Updated: Nov 14, 2019
I was pleased to wake up to gorgeous October sunshine today and couldn't hide my appreciation as I turned into the drive at Dryhill Farm and looked out across what seemed to be the whole of Gloucestershire. Dryhill is situated in Ullenwood, near Cheltenham, almost at the top of Crickley Hill with spectacular views out towards Gloucester and further afield to Wales.
The view from Dryhill
I was at Dryhill this morning to finish the planting outside 'Little Lodge'. I designed and planted the main scheme back in July and was there today to add a number of allium bulbs. It is always insightful to return to a garden you've worked on to see how the planting has settled. With such a hot and dry summer I was happy to see that the main long bed has fared well although still needs to fill out a bit. Weeds have caused a little havoc with some of the grasses (Stipa calamagrostis) and I wonder if perhaps I should have factored in more of the Origanum laevigatum 'Herrenhausen', but another season will give this gorgeous oregano a chance to bulk out and the whole planting a chance to settle in more. Both the Salvia nemorosa 'Caradonna' and the Achillea 'Walther Funcke' are doing well, with the Salvia still in full flower.
The four square borders in front of the large, copper plated front door are looking healthy and happy. A straightforward mix of box balls (Buxus sempervirens), pheasant's tail grass (Anemanthale lessoniana) and Geum 'Totally Tangerine' have all filled out well. The foliage of the geum adds a good bulk to the display and contrasts well with the grass and the box and will look even more stunning when it flowers next summer. It was to these borders that I added bulbs of Allium 'Purple Sensation' and A. 'Cristophii'. Two of my favourite alliums which will look gorgeous growing up from the grasses and contrasting against the bright orange of the geum not the mention the striking copper front door.
A garden is a space that is constantly under development and I find the relationship of one plant to another fascinating. The natural world is so amazing and working with plants to create beautiful combinations that complement and enhance our environment is both challenging and rewarding. I'm learning every day that my role as a garden designer is not simply to create the schemes and implement the designs but to observe and learn. Just as a garden constantly evolves and changes so do I.
3 months on - the borders today