136. Flower power

by | May 17, 2017 | Gardening bore | 0 comments

I never thought I’d get into flowers. Not because I thought flowers were lame or anything – I just couldn’t imagine expending precious gardening time and energy on things I couldn’t stuff in my mouth. But, little by little, flowers have drawn me in.

We started our flower journey a few years ago by making a couple of small borders, mainly to reduce the amount of grass that we had to cut (who am I kidding? I’ve never cut the grass in my life), but also to help draw in more wildlife. Then two years ago we extended one of those borders so it was double its original size. And last year we added a monster third border.

The result of creating a new border each year was that all of them were a little bit – how shall I put it? – shit. We were always popping off to make a new border instead of properly finishing the previous one off. We had loads of big gaps with bare earth (or weeds), things planted in the wrong place (too-tall plants shading out smaller ones behind, for example), and far, far too much purple (definitely not my favourite colour).

Like actual grownups, and not the gardening equivalent of toddlers wanting a shiny new toy, we had to promise ourselves that we wouldn’t dig up any more grass to make new borders until we’d improved the ones we already had. So we had a good shuffle around last autumn, bought a load of new allium and gladioli bulbs to fill up some gaps, and propagated from those plants that we already liked and knew worked really well in our garden (snapdragons, dahlias, peonies, aquilegias, and so on). This was in stark contrast to my usual scattergun approach to gardening, which is to try 50 new things simultaneously and do 48 of them pretty badly.

Anyway, these photos show where we’re at so far in our flower journey. It’s still not perfect – there are still more things to shuffle around, there are still a few gaps here and there, and there’s STILL way too much frigging purple – but we’re getting there. And we’re getting a little bit hooked too…

 
Still a few bare patches, but we’re getting there…

 

View through the flowers to the summer kitchen.

 

We inherited two of these beautiful peonies when we moved in. After lots of dividing,
we’ve now got about 12 of them. We probably won’t stop there…

 

 
I’ll be saving seed from this unusual two-colour aquilegia later this year. I love it!
 
Couldn’t resist a handsome cat pic. Here’s Iggy among the rhubarb, nigella and comfrey.

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