I had a Dream…….

A few nights ago I had a dream and in my dream I was improving the planting in the gravel area round the back of the house which is, to put it mildly, a bit boring.

Gravel area at the back

My dream was all about Heucheras, because that is what I had been ordering that day to plant in the woodland, along with more ferns and hostas. Some heucheras are such bright colours, I decided that they wouldn’t look right in the natural setting of the woodland, but green/ silver/ maroon ones could be worked in easily without looking too garish.

NCCPG magazine

However, in my dream I was planting the most amazing colours in the gravel area to go with the planting that is already there. This all started with me reading an article in the little magazine that comes quarterly with my membership of Plant Heritage ( it used to be NCCPG). According to the article I was reading, the brighter colours can take more sunshine, this area gets sunshine in the afternoon for about 4 hrs.

Magazine article

The article was written by Vicky Fox who holds the National Collection of Heucheras in the UK and the photographs showing a selection were absolutely stunning. They obviously impressed me greatly, because in my dream I had all my combinations sorted out, what would go with the yellow phormium, the black ophiopogon, the silver senecio, the red flowered hydrangea etc that are already there.

Magazine article

I had to write it all down before I forgot, then I must order them all from Vicky Fox’ website, www.plantagogo.com. Her website has many more beautiful colours and textures to tempt you if you are into heucheras. While watching the TV coverage of Chelsea the other day, Rachel de Thame was looking at heucheras in the marquee and there was the Plantagogo stand with gorgeous looking plants just ready for me to order, I will give them a few days to recover from Chelsea first!

Magazine article

I just wish all the digging and improving the soil could be done while I sleep too!! Do dreams ever influence your gardening, I think this is the first time this has happened for me. Thinking further, I then decided that the planting just at the back of the house could also do with some improvement, this leads onto the gravel area at the back.

Behind scree bed

It is a north facing slope behind what the previous people had as their raised pond, we had visions of grandchildren climbing and falling in so it was turned into an alpine scree and the pond moved to the top of the garden and fenced off.

Shady side

The border is about 22metres long and 4ft wide at both ends and 10 ft wide in the centre, another crescent shaped border. We added loads and loads of grit, thinking that we could then plant mediterranean type plants but over the years the plants have died or just don’t look very happy.

Shady side

While weeding there, I found the soil is still too wet and on the shady side some plants have grown more than expected, therefore a change is needed and now there are lots of spaces to fill.

Sunny side

The other side of the scree is more open and therefore sunny, so this is where some of my new plants will fit in after I will add some leaf mould to the whole bed and the beautifully rotted down wooden bits that have been stacked in the woodland for years and that are too thick to shred and not needed for the wood burning stove.

Scree plus new plants

I will show you the finished result when it is done and will try not to dream about gardening any more or think too much about it, as it only causes more work!!

This entry was posted in News and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

34 Responses to I had a Dream…….

  1. Caro says:

    I love what you’ve done with your ex-pond … it looks so beautiful in your photos! I saw the heucheras on the Plantagogo stand at Chelsea – what a display! I’m sure some people came away with some bargains after the sell-off on Saturday but unless you already know what you want, it can all be a bit overwhelming! At least you’ve now solved that age old query “Do I dream in colour?” I think the answer is a resounding yes!

    • Pauline says:

      Yes Caro, I hadn’t thought of that, I do dream in colour don’t I !!
      We only saw the heucheras at the Plantagogo stand for a couple of seconds on TV, but it was enough to confirm that I would definitely order from them.
      I prefer the huge planter as a scree rather than a pond, although it still attracted the wildlife and we could get up really close. I will never forget early one morning, 5.30 am! I was wandering round with a mug of tea and suddenly saw a dragonfly emerging from its case on an iris stem, it was at eye level, which I wouldn’t be able to see now by the natural pond. I woke a reluctant undergardener and we sat in our dressing gowns for about half an hour, until it flew away. A magical moment!

  2. Cathy says:

    I visited the Plantagogo stand at Gardeners World last year and made a couple of purchases, but keep dipping into the catalogue with a view to buying more – it’s great to have such a lot of choice. Couldn’t you do a map of your garden, Pauline? You keep surprising me with views I don’t think I have seen before! It’s good to have another part of the garden to plan and buy for, even if you have to wait for inspiration before you come to a decision – another excuse for more plants! I was just reading a snippet in the Sunday Times this morning about a woman who has a sleep disorder and does her housework whilst she was asleep, so you never know…!

    • Pauline says:

      It’s good to see Cathy, that you have already bought from Plantagogo, they have such a fantastic choice don’t they?!
      Housework while I’m sleeping, that sounds a brilliant idea and would free up the day just for gardening!
      Maybe I haven’t shown you this part of the garden before because it is so boring, time I did something about it! I will certainly think about a plan of the garden, in between the weeding!

  3. Helen says:

    I do an awful lot of plant moving and planting in my dreams, I often wake up exhausted! Looking forward to seeing what you end up doing

  4. Anna says:

    Oh now that sounds like a most soothing dream Pauline. You must have woken refreshed. Vicky is Cheshire based so we have been lucky enough to have her speak to our horticultural society on a couple of occasions. She is a lovely lady and her enthusiasm for her plants shines through. Look forward to seeing your new planting areas.

    • Pauline says:

      Good to know Anna, that Vicky comes with a personal recommendation, it’s interesting that she gives talks about her plants, shows her commitment. It was a nice dream, but I had to write it all down before starting the breakfast so that I wouldn’t forget!

  5. Christina says:

    Here in Italy, Heucheras are plants for shade and sadly I don’t have enough of that yet, although it increasing as trees and shrubs I’ve planted grow to create micro-climates within the garden. I’m looking forward to seeing the results of your dream, but I have to say it doesn’t look all that boring at the moment. Christina

    • Pauline says:

      Maybe I think the planting boring Christina, because it always stays the same! I’d always thought of heucheras for shade too, until I read the article about them, saying that some modern cultivars can take some sunshine, but I don’t know about strong Italian sunshine! More heucheras mean more foliage for your Foliage Day!

  6. I am trying to remember if I ever had a dream about my garden. I don’t think so. I sometimes dream we have moved house and find myself walking through the new place in my dreams and thinking about renovations. This is probably as bad as your dreams as it involves more work!!
    There are so many amazing heuchera available these days aren’t there? I would love to have many more than I do. You have a nice assortment of plants in pots ready to go in to the garden. I look forward to seeing how it all works out.

    • Pauline says:

      Jennifer, it’s amazing what we do in our dreams isn’t it! Heucheras and Tiarellas have been in the hands of the plant breeders and some wonderful ones are now on the market to tempt us. With having so much shade here I should use them more than I do.

  7. I like your idea for the Heuchera planting. There are so many variations that you can go for anything from subtle to bright. There are a number of Heuchera for the sun now. I have to be careful when choosing Heuchera, as I need the ones that prefer shade.

    • Pauline says:

      We too have so much shade NS, I really should use them more for a bit of colour in certain parts of the garden. In the woodland, I have kept the planting quite natural so more subtle shades are planted there, but I think ,in the gravel area, I can brighten it up with some of the more stunning shades!

  8. I grow heucheras in shade too – the one time I didn’t they suffered but then the soil was pretty poor and very dry. Now I know, thanks to you, that I was trying the wrong variety. Dave

    • Pauline says:

      Dave, I’ve always grown previous ones in the shade, so I will now be experimenting. Our soil is very heavy clay which has been improved a lot, so hopefully I can keep them happy whether in shade or sun. The website that I looked at, Plantagogo, mentioned if certain ones could take sun, we will see how I get on!

  9. wellywoman says:

    That Plant Heritage magazine looks good. Might have to look into signing up for that. I love heucheras and tiarellas but have to say struggle a little with them. One heuchera has really taken off this year though and I have no idea why it suddenly seems happy after years of sulking. My tiarella on the other hand needs some attention. The plantagogo stand was incredible.

    • Pauline says:

      The few heucheras and tiarellas that I already have WW, seem to like where they are, so I’m hoping that any newcomers will be too. I find that sometimes they take a couple of years to settle and after that, no problem.
      So glad you liked the Plantagogo stand at Chelsea, nice when someone has seen the plants and is impressed!

  10. That’s very funny. Here are my favorites: Frosted Violet, Caramel, Blackout, Bronze Wave, Citronelle, Berry Smoothie, Autumn Bride. However, these are all east coast US natives good for our hot summers. You could probably grow the west coast US natives successfully.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Carolyn for your helpful suggestions. I’ve been onto the website for the nursery over here and she has all except 2, Bronze Wave and Autumn Bride. I’m sure She will have something similar. The different hybrids coming from America are amazing and now nurseries like Plantagogo are breeding their own, making a choice will become even more difficult!

  11. kininvie says:

    You could always turn that gravel area into another scree bed. Gravel, mixed with grit and a fractional amount of peat-based compost (yes, I know!) and away you go. It’s your chance to do gentians – en masse!

    • Pauline says:

      I would really love to grow gentians Kininvie, don’t tempt me! Unfortunately the soil under the gravel area is the original solid clay, I could make pots out of it. Where there is planting already, the soil has been improved, so by just enlarging it, any new plants should be ok hopefully.

  12. For some reason, I don’t have any luck with the new heucheras in garden beds, but I have fair success growing them in containers. Night dreams seem to elude me. I have plenty of daydreams, however, and many of them are about the garden. When I moved to my current home 2 years ago, I couldn’t get a fix on the garden. Now my vision is beginning to take shape.

    I admire the foliage colors in your garden.

    • Pauline says:

      Hi Marian, thanks for stopping by and leaving a message. So far I haven’t had a problem planting heucheras in the garden, they seem to like my heavy soil, thank goodness! It takes time, doesn’t it, to make plans that suit the garden when you first move, even then gardens are always changing, plants need replacing etc. We have been here 23 yrs now and each year I feel at least one border needs improving each year.
      I will now pop over to your blog to have a peek at your garden, thanks for visiting.

  13. Alberto says:

    Pauline, you have a lot going on there! I can understand why you dream about it at night too! 🙂
    Anyway I think that what you call dream is indeed your mind trying to send you some ideas you had but didn’t realised it yet. That’s my usual working process too: my mind works like a cloud and sometimes just drop off some good ideas and send them to the conscious part of me that find the idea ready to use. I think it’s kind of cool but then you can’t explainto other people how you got to a concept…

    • Pauline says:

      Do you dream about your roses Alberto?!
      It’s interesting reading about your thought processes, maybe that is what happened to me, at least now it will come to fruition and not niggle at me as it has done for years! The problem is that the thought processes are always working, they never seem to stop. This afternoon as I was weeding a bed in the garden which already has a few heucheras in the colour range of toffee/caramel/marmalade/coffee and a grass of the same colours, I started thinking it could be a sunset border. I’ve told myself to stop, I have more than enough work to do for the next couple of months!

  14. Wendy says:

    I don’t remember ever dreaming about gardening, but I would love to if I was undecided about something and the dream gave me the answer! It will be lovely to add this new colour to your beautiful garden. I love the idea of an alpine scree, too.

    • Pauline says:

      Wendy, it’s the first time it has happened to me and because of the work involved, I think I hope it’s the last! When the planting is complete, that area should be more colourful through the summer.

  15. pbmgarden says:

    I like your idea for Heuchera Pauline. I have 3 plants of one type, Heuchera villosa ‘Big Top Bronze’ and the plant tag said “sun.” The foliage burned and never looked nice. This spring I moved them to part-shade and they’re doing great. Love the big pot in your first photo–really nice focal point to that area.

    • Pauline says:

      Thanks Susie, for telling me of your experiences of planting heucheras in the sun, I will make sure that they are in part shade.
      I’m very fond of our big pot, I bought it to mark our silver wedding anniversary! When we sit in the corner, under a honeysuckle covered arbour, it does make a fine focal point with the lawn behind it leading to the woodland.

  16. Jayne says:

    Dreaming of your garden in your sleep! Now that is obsession of the best kind! I have a few heucheras; my favorite is from a British friend who has gardened this side for decades. It is called ‘Marmalade’ and it brightens a shady area so beautifully!

    • Pauline says:

      I know Jayne, that is obsession isn’t it!! I have just bought Marmalade, it is in the last photo of the plants waiting to be planted, seems to be a favourite with us all.

  17. I think some of my best ideas have been thought up during semi sleep 😉

    I can’t wait to see what you do with this area. I love Heucheras too, and it’s wonderful there are so many varieties to choose from now. I have Marmalade, and it looks wonderful mingled in with the Stipia grass. I’m waiting for Purple Palace, a recent purchase, to arrive.

    • Pauline says:

      It’s amazing Paula, what we think of during our sleep isn’t it. Marmalade was bought from the local garden centre just before the photos were taken, and appears in the last one, we all seem to like it! Palace Purple does well here too, it seems very happy in the shade by the woodland. I will certainly show the new area when it has been planted, but I know from experience that usually it takes a couple of years until the planting fills out and looks the way I want it to.

Comments are closed.