After a little shopping, time for some concentrated planning…

A visit to a couple of nurseries today, including the Wyevale offers at Syon Park and Osterley and some lovely finds – with a promise to return for more, particularly at Syon Park where there is a large and varied seasonal discount section including shrubs, herbaceous and a myriad climbers. Quite happy too, brandishing my Gardening Club card and cashing in the vouchers they kindly sent me recently. I need plants, you see, for several projects – the roses for the Kew garden bed I cleared and cleaned up last week – some bulbs and bedding for elsewhere in that Mediterranean inspired garden – the remainder for Roehampton

My plans for this Roehampton garden – and in particular the rather disappointing long border – are to take pretty much everything out, save for the large specimens (Olive, fig, roses, Cotinus, Pittosporum tobira) and then rotivate the rather compacted stony ground and then enrich it with the contents of two very generous compost bins – before splitting as necessary and replanting the perennial plants back into the border – with new friends and combinations to play with. It has never achieved what the opposite, semi-circular bed, has done in the same time frame so drastic measures are called for. Two days, I anticipate, possibly three with the to-ing and fro-ing that is likely to be needed.

In the same garden, a new bed has been opened up by taking down several very large and exceptionally tall conifers, so I have space to conjure with there too, though the ground will take a lot of improving after their long sojourn with the goodness-sapping conifers.

DSCF8108The sky to the left of this picture is a new phenomenon, where until recently, it was dark and brooding, shaggy and light-depriving conifer – taller even than the adjacent trees, forming the boundary to Richmond Park

In my shopping basket therefore, for this and other projects….

Eight Iceberg shrub roses, one Magnolia stellata Leonard Messel, three Acanthus Neptune’s Gold, one Geranium Rozanne, One Sanquisorba Tanna, eight large assorted colonies of Sempervivums, nine pots of Wallflower seedlings Ivory White Bedder, four trays of violas – Marina, Purple and Beaconsfield, one Pathenocissus quinquefolia, a couple of Liriope muscari Moneymaker, five scarlet Hemerocallis Crimson Pirate, four Astrantia Ruby Star, one Brunnera Jack Frost, three Acanthus spinosus, one hundred (more) Allium Purple Sensation bulbs (I’ve several hundred tulip and allium bulbs coming from Peter Nyssen on order already), seven hundred and sixty litres of chipped bark and a couple of hundred litres of multipurpose compost. Trees I need and I saw a lovely mature Magnolia grandiflora at another nursery….

I think that’s everything – I already have to hand a couple of Berberis Helmond Pillar, a Hydrangea Annabelle, a goodly Hamamelis and an Edgwortha chysantha. And a few other roses – Bengal Beauty, Lady Emma Hamilton. A Cercidiphylum Rotfuchs and an Acer griseum, oh – and a Daphne aureomarginata though I think I’ll be keeping that one!

I’ll be plant hunting even more of course, for permanent shrubbery as well as more perennially satisfying herbaceous and climbing fireworks – several more trips I think – but first some careful thinking and a little border design and planning.

I think I should get out Christopher Lloyd’s book on Succession Planting for a quiet read before I make any more decisions!

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