Bay Window Border

 So far so good...
The Border in Spring

I've always had a serious design dilemma with the small, hot garden underneath the bay window on the sunniest side of my house. It started life covered in bark chips, planted with little Pittosporums. Perhaps, in retrospect, this was a good idea?

Out, Pittosporums!

I ripped out the Pittosporums (they would grow far too big), and planted a bright pink Flower Carpet rose (brought from my old garden) under the bay window. It had to go somewhere.

But this strong, unsubtle rose has been the cause of all my consequent dissatisfaction. Each of my planting schemes has looked great in spring, but as soon as those bossy bright pink blooms appear...

Carefully planned colour combinations...

I read my garden design books, which encouraged carefully planned colour combinations. So one spring, oozing with confidence and temporarily forgetting the bright pink treat to come, I tried my best. Out came the garish orange and red dahlias (they were, after all, only temporary) and in came some bluey-grey leaved Euphorbia glauca, some silver artemesias, browny-red Heucheras, and a dark browny-red Phormium. A silver Astelia was freed from its pot to echo the Artemisia, and a tawny brown tussock provided textural contrast and an echo of the other russet tones.

But the Pink Rose dominates!

By now my colour designer confidence was overflowing. In went some annual Cerinthe to complement the blue-grey foliage. Then, in early December, that brazen Flower Carpet rose started flowering. My colour combination was ruined in one bright pink stroke. So what went? The bossy rose? The beautiful Euphorbia Glauca? I shut my glossy gardening books and my shovel twitched in anticipation. Then I marched outside, and removed the Artemesia and the blue green Euphorbias. The bossy bright pink rose won.


It's still there, years later. Other planting schemes have come and gone. But that bright pink Flower Carpet rose is indestructible. And the only colour I like to put anywhere near it is green. Hmm. Maybe some Pittosporums would be nice?