This is my monthly look at the borders as a whole. My aim is to record progress, see what is working, what’s not, what changes might I need (or like) to make. Let’s take a spin.

Rear Garden

First the overhead shot, taken by Apollo 11 in 1969 using their temporal dilation camera.

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The Patio Border – I am still super happy with this border. I wouldn’t change a thing, except perhaps to speed up the growth of the asters and ricinus which are taking their time to fill the gap at the back. The only problem with this border is that I am now looking at my other borders and think, in comparison, they are not up to scratch.

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The Sunny Border – the cotinus is behaving weirdly this year. It was very slow to put out new growth, and when it did has done it variably. Some stems are very long, some very short. If it doesn’t buck up its ideas I may take it out. The rest of the border, not too bad. The dahlias are doing their thing, or at least some of them are, in spite of slug damage. I used to have a lot of monarda in this border, I don’t know where it has disappeared to. I should get some more.

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The Wisteria Border, incorporating the Eye of Sauron. Hmmmm. The original wisteria border now looks a bit bedraggled. I have removed most of the annual poppies, and also some ugly salvia. It is a bit tired, with lots of gaps. I’m not happy with how it looks now, and I don’t have any good size plants to plug the gaps. I have stuffed some cosmos in there but the slugs are having a field day. I will let it play out this year, but I am minded to have a re-think, perhaps removing everything but the small shrubs. Only plants that I like will go back in. This worked very well last year with the Patio Border – I cleared it out and replanted. It would also give me an excellent excuse to go crazy in the end of season sale.  The newer areas of border on the lawn side of the Eye are better, fairly pleased with those.

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The Lilac Border. The lilac is having a little second flush. This is another border that could do with a re-think. In a half-hearted attempt to deal with it I bought some plants. A yarrow and a coreopsis have gone in, which has added some colour, but the border is still patchy. Very much a work in progress.

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The Shady Border. Looking a bit bare with the foxgloves gone. I have planted more, but I wonder if I need to sow some more soon to ensure I get tall plants (the ones I’ve planted are shorter varieties). The dogwood is in cahoots with the cotinus, being very slow to re-grow following the prune, and uneven too. Strange. I have failed to prune the weigela, I must get around to it. I continue to tinker with the underplanting. Geraniums are excellent fillers, I have a few, but they have never flowered. I wonder if it is too shady for them. Perhaps I should move them and find out.

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The Hibiscus Border. This one is looking quite nice but I think can be improved. The titular hibiscus is thinking about flowering, tucked behind the rudbeckia. Only thinking about it, mind. Wouldn’t want to rush things. I think I can improve this border, I’ll be on the lookout for suitable plants. I still need to find something to climb up that bit of trellis.

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Finally for the rear garden, the view from the end of the garden looking up the sunny border.

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The Side Alley

The planters on the shady side are looking quite good, the hostas are unmunched and the geraniums have recovered from their mid-season chop. The planters on the sunny side are a bit more of a mixed bag. I suspect vine weevils in one, certainly there are characteristic toothy gaps in leaves. I think I will employ nematodes next year, just in case.

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Front Garden

The aerial view first. It’s filling out well, although there is a shortage of colour, to my mind.

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The Fence Border – the roses and clematis planted along here are a mixed bag. One of the clems is a brown shrivelled wreck, I suspect wilt.  The annual climbers are beginning to gain a foothold. The mina lobata in particular are doing nicely, they are just starting to flower, but the thunbergia is still pretty low down on the fence.

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Finally, the side view from the drive. Like I said, more colour would be a good thing.

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I’ll be back in a month with another Border Patrol.

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