The pressure is on for the final episode!
The plants and inspiration used in this week's show
Alan had big ideas for the last in this series of Love your Garden. It was such a small garden with so much detail to go into it, we all started to get in each others’ way and it was one of the most tense builds to date. Small gardens are always the most difficult to make work, you really have to get it right as the mistakes you make will really stand out if you don’t.
There is also the fact that we have two camera crews, two directors, a team of landscapers, four presenters and the production managers all working in the same small garden. It was so small that we took over most of the streets front gardens with deliveries and machinery – it was chaos at points but also exciting!
The gardens and the people we make them for all strike chords with us for different reasons, this family and their situation really made me personally stop and think about how lucky I am. I have two children of a similar age to Sam and my husband is the same age now as Philip was when he died. It was vital to me that this garden was right for the Hunter family. They really deserved it and had been through so much. All the pressure and challenge of the build payed off, when to our relief Sam cried tears of joy when Alan showed her around the end result! Phew! I really hope it continues to make a difference to them and they can find solace and joy in what we created.
Here are some of the plants we used, if you fancy having a go at your own Love your Garden borders.
Alpines all like free draining soil and a sunny position. They are used to growing on rocky outcrops so are incredibly tough little plants. I used this selection to plant up my fencing panels with. They also look great in stone troughs and tucked into pockets of soil in a wall. We used:
Sedum Dragon’s Blood
Sedum Coral Carpet
Dianthus Olivia Cherry
Aubrieta Westacre Gold
Armeria Nifty Thrifty
Phlox Candy Stripes
Lithodora Grace Ward
Alchemilla mollis is good for ground cover and will grow pretty much anywhere, however it’s a prolific self-seeder so remove the flower heads before they set seed if you don’t want them growing everywhere.
Achellia Fanal is a lovely plant with delicately cut foliage and large plates of tiny flowers. The form of the flower is a good contrast against something with spires.
Astible ideally like a damp spot, however a good mulch in spring will help them cope with a drier area.
Actea chocoholic. I love this plant and so do the bees and hoverflies, looks good with grasses.
Delphinium Black Eyed Angel will most likely need staking in the first year.
Delphimium Excalibur white
Echinops Taplow Blue is a good plant for the back of a border. Another bee magnet.
Geranium Johnsons Blue is super reliable and fuss free.
Geranium Kashmir White is another good performer.
Heuchera Green Spice are good towards the front of a bed or in containers.
Huecherella Brass Lantern
Hosta Sum and Substance is a whopping Hosta, give it plenty of room and protect from slugs.
Iris sibirica Blue Moon wants a damp spot.
Iris pseudacorus Crème de la Crème also needs a damp area to grow.
Lillium oriental Annika are good either in borders or pots, just check their height before you position them
Lillium orient Carolina
Lupin Purple Emperor will flower for longer if you dead head regularly.
Macleaya Kelways Coral can be a bit of a thug if it gets comfy in perfect conditions, make sure you really like it before you commit.
Meconopsis are tricky little things to grow, but if you’re a keen gardener up for a challenge then have a go, managing to get them to thrive is immensely satisfying.
Nepeta Blue Beauty is good for ground cover.
Nepeta Snowflake is lower growing so place at the front of a border.
Primula florindae likes deep moist soil which is free draining, position this right and it looks stunning!
Primula vialli similar conditions as florindae above.
Salvia nemerosa Blue Hill and Caradonna I can’t get enough of Salvias – the smell of their foliage makes me salivate! Plant lots.
Scabiosa caucasica adored by butterflies and bees. Will jangle around with natural effect in a border.
Thalictrum flavum glaucum another lovely plant with good height, likes reasonably moist soil.
Thyme great for the driest and sunniest of spots, also works well in pots and walls.
Carex Ice Dance good ground cover in part shade.
Miscanthus Morning Light, I love love love this grass. Give it plenty of room.
Stipa arundinacea looks fab, can get quite bulky as it matures.
Festuca glauca Elijah Blue, can be tricky to place because of its colour, if you can’t make it look right in the garden put it in a pot!
Acer palmatum add wonderful texture and lovely autumn colour. Likes a sheltered position.
Lavendula Hidcote likes poor soil and lots of sun.
Lavendula Munstead same as Hidcote.
Vibernum compactum is a medium sized shrub with white flowers and red berries.
Rose Darcy Bussell dead head to prolong flowering and mulch in Spring.
Rose Anne Bolyen see rose above.
Artemisia Powis Castle is an evergreen dwarf shrub mainly grown for its silvery fine foliage.
Katie and the team