When I redid the rockery planting two years ago I had a picture in my head of how I wanted it to look. I think any rockery has to be a mass of colour in the spring but then has to still have structure, texture, colour and interest for the rest of the year.
I think I have almost got the planting sorted for springtime, there is certainly plenty of colour there now and I am already making notes of where I can put more bulbs when planting time comes in the autumn. The springtime perennials are mostly primroses in their various varieties and colours, saxifrage, hellebores and creeping phlox.
Soon the dwarf shrubs will take over from all the bulbs, no shrub is supposed to be taller than 4ft, so I hope they all behave and stop growing at the right time! There are dwarf japanese azaleas, rhododendrons, deutzia, mahonias, forsythia, spirea, pittosporum, prunus and weigela. These also provide texture and colour in their foliage.
There are a few shrubs for summer, although the dwarf hydrangeas that I planted weren’t too happy in the heat that we had last summer, in spite of me flinging buckets of water on them. Maybe I will have to move them to somewhere with more shade.
More summer bulbs are needed I think, I then already have colchicums to brighten up a couple of areas in the autumn, along with some tritonia. I’m thinking I could add some autumn flowering crocus on the scree, after all it is part of the rockery, but has its own specially made free draining compost, the only area in the garden that does!
There are dwarf tulips and iris which flower earlier and a few small perennials for throughout the summer. there is also a very small, tiny even, red rose which a friend gave me many years ago and it is still going strong. I planted it on the scree as I didn’t think it would survive in the hurly burly of the garden and I think it has enjoyed where it is.
Redoing a bed is like trying to do a 3 dimentional jigsaw puzzle that keeps changing shape, almost impossible, but then a border is never finished is it, there is always room for improvement. I can see that I will be fiddling with it for a good few years yet.Up till now it has been the woodland that I go to every morning for my wander and to examine every new flower minutely but from now on I will be paying the same attention to all the small flowers on the rockery, my wander is going to take me twice as long!