My favourite thing in gardening is finding unexpected treasures -or plants I’ve forgotten about. I planted this Eucomis bicolor (pineapple lily) years ago. Each autumn it’s always a surprise- pushing up through an umbrella of geranium leaves. What plants have you “found” that have delighted you?
This cultivar has been around for over 100 years. It grows well, with plenty of flowers, but needs lots of sunshine to provide a strong colour. My plant was at the shady end of the greenhouse, which is why it is a greenish-pink. But I love the delicate folds and pink-tipped flowers. They are perfect for flower arranging, lasting a week in water. It’s one of my favourites. This plant came from my Mum, but I can highly recommend Fibrex Nursery -holders of the national collection of pelargoniums- at Stratford, Warwickshire. Their mail order service is first class. I can spend many happy hours gazing at their gorgeous catalogue. http://www.fibrex.co.uk and on Twitter @FibrexNurseries
Our garden was a field of wheat when we bought the house. We had to wait until the autumn harvest. Then the farmer ploughed our plot and we threw around handfuls of grass seed with wild flowers mixed in. We planted 250 sapling trees. Oak, ash, hornbeam, willow. And we waited. We planted a boundary hedge of hawthorn, crabapple and rowan for the birds. Hazel for coppicing.
Violets in a race against time to flower and set seed before cow parsley and campions tower over them. The violets have escaped from the woodland and are thriving in the lawn. For weeks in April and May, the lawn is studded with sweet-scented violets. We set the mower blades high, and skim over them.
We planted closely, so each tree and shrub shelters its neighbour. This is a good way to create a “woodland” feel in a short space of time. We coppice the hazel and use the twigs for growing climbing beans and sweet peas. There’s always plenty of kindling for winter fires.
Wild anemones stream out along the woodland floor, searching for sunlight. I planted a few at one end of the wild garden. The anemones moved to where they were happiest. I often find that plants pop up in unexpected places. Sometimes they move from one side of the garden to the other. Nature seems to know best.
We planted a bank of cherry trees- enough for us, and to share with the birds. There’s always enough for everyone.
Thanks for reading. Please stop by again to see the garden through the seasons. It’s a peaceful haven for wildlife and humans. I don’t mind sharing.