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In the garden this month

May 2017

This month the knot garden and other flower borders continue to develop and produce blooms. The knot garden planting scheme we have today was planted five years ago exactly.  The planting was chosen specifically to have a long succession of flowers from March to October.  Plants with the RHS award of Garden Merit (AGM) were purposely chosen where possible.  In May, our Iris will take the spotlight and start to give us a beautiful display of flags and then other delights will follow.  The planting colour scheme is red, blue and yellow of varying shades.  These are the colours of Bishop Blomfield’s Coat of Arms, who originally designed and planted the knot garden in the 1830s.  Blomfield was a keen horticulturist and so using garden worthy plants is in keeping with the spirit of him.   Although these primary colours together may sound a bit outrageous, the plants have grown together and resulted in some beautiful combinations.  The striking blue of the Geranium ‘Brookside’ against the feathered bright light yellow foliage of the Filipendula ulmaria ‘Aurea’ is a fantastic partnership.  The Anchusa azurea ‘Loddon Royalist’ – a popular plant at Chelsea Flower show one year –  growing with Geum ’Mrs J. Bradshaw’  gives a bold but flattering combination.  Imperata cylindrica ‘Rubra’ and Sedum telephium (Atropurpureum Group) ‘Purple Emperor’ both chosen for their red colours are never more contrasting.  The Penstemon ‘Andenken an Friedrich Hahn’ Syn P.  ‘Garnet’ deep crimson red blooms are earlier than in previous years and having a wonderful delicate interaction with its light lemon airy neighbour Scabiosa columbaria subsp. ochroleuca.

Having lifted and divided the beds last autumn we have lots of spare plants from the knot garden for sale at the moment including irises and ornamental grasses. We have lots of tomato and strawberry plants for sale and a bit later will have more cut flower, herbs, vegetable plants and perennials.  All proceeds go towards further Fulham Palace garden projects.

Visitors should see the vegetable garden fill out this month.  We have annuals and vegetables to plant out – we are just waiting for the night time temperatures to become stable to avoid any risk of cold weather damage, plus allowing time to harden things off.

We have now sown the flower meadow that looks out to Bishop’s Park and this will have germinated and be establishing well over the next month.

The woodland area has transformed and is now very lush and green, some peaceful respite from the May sun.

The new apple arch metal structure and the widening of the central cross paths are complete.  Home grafted and grown apple trees will be planted this coming autumn/winter. Thank you to WREF for funding the project.


Lucy Hart
Head Gardener


In the garden this month
In the garden this month
In the garden this month
In the garden this month
Designed at Richard P Chapman Design Associates

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