The Kitchen Borders

Verbana boneriensis and Aster x frikartii Monch

So…. after the mother of all hiatuses, I’m back!

2016 has been full of distractions which have been both exciting and exhausting for us, but have also meant that certain things have had to give: the blog being one of them. Against a backdrop of slowly progressing work on the house, it has been a really big year at school for my eldest and I’ve been trying to carve out as much time as possible to tend to the garden and mull over various garden-related plans. Oh, and there *may* have been a 40th birthday party in the mix too.

One of the outdoor projects was an overhaul of the flower beds that flank the entrances to the kitchen garden. When these were first created a few years ago, I planted step-over apples and pears along the entire length to create height and structure, underplanting with lavender and tulips. The espaliers and bulbs thrived, but sadly the lavender fared less well thanks to the wet winters of late.

Kitchen Borders

We therefore turned to Rebecca Smith again and asked her to redesign the planting. The brief was relatively …er… brief as we were simply looking to create year-round interest that complemented the garden as a whole, whilst also ensuring that the step-overs were still on show when in blossom.

Aster x frikartii Monch, Knautia macedonica & Sisyrinchium striatum

The end result is a softly tumbling perennial border in shades of pink, plum, blue and pale yellow. The classics are all here (think Alchemilla mollis, Nepeta, Asters, Aquilegia and Verbena bonariensis) whilst seasonal interest and height is provided by Echinops ‘Taplow Blue’, Centaurea ‘Jordy’, Sisyrinchium striatumPaeonia ‘Sarah Bernhardt’ and P. ‘Bowl of Beauty.

Aster x frikartii Monch

Sisyrinchium striatum

Knautia macedonica

The borders have established incredibly well and look as though they’ve been here forever which makes me very happy indeed. All that’s left to do now is replant the tulip bulbs that were lifted before the redesign, namely the velvety ‘Queen of the Night’ and a white one (whose name I forget). I think I might add a pink one too, to tie in with the apple blossom. Something like ‘China Town’ or ‘Flaming Spring Green’ would be perfect.

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