August 2020: New planting beds

As I mentioned in last months post, we now have 4 new planting beds at our disposal and this month we  planted into 2 of these new spaces. For both beds we included shrubs for height and structure, as well as mid height and ground covering plants. We selected plants for their contrasting/complimentary foliage colours and textures and also thought about the addition of evergreen specimens for winter interest. We’ve ordered spring bulbs which I’ll plant into both beds in due course. For the front bed we had a go at drawing to scale which is something I haven’t done before; this was a  useful exercise to think systematically about plant choices in terms of spread, height and placement.

Here is the front bed, which we’ve edged with the same material used in the back garden:

Here’s a video of the front bed with some more explanation of our planting choices:


To echo the front garden space we’ve used the same key planting scheme in the bed which sits to the side of the house, but varied some of the cultivars used. As this bed is slightly longer than the front bed we also took the opportunity to include some additional plants such as the Ajuga, Heuchera and Hanokechloa. I’m pleased with the colours used in this bed, especially the Hosta ‘Halcyon’ which is really blue in appearance and contrasts well with the darker foliage colours used.

I divided a large Rudbeckia ‘Deamii’ in spring and planted the new clumps around the bench by the pond. The long stems mean that the flowers hang over the water and help to create a sense of seclusion when sat on the bench.

Rudbeckia ‘Deamii’ around the pond (24/08/20)


The verbena flowers on the mound have worked really well this month. Although there is plenty of scope for improvement, it’s great to see how much the mound has developed since we planted it in spring this year. We plan to work on the design of this bed to attain more definition and interest next year. We’re also planning on pruning the cornus quite hard next spring so they won’t be this tall; this should hopefully create a more compact shape as it is quite overbearing in its current form.

Tree planting (10/08/20)

We planted 3 multi-stem silver birches this month, situating 2 into the new planting bed in front of the pond, and the other at the far left side of the mixed border. We located 1 in the mixed border in order to provide the new patio area with dappled shade. When the trees are dormant in winter we’ll prune them to reveal more of the white trunks and also to remove some of the bushy growth at the bottom. We’ve done this to the other multi-stem birches and I think this really enhances their appearance.