Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Are herbaceous borders still PC?

The day after a big downpour of rain is not usually the best day to visit a garden full of herbaceous borders however we have had so much sun and heat of late that my thinking was they would be perkier and less wilty than they have been laterly.

After a cool start the sun battered down in the huge circular herbaceous gardens at Angelsey Abbey. Not a spot of shade to be had on any of the benches. It looked, as a whole fabulously floriferous and he budding Hemerocallis (day lily) and Crocosmia (montbretia) promising great things to come later in the season. But really, on closer inspection it is somehow odd to find every plant so ferociously staked and tethered into place. Each delphinium had a pole, the Thalictrum flavum subsp Glaucum staked similarly. Others with more stamina, Echinops, Achillea and some monstrous Cephalaria were un-bound and none the worse for it. With such dense plantings it seems a laborious task that fetters the view, does it really need to be like this?

I can hear the head gardeners railing that it must look good at all times and the only way to stop delphinium flop is to bind them mercilessly to a pole. Indeed at well over 2m I suppose their weight would make them susceptible to sharp gusts of wind though shelter from the thick 3m high Fagus sylvatica hedge must provide some protection?

It just seems too much somehow. I like my delphiniums un-hampered and elegantly swaying in the breeze although truthfully mine (also pacific giant) rarely last in the garden for long and are cut for floral gestures and grandeur inside the house

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