A new season in the garden brings excitement and is the perfect time to try something new. Now is a great time of year to see what the specialist nurseries and garden centres have in stock and for you to get outside and freshen up your garden borders.
Succession planting is the term used to describe a display of all-year round colour and interest in your borders, drifting from one season to another. From bulbs in the spring moving to early then late summer flowering perennials and on into autumn and winter.
Begin your border design by adding some structure in the form of evergreen plants, which are particularly important for those gloomy winter months. Hebe Rakaiensis is a great choice. This compact shrub has dark green leaves that contrast with dense spikes of white flowers from early to mid-summer.
When I think of spring, I think of bulbs. A gorgeous display of tulips planted with delicately fragranced wallflowers will look fantastic. Alliums are another good bulb to add to your border, with their globe shaped heads that consist of hundreds of tiny individual flowers, they provide an important source of nectar for insects. Flowering later in the spring and into early summer, these gorgeous architectural flowers will keep your colourful display going strong.
Alliums come in several varieties flowering at slightly different times. ‘Beau Regard’ is one of the earliest to flower in late spring, leads nicely onto to Allium hollandicum ‘Purple Sensation’ which flowers in June. Allium christophii with its massive purple pom pom head follows on in late June/July, and finally Allium sphaerocephalon with its drumstick like flowers on straight stems completes the show in July and August.
One of my favourite ‘go to plants’ is Erysimum ‘Bowles Mauve’. This low maintenance perennial flowers prolifically from April until November and in addition acts like a magnet attracting pollinators into your garden.
These gorgeous combinations give way to Aquilegia, foxglove and hesperis matronalis (sweet rocket) before Dahlia, Cleome and Salvias take us through to late summer when those warm summer evenings are filled with the scent of Phlox and Nicotiana Sylvestris.
Autumn gives way to winter when those evergreens you have added to your border come into their own. Consider adding a Cornus sanguinea ‘Midwinter Fire’ to add some fiery winter colour when everything else looks drab. With its red/orange-coloured stems this shrub will add vibrancy to your border during those cold dark months, under-plant with some dwarf daffodils and you are ready to start your springtime display all over again!
If you would like to make some changes to your garden borders or are considering a completely new garden design, then give me a call on 0789 9710168 or visit my website at www.sandhurstgardendesign.co.uk.