Stables Garden Make-Over

This isn't the story of a major redevelopment. There is no slash and burn, no giant digging session. A garden project can be small and gentle, so subtle that nobody else notices. A successful make-over can begin and end on the same day. Such was my remodelling of the Stables Border, one day back in 2001.

 Nothing lasts for ever, hee hee...
Stables Garden Make-Over - 2001

The Stables Border was one of my original diggings, and had enjoyed moments of success. Dahlias flourished in late summers, Catmint and bright pink Penstemons shared the early summer weeks with Lychnis. Late spring roses (Bantry Bay and Maigold) climbed happily (and stylishly) over the old horse hitching rail. But there was no irrigation. By the summer of 2001 I was fed up with shifting dribbly hoses and fetching buckets of water. This border had been living on the irrigation edge for far too long.

A dry garden...

Instant decisions : Out came the Flower Carpet roses and the white Dahlias. The Penstemons? Out, too, though I took some cuttings. The scruffy Hebe and the Cistus went, and I said goodbye to the bronze Fennel. I also removed all the chrome yellow Euphorbia and the self-seeded Lychnis. Too scruffy, even in flower. This was a dry garden, so I confidently planted swathes of blue irises and English lavenders. Reddish brown tussocks joined the daylilies by the driveway. The three resident coloured flaxes stayed put, to bind the different foliage colours together.

To quote from 2001 : 'This is the quickest new project I've ever attempted. Now I have to wait and see if it works.'

And did it work?

And did it? Silly me! It didn't work at all. Those weedy Euphorbias and those scruffy Lychnis plants came back - well, they never left the garden, really. Only one Lavender survived. Not really much of a success, this early venture into garden design. Hmm...