Actually, before I go on, the pictures here do not come across well, so I have uploaded them on to flickr as well - they give you a much better idea.
This is the view down from the house, towards our yurt which always makes a good focal point for photographs. A lot of what you see in terms of visual impact now is stuff that has put itself there, notably the wild Anthriscus sylvestris and forms of Aquilegia vulgaris. Increasingly this garden is about managing self-sowing. The visual impact is also about having a limited number of species widely distributed, which is also one of the advantages of seeding - as the plants do the work for you.
Aquilegias with Cirsium rivulare atrosanguineum to the lower left and right and our hornbeam hedge, which is trimmed to look vaguely like it might be a ruined wall. I like minimal bits of architectural shaping, just enough to give some substance to the garden.
The aquilegias are remarkable. Originally from seed from Jelitto, they continually seed and spread, and with a continued ability to produce a very wide range of colours, as well as occasional doubles. So often a seed strain ends up going back to a murky version of the wild plant, but not these, they almost get better and better in terms of genetic variation.
Symphytum caucasicum. A very aggressive spreader which is in its own bed, which gets mown around. It is a fantastic bee plant, for wild bumble bees rather than honey bees. In less fertile soils it struggles.
Persicaria bistorta 'Superba' in the background here. Between clumps of bamboo, which are almost the only evergreens here. They have a softness so often lacking in evergreen shrubs and fit into the landscape better.
* * * * *If you like this blog, why not check out my e-books, which are round-ups of some writing I did for Hortus magazine back in the early 2000s, along with an interview with the amazing Beth Chatto. You can read them on Kindle, or Kindle packages for smartphones or the computer. You can find them on my Amazon page here. You will also find my soap opera for gardeners - currently running at eight episodes.
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