The shade border

17 Jun

This is the most established part of the garden. It takes up a strip on the south side (grander than it sounds, no?), in the dappled shade of our neighbour’s old apple tree. I say it’s established, but there’s little in the way of evergreens, just a stand of pseudosasa japonica and a standard trochodendron aralioides. Much of the rest of the border is evergreen too, but it’s a moot point as many are tender, so they spend the off-season in the greenhouse, leaving this border’s winter bones looking pretty bare.

It takes until this time of year for it to get the immersive feel that I love about it. Of course when you stick a small person in there, such as my eldest, everything looks so much bigger.

These Howea forsteriana always go out there come June. Though I have to chop the browned leaves off each year and their progress is static at best, they are worth it. Surely these palms are among the most beautiful of foliage plants (brown bits notwithstanding) despite putting up with the abuse of being made to grow outside, even if it is only for summer. They might not get the warmth they would get in their more usual habitat of airport lounge or dentist’s waiting room but at least they look more in character with me.

I’ll be leaving these Japanese hardy bananas Musa basjoo outside this winter. Something has got to give as there’s not the room in the greenhouse. I’m fully expecting to lose all the top growth but they WILL grow back. The trouble I had this spring was that they were virtually pushing the roof off the greenhouse, yet as soon as I put them outside they started going into reverse.

The first brugmansia flowers of the year. Ok, so one’s not out yet, one’s gone over and the other’s been half eaten. But still. If I could only keep one plant, this would be it. See them looking better in the photo at the top of my home page.

A few more images:


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