Our biggest challenge

The perennial border has been our biggest challenge, with the goal of achieving a colourful show of perennials and other plants such as shrubs, grasses and succulents from early Spring until late May. We have concentrated on plants which are relatively low maintenance and need minimal water as we have to ration the water through the Summer until we have an idea of what rain Autumn will bring.

The plants must be able to withstand a range of temperatures from -5°C and up to 42°C with a particular ability to withstand periods of dryness during the Summer. From early Spring until late Autumn this garden puts on a magnificent colourful display with grasses, succulents and repeat flowering perennials such as Salvia nemorosa, Shasta daisies and penstemon. Planted within the border are a number of structural plants including Phormium “Anna Red”, Cotinus coggygria purpureus and the dark leafed Myrtus “Black Stallion”. A favourite plant is Beschorneria yuccoides which produces three metre long pink stems with bell shaped bunches of pink and blue flowers in Spring as it matures.

A path winds through the area rather than in a straight line and from each end of the border, a Yucca filamentosa, with beautiful cream flower stalks in Summer, can be seen in the centre of the path.  The shrubs and small trees provide a consistent structure to the garden while the perennials bulbs and grasses demonstrate their abilities across the seasons. Each season has its own personality with the combinations of colour and form changing by the week. Winter is the time we re-assess, move, divide and create new plantings to ensure the border stays healthy and refreshed for the next season.