It was a beautiful day when I went to the Great Dixter Christmas Fair so I took the opportunity and had a wander round the garden. As you would expect it was all looking organised and well-prepared for winter. I was interested to see the nuts and bolts of the herbaceous borders clearly revealed with areas of new planting outlined with canes laid out on the ground. In my own garden I often find that while I am working in a border I will have an idea of what I want to plant in a particular spot only to forget it once the moment has passed. Now I will outline the spot with canes and put a label in, which is easy to do even if the border is still in full growth.
It’s great when the garden provides a convenient solution to a problem. Even here at the coast, my evergreen agapanthus have suffered a bit in the recent really cold winters, but this year they recovered well thanks to the good summer. To ensure they stay that way, I bought some fleece jackets for when snow threatens (it can freeze and rot the crown) but I really don’t want to leave them in place all winter – they aren’t exactly pretty. As I was tidying the deciduous grasses it occurred to me that their foliage would make a perfect layer of insulation to tuck around the agapanthus. So now they are all tucked up and cosy and looking much more attractive than if they were confined to a white bag for the entirety of the winter.
On our recent trip to Spain we visited some lovely courtyard gardens in Cordoba and the surrounding area. Whilst the grand public courtyards were impressive it was the domestic courtyard gardens that provided the most inspiration. You can read a little more about courtyard garden design in the garden design section or go straight to the photos here.
If you live in East Sussex and would like to improve your techniques for looking after your beds and borders this autumn, or are planning to plant new trees and shrubs during the winter, why not book yourself onto one of Joseph Ford’s Masterclasses at Great Park Farm just outside Battle. Joseph is RHS and Kew trained and his teaching is practical and hands on with opportunities for one-to-one guidance as well. The day runs from 10am-3pm, costs £75 and refreshments and lunch are included. Autumn Beds & Borders is taking place on 27th and 30th November and Tree & Large Shrub Planting on the 4th & 7th December. Call 07725250949 or book online now.
Avid readers of my blog will know that from time to time I recommend something that I particularly enjoy using or find invaluable. We’ve gathered a few of them together above, to be taken back to the original post for more details click the relevant picture. One small additional piece of information – I find the Tub Trug even better since I’ve drilled a few holes in the base – that way it doesn’t fill with rain.