On Saturday 25 May 2019 our brand new museum and restored historic rooms open for the first time! Find out more

Back to News

The knot garden planting combinations

by Lucy Hart, head gardener

The knot garden was planted two years ago exactly and the beds are now nice and full.  The plants are also much taller and our brush wood staking is doing a wonderful job of secretly keeping the plants upright now the vegetation has grown through the woven temporary baskets.

The planting was chosen specifically to have a long succession of flowers from March to October.  At this time of year our Iris have given us a beautiful display of flags and now other delights are coming in to take the spotlight.  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.

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 ‘Lodden Royalist’ – a popular plant at Chelsea Flower show this 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.

Come and see for yourself it will be very different in a couple of weeks’ time.

four plant varieties in the knot garden