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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!!