The front garden

1 Jul

The front garden is a small squareish shaped bed with a fairly simple theme to it – green and white. The first thoughts I had about design were to try using colour as a theme. It’s a simplistic way of putting plants together, but it works well up to a point. Up until last summer, I hadn’t put much effort into the front. It served as a dumping ground for misfits and rejects from the back garden. There was a small circular lawn (more moss and daisies than grass tbh) which I dug up and buried upside down under the topsoil, adding all the compost i’d made in the previous year along with a bulk bag of spent mushroom compost to enrich, break up and air the soil. I planted musa basjoo, variegated brugmansia, colocasia, monstera, cobaea scandens ‘Alba’ and a host of other things, all in green and white.

Most of those I have replanted this year but there is still quite a bit of soil left visible. The remainder are in the shade border at the back. But the main difference this year is that I wanted to give the front some more structure, adding a hardy evergreen or two and making the arrangement a bit less loose, more formal. It being a small area with a fairly regular shape and with a low box hedge on one side, I think it lends itself to a more formal arrangement than the back. So, to that end, i’ve planted the bottlebrush-like bamboo chusquea culeou dead centre, and bought four aralia elata, planting them symmetrically, one for each ‘quarter’ of the space.

The white-flowered astilbe is one of a handful of plants that has survived my tampering with what was in the garden when I started to take an interest in gardening. The colour is just right for the scheme.

The Zantedeschia was very slow to get going this year-

This iris, for which I don’t have a name, has enjoyed the extra rain this spring and has grown vigorously as a result –

Speaking of enjoying rain, I think i’ve got to the bottom of the gunnera’s seeming death this winter: not wet enough last year. It’s come back with a vengeance after a very slow start. This is in the back garden now –

Some other favourites of mine at the moment are hosta ‘Halcyon’ for its colour –

. . . and fern blechnum chilense for its prehistoric appearance –


2 Responses to “The front garden”

  1. Diane Elizabeth Jackson July 13, 2012 at 1:41 pm #

    I love the green and white theme in the front garden, especially the white Astilbe which is quite stunning; i am a sucker for Astilbes i have five differnet species.

    • thechthonianlife July 13, 2012 at 7:22 pm #

      Hello Di! That astilbe is the earliest perennial I have in the front so seeing it come up makes a welcome change after looking at mud all winter.

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