Violas and wallflowers in a very successful partnership. The viola is Etain, a particularly hardworking plant that will be in flower from spring through to autumn, needing little care other than regular watering and clipping back if it gets too leggy. I shall be copying this next year.
Meanwhile, some flamingo pink in the gardens – Toona sinensis- one specimen to be found each at the top and bottom of Battleston Hill and visible from a good distance. Not pink blossom, just the remarkable leaves.
- A deciduous, often multi-stemmed tree, which makes a fine specimen in a sunny garden. In spring, the big, pinnate leaves emerge a bright salmon pink and gradually change colour to creamy yellow and later rich green in summer. The clusters of greenish white, cup-shaped flowers that appear in summer seem to dangle from the ends of the branches and are loved by insects. All parts of the plant are scented and the wood is often burnt in temples in Eastern Asia to infuse them with its delicate scent. The timber is also valuable for making furniture as it is very durable and easy to work with.
- Garden care: In late spring or early summer after flowering lightly cut back any branches that spoil the symmetry of the plant and apply a generous 5-7cm (2-3in) mulch of well-rotted garden compost or manure around the base of the plant. In autumn trim back lightly any branches that obscure the display of fruit.
Lamprocapnos spectabile – formerly Dicentra spectabile
Magnolia x brooklynensis Woodsman (above and below) with flowers a mix of yellow, green and purple
Convallaria majalis (quite happy here) and the Judas Tree, Cercis Siliquastrum, blooming on bare stems, above yellow Primulas
Asarum europaeum – beautiful, kidney-shaped glossy marbled leaves. Excellent groundcover.
Aquilegia and Rhododendrons (above) and a flowering dogwood, Cornus x rutgersiensis ‘Ruth Ellen’ (below)
I really like this combination of French Lavender and Stipa tenuissima, a very successful partnership, adding bulk and volume to each display. This too I shall be copying!