Thursday 14 June 2012

The Big Border Replant

10 a.m.: the border with large bare gaps.

Last summer it became apparent that the big herbaceous border at Colesbourne Park had become rather weedy (mostly with nice weeds) and that the original planned planting put in in 2004 had lost its definition. I therefore decided that it should be renewed in 2012 and in the autumn clearance dug out many of the perennials. Well-established clumps of good things were left in situ - peonies, oriental poppies, iris, etc, but then and over the course of this spring most other things have ben removed. The process has been delayed by the weather and one thing or another, but with the village fete imminent (Saturday!) it was critical to get it replanted.

In March and April I had propagated a lot of perennials from both the cottage garden and Colesbourne Park, filling the polytunnel with them and tender perennials overwintered in the greenhouse. Many could have done with being planted out or potted-on some time ago, but yesterday and this morning Will Fletcher and I wheeled out everything that could possibly be used and set them out on the path (below).

10.30 a.m.:  plants brought from the polytunnel.

 I then set them out in the border, shamelessly without a plan, but with some knowledge of capabilities and good combinations, and fitted them into the spaces between the remaining plants: some small, others quite wide. Not the conventional way of arranging a border, but it can always be adjusted if something isn't right.

1 p.m.: 470 plants set out for planting.

After lunch Will and I set to planting-out, very conscious of the weather forecast and the deluge waiting to come in from the west. We got the plants in by 4 pm - a pot count afterwards revealed that we had used 470 plants, with ten left over, and had just finished tidying up when the rain started at 4.30. (It is continuing, hard and steady, as I write, watering everything in well). I won't be here to see it in full glory in late summer, but I'm looking forward to watching the plants respond to their release from their pots over the next few weeks and thicken up into decent clumps.

4 p.m.: border fully planted.

The remnants: 5 Solidago, 2 Achillea, 3 Salvia


  1. 470 plants in 3 hours? Good lord....

  2. ... and good job :)
    I suppose there are not 470 different taxa. Could you mention some of them please?


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