The Side Border…

Back at the end of August I decided to stop wasting time and get our small side border sorted out.  It has always been rather neglected.  In the past I have favoured hardy annuals as the plants of choice, with a few perennials thrown in for structure but it’s just not working out, the border is so messy, reaching an all time low this summer.

As well as the overgrown lawn, and the geranium that is threatening to take over the bed, there is little the say.  The pot in the background is a blueberry bush that lives over a sewer manhole as I quite like the flowers and autumn leaf colour and something needs to go on there.  Along the back fence is a rather lovely orange honeysuckle, which sadly has no perfume but that is easily made up for by the wonderful flowers.

There is a rather beautiful tree peony, that produces lovely pink blooms in June (as above), a rose attempting to survive but still very small, a medlar tree, which I LOVE, some alchemilla mollis/lady’s mantle, dotted around the front and a couple of euphorbias that give a nice acid green all year around but there wasn’t a lot else worth saving.  Any bulbs appear to have been eaten over recent years (we have a lot of garden ‘pests’ and bulbs have become a favourite, I have noticed, I often see the little holes where they have been dung up!).

I saved many of the poppy seed heads and have sown them over our fence, along the drive side, to self seed away next year.

This is how things were looking by the end of August, after a harsh dig over.  I mainly had to remove lots of pathetic self seeded hardy annual’s such as briza grass, which I love but it seeds EVERYWHERE so I’ve decided to stop growing it here, tagetes/marigolds and nigella hispanica/love-in-a-mist both of which I like for cut flowers, so I’ll have to add them back to the cutting bed lists next year.

I can see a few new things already added by the time I took the photos, but here’s the full list:

bearded iris
‘Iris Black Swan’

3 x Lenten rose hellebore
‘Helleborus × hybridus Harvington – picotee, double chocolate, double red’

granny’s bonnet
‘Aquilegia vulgaris var. stellata Ruby Port’

‘Lupinus The Page (Band of Nobles Series)’

round-headed leek
‘Allium sphaerocephalon ’

‘Sanguisorba Tanna’

‘Verbena rigida ’

dutch iris
‘Iris Eye of the Tiger’

‘Anemone hupehensis var. japonica Pamina’

‘Astrantia major Venice’

All the above were bought from Crocus, and mostly on offer as plant buying is an expensive business and one I don’t do very often, preferring to raise plants from seed myself.  On arrival the verbena was giving a lovely show.

I also ordered some bulbs from Sara Raven:

Muscari ‘Golden Fragrance’

Allium ‘Purple Sensation’

and some mixed dark tulips.


Pretty much everything I have picked is from the pink/red/purple range and includes lots of my favourite dark reds.  I do try to plan things out.  I create sheets with the plants, their eventual heights and details so I can figure where best to put them and when they will flower and to have a record of what I’ve planted.  I find having an image, even for plants I know well, helps me a lot.

I hope to have a this one border colourful and full for next year.  I just have to be really good at rabbit proofing it in the next few days or it won’t stand a chance over winter and spring.

It’ll be interesting to see how it all turns out 🙂





9 thoughts on “The Side Border…

  1. It looks very good and I too can’t wait to see the spring photos that you will post! On a side note I’ve had the best salad year which was solely inspired by your blog. Thanks! -Lillian

    • Oh that’s great – about the salad. I intend to return to neat rows of salad again next year after a few years of throwing mixed seed into any space, it gets results but isn’t as ‘pretty’. Sadly I need to sort our rabbit problem out before I can get good salad leaves again 😦 Bethx

  2. How satisfying. It looks so different already, and that’s a great plant list! We have Pamina, and I love its deep pink flowers. The Scabious Fire King is beautiful too, tall but fairly transparent with those delicious crimson flowers. Lovely tulips too. I’ve been contempating Havran and Ronaldo, settled for Jan Reus this year though…

    • It does doesn’t it! I was just so sick of the ‘mess’ I’m not one for mass self seeding, I’ve discovered, at least not in this garden, I prefer it slightly more ordered. I have the scabious ‘fire king’ in my cutting patch so it’s moving from there, I do love it. I grow ‘jan reus’ in my cutting patch and it’s a fantastic tulip, I do favour dark colours. I also grow ‘black parrot’ which is rather fantastic, hence my adding more to the border. Bethx

  3. Pingback: Still here… « Rock Cottage Year

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