After the last Border Patrol in August I resolved to do something about Border 6, the smallest border in the back garden. It is just 2 feet deep and perhaps 5 feet long.
It had become overrun by a giant solidago, or goldenrod. This plant looked impressive for a while, and the bees certainly appreciated it, but it’s a thug and could become a problem if I left it be. I’ve consigned it to the council green bin.
Once I had removed that, there didn’t seem much point to the remaining planting, so I dug nearly all of it out.
Lavender, lychnis coronaria, a limp eryngium, all came out, as did a few weeds. I left a few bedraggled helenium in place – they had been blocked out by the solidago, I hope they’ll do better now with a bit of light, and they should be fine next year.
I mulched with a thick layer of garden compost and used some more in each planting hole. I had a half-hearted attempt to place the plants whilst still in their pots.
My weapon of choice for planting out is my fence-post hole digger, which makes very short work of a good sized planting hole. I recently took an inventory of plants waiting for space to plant out, so I had plenty to choose from. From left to right, here’s what I eventually put in the ground.
Three heuchera ‘Palace purple’. As I was planting the third it occurred to me to see if I could divide. I could! I planted one of three divisions and potted up the other two for another time.
Penstemon ‘patio wine’ went in next, at the back. It’s done flowering now, more or less, but should come back strong next year. I have cuttings, just in case.
Gaura ‘passionate pink’, in front of the penstemon A new plant to me, looking forward to this doing its thing for months next summer. It is still flowering a little now, and I have cuttings brewing in the greenhouse.
Geum ‘totally tangerine’ was next, with Echinacea ‘Chunky purple’ in front of that. I have cuttings of the geum too – do you detect a pattern?
I added a few spare helenium to the existing clump to bulk it out a bit, then a tiarella ‘pink skyrocket’. This is not a plant I’ve grown before, so I’m looking forward to seeing it come on.
I did this planting in a rush, in between heavy showers and making chutney, so have not put a great deal (any!) of thought into the planting. I’m just going to see if it works, I can always move things around if needed. I’ve left a little space at the front to allow for growth and potentially some annuals in the spring. I may also expand this border, although that would involve moving the washing line. Careful stakeholder management required.
For now, at least I won’t have to look at that solidago when it’s time to do the September Border Patrol in a couple of weeks.
I’ll be back soon, with more propagating banter.