlings of grasses which Jude had nurtured and brought on to suitable size. The perennial hardy herbaceous plants we bought were Catananche caerulea “Alba” with white flowers similar to cornflowers with the added interest of contrasting dark purple centres and yellow stamens, Salvia superba with its bright purple-blue spikes of flowers, Knautia macedonica with deep red “pin cushion” flowers, Veronica longifolia “Blue” the tallest of all with its elegant spikes held 3 feet high and the lovely white daisy Leucanthemum superbum “Alaska”. Fingers crossed now that they thrive in our boxes and give a warm welcome to our summer visitors.
As well as the boxes we had a wooden trug stenciled with the words “born to garden”. This was a saying I first saw when visiting a Yellow Book open garden a few years ago. There the phrase was on a sign cut from wood and displayed on the inside wall of a summer house. I sought out the gardener to ask where he had found the sign but he was unable to help as it was a gift. And I have been looking out for it ever since. when we ordered our personalised boxes it seemed a good opportunity to make our own version.
We planted a selection of alpines and succulents in it after adding a mixture of grit and multi-purpose compost – Frankenia thymifolia with its small pink flowers, Sedum glaucophyllum “Lizard a succulent which forms a low mound of rosettes with tiny white flowers in the summer, Delosperma nubigenum with its vivid yellow daisy like flowers, Sempervivum x fauconetti a house leek with a spider web covering, a yellow flowered alpine Potentilla and the tiny daisy Erigeron karvinskianus “Profusion”.
We left all the new plants to settle into their new homes in the shelter of our wood-store before putting them in their final homes by the newly painted new gateway wall.
Just a month later they look like this – can’t wait to see them in flower!