The Old Rectory


Isle of Wight

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An occasional (depending on how busy I am gardening!) comment on beautiful plants or moments as they happen in our garden.

The Blue and Yellow borders

By roses382, Jun 17 2016 07:33PM

This season, the blue and yellow beds have been better than ever. I aim for soft colours here; primrose yellow and soft lilac, but there are always a few plants that are just not quite right that I am slowly diminishing and replacing with better choices. Somehow I have the perennial Cornflower, Centaurea Montana, which is lovely, but too strident for here. It spreads rampantly, but is happy to be chopped down to the ground when tatty, and keeps coming back to flower again. Every year I dig it up, but it keeps coming back. A new alternative is Campanula Glomerata 'Caroline', which is the perfect colour, and I hope it will spread as well as it's deep purple counterpart 'Superba' which does very well in the rose borders, and makes excellent groundcover.

The Lupins have been gorgeous this year. On our NGS day last Saturday, the most frequently asked question was 'How do you grow Lupins like that?' Well, it's easy really, I just pop them in the ground and they do their stuff! I don't have much slug damage at all, (something I attribute to having plenty of hungry birds around - slug pellets are banned in my garden). The biggest problem is Lupin Aphid. I deal with these by squishing when I first see them and hosing off, and waiting for the Ladybird army to arrive when the weather warms up enough.

The lovely rose on the right of the photo is 'Blythe Spirit', a David Austin one, which is not a well known one, but does beautifully here and is very healthy. Other key plants are Phlomis Russeliana, the Jerusalem Sage, again, very happy on my dry soil, and Allium Cristophii, which seeds around and looks fanatstic for months. I also have Buddleja alternifolia, trained as a standard, and some very sturdy tree Lilies 'Honeymoon', which smell wonderful a bit later in the season and don't seem too troubled by the Lily Beetles. The Lupins are if I remember rightly, Chandelier (yellow) and Gallery Blue, although one is slightly different to the other so not too sure about which one. Sisyrinchium striatum also pops up all over the place, and I deal with these by pulling out the whole plant when looking a bit tatty. There are always plenty of newcomers ' waiting in the wings' to flower next year.

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