The City Garden underway again

It has been so busy – a photography exhibition in Suffolk and another in Brittany, followed by the ongoing project in Brittany, photographing the Parish Closes – that I haven’t paid enough attention to the City Garden. I did some work in March, which was good, but more remains to be done if I want to sit back and enjoy it in the evenings – it would be good to have warm evenings in which to enjoy the garden too!

The easiest part has always been the border along the flint wall. It is quite cool, shaded, and generally stays damp and I finally decided on mass planting to keep it simple – Japanese Anemones. This year the Japanese Anemones are propped up with metal supports which seem to be much more secure that canes and string. However, they are not thriving like their forebears in The Fortnight Garden – I think I need to feed, and then manure in the autumn. I have replanted bergenias damaged by the foxes and added a few more aquilegias, but the latter are not really thriving either – perhaps they need more sunlight? I would like a spot or two of colour but there just isn’t any space and so I have to make do with Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’ which is doing well, even in the poor soil under the birch tree. Perhaps I should move the aquilegias and add more bergenias – there is no soil under the tree and at least their leaves will be a different shape, and shine. I also have to remember that any plant has to be slug resistant!

Anemones in the border along the flint wall, with Brunnera ‘Jack Frost’
Bergenia Admiral
Bergenia Admiral

The border along the fence and under the damson tree has given me big problems but I think I am starting to find solutions. The Anamanthele are growing strongly now and starting to seed and I have dug out a bunch of seedlings which are destined for the back wall in the autumn. And I resisted removing the Acanthus despite the fact that it is decimated by the snails every year – they even ignore the snail pellets. I then decided that I would try hydrangeas and they seem to be doing ok so far – I started with cuttings so growth, although still modest, is fine. And inbetween, in the sunny patches, I have Deschampsia Cespitosa and Pennisetum. A patch of black grass, Othiopogon, is not very impressive and neither are some Carex Testacea. The garden is small and everything is ‘on show’ so there is no room for plants which don’t grow!  Also in this bed I have low-growing Euphorbia, Sedums, and Geranium Macrorrhizum ‘Spessart’ with some GeraniumMayflower’ and the perennial wallflower ‘E A Bowles’. I think that maybe I should just leave it alone now and let everything grow!

The border along the fence and under the damson tree

In the very dry and sunny patch against the patio wall I have grasses: Miscanthus ‘kleine Silberspinne’, Miscanthus ‘Morning Light’, Gardener’s Garters, Hakonechloa ‘Aurea’, Deschampsia Cespitosa, and Pennisetum. Inbetween the grasses are Verbena Bonariensis and low-growing Geranium ‘Spessart’. 

Deschampsia Cespitosa

Next to this patch the four Molinia Transparent are growing strongly – they were massacred by the foxes last year and I have my fingers crossed for this year. The sedums are getting the Chelsea Chop and the alchemilla and geraniums are just – cheerful!

The hot and sunny patch

And the patio bed is slowly recovering from the foxes.

The patio bed

Which just leaves the very difficult border along the high back wall.

The garden along the back wall

Apart from feeding and deadheading I think I should leave it alone now to grow and just report on progress!


    • Thank you Anne! I feel I am gradually finding the best plants for the various spaces. I have found it a very difficult garden, and as the Liquidambar grows and the Laurel expands at an alarming rate the garden becomes ever more shady so I am changing the planting all the time.

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