While you all know that I love the ‘bones’ of the Gardens, the trees and interesting shrubs which make a garden beautiful even when naked, there is no denying the irresistible charm of perennials and annuals. They are the instant celebrities (relatively speaking) of any garden, and captivate your attention.
Throughout the summer they have grown and promised a glorious display and now, thanks to the combination of light, heat, water and nutrition they flaunt their bounty of brilliant colors. Perennials do it more sporadically but the displays are no less spectacular.
What starts out like this….
Ends up looking like this…. at least for a few weeks, or even days, as each perennial is blooming on its own schedule, for about 3 weeks. That’s the beauty of a well designed herbaceous border, it’s an ever-changing palate from April to October (or even later).
Annuals come in all shapes and sizes and can be used in innovative ways. The pedestal of this 21st century 3D carpet bed (the living urn), is a striking contrast of shapes and colors with nary a flower in sight.
Perennials also come in interesting shapes and often are as attractive outside its flowering period, as during it.
The beautiful clear light and cooler winds we are enjoying aren’t the only portent of an ebbing summer. Echinacea is also one of those flowers which hold interest even when their petals are gone. I love pressing my fingers into their rigid spiky orange seed.
The magic of sunlight. Not only is it a source of life for the plant ,but it also brings it to life in interesting ways.
Most of the plants in the Mediterranean border by the main gates are not hardy to us so would be used as annuals (or get overwintered in the greenhouses).
The last of the Irises.
Blousie begonias are one of my personal favorite as I have a lot of shade in my garden. Many people find them old-fashioned but with the bright tangerine ones I have, I find them totally contemporary.
The Concert series continue and on August 28 the Gardens will be hosting Dahlia Day (rain date – 29th). Dahlia experts will be on hand to share their knowledge and Neville MacKay will be entertaining and doing his flower magic.
I will be on hiatus for the next two weeks brushing up on my Spanish with my visiting Mallorquín friends, and touring this beautiful province. Hasta pronto!
All copy and images copyright © Serena Graham-Dwyer, 2013. If you wish to use any part or whole of an image, in any manner, please contact us.