Summerhouse Borders

Here is an alternative type of flower arrangement.  These borders, the top two terraces down from the summerhouse have proved a headache.  On the left hand side, looking from below, it is shady, getting sunnier towards the right except the top right hand corner which is heavily shaded by an ever-increasing Holm Oak, so both dry and dark!  They were designed, before my time, as an homage to Gertrude Jekyll, mirror images running either side of the steps travelling through the spectrum.  Sounds great doesn’t it, and in an ideal world it would be.  The plan is scuppered for a few reasons the most fundamental being different growing conditions means the same plants will grow in different ways, which means no mirror image.  It always has to be a compromise, shade lovers in sun or sun lovers in shade.  I think if you are aiming to achieve symmetry then it must succeed or one side looks sickly and the other freakish.   Every year we battle to try to achieve the archetypal herbaceous border, lush, full of colour and no gaping holes.  Admittedly some of it looks OK some of the time but it will definitely be top of the list on the soon to be started “Winter Projects” list.  I have a brilliant idea – shade lovers for the shady areas and sun lovers for the sunny areas,  I think we’ve cracked it!  The moral of this tale is don’t fight nature because you won’t win for long, if at all.  Take the less stress route and work together.

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