Sunday, 25 July 2010

Do Nothing

no pruning, no weeding, no digging,

no composting, no watering, no sowing, no cuttings, no planning,

no mowing, ahhhh, just loafing. Make time for wine!

Sunday, 18 July 2010

Dry Garden

Above is the view looking to the right from the terrace in front of La Grande Maison. The grass is looking remarkably green considering it's been by and large dry and with temperatures sometimes nudging 36 degrees. Of course it's not that remarkable as perhaps twice a week I'll wheel out the hose and put the sprinkler on it. It's a losing battle. There's barely four inches of topsoil under the turf, below that, hardcore and castine - gravel - which means that it never remains damp for long and any moisture has a tendancy to run off as it slopes slightly.

For some time now I've often envisaged it as a piece of dry garden, planted with grasses, sub shrubs and drought tolerant perennials, infinitely more interesting than struggling turf.

I intend to line the edges of the border with local stone that I've collected over time and stockpiled at the back of the house. It'll also give more height to accommodate the few cubic metres of topsoil that I'll need to add to have a half decent planting depth.

Returning from dropping family at the airport, I took a detour to Pépinière du Lac des Joncs and picked up a few plants. This nursery is one of my favourite places on earth - period. Apart from a superb range of perennials and grasses, including over forty varieties of Miscanthus, it's a gem of a spot nestling in beautifull countryside just near Rouffignac.

Above is Pennisetum 'Karley Rose' with it's it's pink tinged inflorescences.

Below is Agastache 'Painted Lady'. Borderline hardy, I still had to have it and will much over it heavily in late Autumn to give it winter protection. For good, sound agastache information, you should search through Cameron's blog.

Achillea. Quite happy in the dry, the red is 'Sammetriese', the pale yellow, 'Hella Glashof'.

A beautiful white Lavender, 'Edelweiss'.

Below, Stipa Calamagrostis growing along the pergola. I'll take divisions from this as it's a must for the new area.

Other planned additions are, Calamagrostis acutiflora 'Karl Foerster', russian sage Perovskia, Catmint including 'Six Hills Giant' and Transcaucasia, Verbena bonariensis, the odd Verbascum Bombyciferum 'Polar Summer', Sedums, Thymes and Autumn flowering bulbs. There'll be others added to the list but I've got to resist the urge to over mix, otherwise, rather than the planned tapestry 'a la' Beth Chatto it'll be something of a mish mash.

The sun lounger in the background is my official 'loafing' chair. A great place to sit and make Autumn plans.