Barnes Manor

This started as a wild and unkept site. The bed was overrun with ground elder and bind weed which I find to be the worst types of weed known to existence. Both spreading from rhizomes an under-ground matrix that will allow them to pop up in every unwanted place and can be a real pain to get rid of. Before we started planting up this site, we arrived and dosed the site with roundup, half and half concentrate mixed with washing up liquid for it to attach to the foliage in hope it would work its way through its roots.

A few weeks later we arrived and forked over and weeded the bed clear and had a blank canvas. The climbers on the wall pruned back hard to allow them to start again and be cleanly trained against the wall. Normally I would try to retain shrubs and plants as I believe in giving everything a chance, however everything was past its sell by date and starting from scratch was the best option.

The free draining, dry and bland soil here was another stumbling block. Due to its moisture retention and lack on nutrients adding organic matter was essential plus careful choice of planting to minimise the risk of losing plants in drought conditions.

The bones of the bed were created using shrubs such as Hebe, Buddleja, Fuchsia, Choisia, Pieries and Viburnum. Plants I find all to be good in all soils. Smaller shrubs such as Euronomus and Lavenders which I like to use as gap filling shrubs that provide interest while not getting too big. Near the back I was quite daring and added a few Hydrangea arboresens these add height to the back of the border and continue the year round interest of flowers, I positioned these at this part of the bed as it was close to the tap so it is fairly easy for the client to throw a watering can over it when necessary. On the main house the roses add splashes of hot reds, fortunately from my own experience working here while I cannot name this variety, I know that they are repeat flowering all through summer from my years of pruning them. The front of the beds is full of herbaceous planting, such as Rudbeckia, leucanthemum, heuchera and Geranium.

Apart from deadheading, the plants will only need the one major cutback each year and the occasional watering. The hope to reduce the weeding would be the herbaceous planting would spread throughout and fill out leaving very little bare soil.

Are you interested in getting something like the above?

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