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In the garden this month

May 2018

This month, the Knot Garden and other flower borders really come to life and start to bloom.  The Knot Garden planting scheme we have today was planted 6 years ago exactly.  The planting was chosen specifically to have a long succession of flowers from March to October and 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.    Imperata cylindrica ‘Rubra’ and Sedum telephium Atropurpureum Group ‘Purple Emperor’ both chosen for their red colours are never more contrasting.  The Penstemon ‘Andenken and Friedrich Hahn’ Syn P.  ‘Garnet’ deep crimson red blooms that come a bit later have a wonderful delicate interaction with its light lemon airy neighbour Scabiosa columbaria subsp. Ochroleuca.

This May, we finally get to see our Echium pininana that we grew from seed in 2016 finally flower.  We have nurtured them over the last two years protecting them from very cold weather.  The knot garden reached to temperature down to -5.5 degrees and yet with a fleece protection most of them survived.  Having lifted and divided the beds two autumns ago the plants should be nicely established and be at their peak this year.  This month will not be too late to see the Wisteria as a beautiful backdrop to the knot garden.  With the colder spring, it is slightly later than last year but of course still very beautiful.

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. A nice selection of plants and produce on the “Market Barrow “are becoming increasingly available with some fantastic varieties of tomato plants and annuals.

Lucy Hart

Head Gardener

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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