Nature’s Designs


I have written from time to time of my occasional garden envy. I don’t mean envying the unattainable splendour of a country estate garden. No, just traipsing the suburbs of Leeds is enough to prompt covetous admiration of magnolias, camellias, ceanothus, roses and shrubs in general throughout the year.

But this time of year usually sees me with a particularly envious eye when it comes to early summer herbaceous borders. Living in a tree-lined street as I do, it’s always been a challenge to successfully cultivate a colorful blaze of perennial glory.

This year, however, it’s different. I’ve mentioned a number of times the Great Tree Felling of 2011, and how I was determined to see the devastating loss of nature foliage as an opportunity to see a transformation in the garden.

And so it has proved. This year, for the first time ever, an amazing herbaceous patch has appeared on the bare earth ground formerly decorated with leaf mould and a few grudging euphorbia.

Self seeding and formerly struggling clumps have now combined to achieve perfect height variation and compositional balance and colour harmony, and best of all it’s all happened pretty much by nature alone. In fact it’s safe to say I could never have gained such splendid results with any strategic intervention.

Gardens are a mysterious and wondrous thing indeed.


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