The “English Border”

15 Oct, '07
The "English Border" WIP

The "English Border" WIP, originally uploaded by malyousif.

I know. You must be asking yourself “where does he get these weird names from?” Questions which I can’t honestly answer in full as I name areas in my garden in order to think about them “off line” specifically without describing them as “the patch at the end of the garden by the pool by the outside wall.” I think you will agree that “The Frangipani patch” is better, especially if I did a good job in getting other people to adopt them too; particularly my household and gardener. See, there is method to my madness!

Welcome to the “English Border.” The picture above is how it looked after I carted 8 or 9 wheel-barrow-fulls of sand and I was about to mix in two big bags of cow manure. This process took the whole morning and it was – once again – heavy work. I can feel every muscle in my body and my back has been complaining too. Never mind, the end result should be quite beautiful.

Like I said yesterday, I got a couple of lovely cycases from my friend Rami. I planted one in this border after completion and the other in the Buddha Patch.

This is how it looks on completion:

The "English Border" completed

I intend to get this border to have two faces; one to be viewed and enjoyed from the living room, while the other from the garden. So the plantings in it will be low-high-low and you will notice that the hill I created tapers off at the front and the back to allow for this effect.

As the border is small(ish) I will refrain from planting too many perennials and dedicate it instead to mostly annuals. The perennials in there already at both extremes are the lovely tacomaria which I got for my 43rd birthday (two years ago) and I’ve planted the cycas at the other end. I think I will put a bush in the middle as an anchor and will look for something that butterflies like. I might even move the Buddleja davidii my wife brought back from Scotland in this location! Now that’s a lovely idea… onto that tonight!

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  1. Mahmood says:

    I’ve just transplanted the Buddleja davidii to the middle of the new border. I do hope that it will take as it has taken about 3 months to settle in its old location and is just starting to bloom. I’m sure it will go into shock, but hopefully not very drastically.

    Unfortunately I originally planted it in the wrong location, not taking into consideration that some people tend to yank gates open, which in this case ends up by bashing against this young plant.

    Hopefully it will be much better protected in this new location.

  2. meggie whetstone says:

    Hello Mahmood,
    Haven’t been round here for a while. Hope you are all well.

    For the low growing plants, what do you think about Mesambyanthemum Criniflorum (the Livingstone Daisy). Always looks its best in bright sunshine, which catches the irridescence of it’s blooms. Showy. Annual.

    If you are into bulbs, corms, rhizomes and tubers ( and no, I don’t know any definitive way of classifying them), Agapanthus is very showy. Seems to do best in sub-tropical maritime zones (especially the Madeiras.)

    Here in England (Northern, coastal) we tend to cut Buddleia hard back in February/March. I think it encourages a bushier habit, more flowers, and stops it invading Poland.

    Nigella (Love in a Mist), also annual, grows a little taller. “Miss Jekyll” is mainly mauve, and “Persian Jewels” is mixed pastels. It has narrow wispy foliage, so may do well in dry conditions.

    What about something for fragrance? How would the lovely shrub Philadelphus Virginalis (Mock Orange Blossom), with it’s beautiful white blooms fare in your growing conditions? It can grow quite big though.

    We make our own mulching compost out of vegetable peelings, and garden waste. I’m glad you have been able to dig in some cow manure, it is grand for retaining moisture and nutrients. But an additional mulch can help tide your plants over during dry spells. It curtails evaporation of soil moisture, and the worms gradually take it down into the soil for you. In a warm zone like yours, a compost clamp should produce the goods for you in double quick time too. Especially if you don’t let it dry out.

    It’s funny, but wherever we are in the world, whatever the growing conditions, we all have to learn that we can never take out of the soil, more than we put into it. Oh, and the best gardener for miles is the common earthworm…

    Best Wishes, and Good Gardening
    Meggie

  3. meggie whetstone says:

    I should add that none of my candidate plants present any known hazards to children or pets.

    Meggie

  4. Mahmood says:

    Oooh Meggies thanks very much for the suggestions, I’ll have a looksee and if I find them here, I am sure I can wrestle a place for them in the garden.

    I’ve got a few plants already which are rhizome-based like the Canna and the Mother-in-law’s tongue, you have to watch both as they can and do take over whole areas. I’m looking forward for my Buddleja to invade Saudi and will make sure that once its starts its travels, I shall chop it sufficiently to keep it tied to my garden, for the moment!

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