I managed to get rid of the climbing frame. When I say get rid of, I mean kindly donated to next-door-but-one, an act of neighbourly humanity that had no benefits for me whatsoever. Ahem. This month I have taken advantage of its absence to improve the line of the borders on the right hand side. Lawn has been sacrificed for the cause and a more organic curve is the result.

The lawn is looking a bit patchy as I have treated it with 4-in-1, a once every 5 years attempt to control the weeds, clover and moss. I’ve scarified and aerated it and I have overseeded it too, so by this time next month it should be looking nice and green. You might be forgiven for asking, why bother if you’re going to dig it all up anyway!? No comment.

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The Patio Border – I mentioned last time that I had it in mind to neaten up a rather angular corner. I also mentioned a distinct possibility that I might take the opportunity to grab a bit more lawn for border space. As if I’d do that!? OK, I did that. As a result there is some newly bare soil. I am allergic to the sight of bare soil in a garden border, so I will be dealing with that by stuffing it over-full of plants. I have ordered 6’x3′ trellis to attach to the backs of those planters. I have planted one climbing rose, Lady Emma Hamilton. She will climb up the left hand trellis once it is in place. I had to remove a eupatorium to make room, you’ll see later where that has gone. I have a choice of a few (7 or 8!) other climbing roses to go up the other one, I just need to make up my mind. I have also ordered a few shrubs (think I got swindled price-wise, but one lives and learns). One of them, a cornus kousa ‘Miss Satomi’ will go in the corner, or thereabouts. I am hoping it does a good deal better there than the cotinus it replaces. They should arrive in the next day or two.

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The Sunny Border – The climbers are climbing, the roses are even flowering, or some of them are. Clematis that have previously performed poorly are finally getting their act together. I have a tonne of annual climbers, still babies in the greenhouse, that I plan to add in here to properly fill out the backdrop. If I see no fence by July then I’ll be pretty happy. After weeks of sunshine and now a few days of rain the borders are really filling out. I still see lots of opportunity to improve, and I have a lot of plants waiting in the wings. Any underperformers are hereby on notice.

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The Wisteria Border, incorporating the Eye of Sauron – The wisteria is looking very lush already, an alarming sign of vigour that I will probably struggle to control come summer time. Some shrub structure is beginning to assert itself. I planted a few small cornus mas alba cuttings a couple of years ago and they are beginning to find their feet. The eleagnus quicksilver is also gaining some height. I moved a geum ‘totally tangerine’ here from the Hibiscus border, it made way for a climbing rose, yet to be planted. It doesn’t seem to have noticed being moved.

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The Lilac Border. I’m already much happier with this. The old line is obvious from where the old planting ended. I have stuffed a few things in here, including the eupatorium I hoiked out of the Patio Border. It should get quite tall, with the clematis ‘rebecca’ behind it. The titular lilac is at full throttle, looking her best and smelling fabulous too. In the new bit of ground I have put a somewhat random collection of spare plants, some astrantia, some helenium, some platycodon. Bits and bobs. The new area is more semi-sunny than semi-shady so I should have plenty of suitable plants to fill the gaps.

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The Shady Border. Using the hose I fiddled about to get a line I was happy with then used the edger to mark out before taking the mattock to it, my weapon of choice for lawn removal. The border already looks more open and with more possibilities. Two of the three newly ordered shrubs will go in here. The first to the left of the pittoposporum/physocarpus combo, the second where the dogwood used to be, between the pittosporum and the weigela. I have bought a camellia ‘nuccios pearl’ and a viburnum tinus ‘Lisarose’. both will be happy in the shade. I’m not yet sure which I will put where. Hopefully I will get inspiration once they arrive.

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The Hibiscus Border – the only colour here was the geum ‘totally tangerine’ but it has gone now, moved to the other side of the garden to make way for a rose. I will replace that planter, it has always been on the ugly side. I just have to build the replacement. One of the many climbing roses will go up the yet to arrive trellis which I will attach to the yet to be built planter. Best get on with it! The clematis ‘jan lindmark’ I planted at the base of that little trellis has died, or is doing a very good impression of it. I think I forgot to water it in then the sunshine will have finished it off. Shame. Perhaps it will come back from the roots next spring, but I’m not holding my breath. I’ve decided that as I have too many plants, I will plant up pots on the patio, recently freed of tulips. There’s no law against perennials going in pots.

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The Front Garden – I’m so pleased with it. I often find myself out on the drive, leaning on the car, staring at it for long periods. There is plenty of growing to do yet, many plants that will reach 4 or 5 feet are still knee high at most. Like its sunny fence cousin in the back garden, this one can expect to be covered in climbers by the summer, I have plenty standing by. I’m particularly impressed with the angelicas, the one in the corner especially so. It is very statuesque, very nearly 6′ tall. The flowers aren’t out yet but they are on their way. They are biennial, I gather, and of course I didn’t sown any seed last year, so I shall be without them. I expect they will set quite a bit of seed themselves so if I am not to vigilant with the hoe I should get some back.

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The rather cheekily commandeered strip has been enlarged in a stealthy grass/weed removal operation. I need to get planting before the council decides they preferred the weeds. I add bulbs to it every year, but they are done now. I have no shortage of plants so this should not present any great difficulty.

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That’s the tour for this month, I’ll be back at the end of May for the next Border Patrol.