Saturday, 2 June 2012

Ordered Chaos?

Usually, by the beginning of June, the front garden would be in a horticultural no-man's land: weeds would be rigorously pulled (along with one or two plants put in the previous Autumn, and forgotten about...); the herbaceous perennials hacked back with a Chelsea short, back & sides; and the dwarf lilac (Syringa pubescens subsp. microphylla 'Superba' AGM) shaking itself with shock after a swift prune to remove the dead flowerheads & regain its' rounded pillow shape. It usually takes a couple of weeks for the plants to forgive me & grow on, but they reward me with a longer flowering season deep into the Autumn.

This year, because of the relentless wet Spring, this hasn't happened. Everything is in bloom a touch later than usual, and the initial weeding rout hasn't happened. We have just had a fantastic 10 days of sun & heat leading up to the Diamond Jubilee weekend, and there has been a riot. Neighbours & passers-by have commented on the lush fullness of the planting, and the surprising textural combinations that have sprung up. I am relishing the contrast between a red corkscrew hazel (Corylus avellana contorta 'Red Majestic' and a white masterwort (Astrantia major - no idea which, but it has lime green edging). Another fabulous accident is Chocolate Mint (Mentha piperita) that I had forgotten was in a pot with a coastal daisy (Erigeron karvinskianus), but the finest planting combinations are proving problematic.

Another square metal pot is crammed full of mints, and is looking stunning combined with a small flowered pink cranesbill. Unfortunately, the cranesbill is herb Robert - Geranium robertianum,and I am in two minds whether to treat it as a weed, as I normally do.

My final conflict, which I will have to resolve in spite of the visual impact, is between a blue iris (Iris sibirica), Geranium robertianum, Anemone huphensis 'Honorine Jobert' (not flowering yet), and Aegopodium podagraria... Ground Elder. The celebrations for the Queen may have to be deferred until this interloper is eradicated.

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