I decided the Cherry border needed lots of work after a couple of years in the house once I had begun to further understand the nuances of the garden and where light does and does not reach.
The border was dark and lifeless. Only a few bulbs and forget-me-nots provided any colour. Originally there were a few random shrubs in the area, all of which would grow too large. I have no photos of it when we first moved in, but the very first thing I ripped out of the garden was a Laurel which was in the Cherry border. I’ve always hated Laurel and knew before we even bought the house that it would be gone. I then left the Photinia for a few years as it did at least provide some colour, however it cast far more shade and has no attraction to wildlife.
It was then decided that the Photinia had to go, and that I would move the Clematis to a new site as it was desperate for more light. In October of 2010, the Photinia was removed and replaced with Ferns, Geraniums, lots of spring bulbs and Pulmonaria ‘Sissinghurst White’.
Spring of 2011 saw the border off to a fantastic start with lots of life, lots of green and plenty of blooms.
Moving through 2011 it becomes apparent that there’s a lack of late season interest. This is something I need to work on but I’m insure what exactly I could use in a dry shade area which due to the removal of the summer house now gets full sun during the summer and so therefore is very hot and dry until around 2pm. I’ve discovered Tiarella and Goat’s Beard do not like these conditions, so a new plan is needed.
Thanks to the Ferns, there is however still plenty of interest over Autumn and into Winter, however after the snows of 2010, I know that the ferns would usually be killed off by the cold so the interest would not necessarily be there in years to come. Winter of 2011 has been a strange year, nothing has died back at all so these photos are perhaps a little misleading.
Throughout 2011 many new plants have been added such as Hellebores, Foxgloves, Bleeding Hearts, Primula Vulgaris and Bugle. I am doubtful that Autumn plants such as Asters and Chrysanthemum will survive this area, but it could be worth a try. I may also try some grasses and Verbena as the first year I moved in I had Verbena Bonariensis here and it did very well, however it did lean a lot in its attempt to find light; now the border has more light I think it would do well planted towards the back.
I’ve also added a Honeysuckle to climb along the fence and cover the horrible red staining; hopefully it will grow well and quickly shoot up (previous experience of Honeysuckle in this house has been poor)
Plant list currently in the border:
Geranium Phaeum x3
Male Scaled Fern
Painted Lady Fern
Narcissus Tete a Tete,
Native English Bluebells
Pulmonaria ‘Sissinghurst White’ x3
Herb Robert x2