Saturday, 12 February 2011

Garden Visit: Harlow Carr in the Spring, part 3

Finally, the main reason for my visit - the Long Borders. I adore herbaceous perennials and in theory this ought to be my favourite part of the garden. In truth, I think the beds (all 392 feet of them) are a bit too much. They are verging on mono-culture and sadly look as bad in the winter as I expected.

The lovely evergreen tree on the left, Maytenus boaria, was the star of the borders for Jill and I. Subsequent online research indicates finding one of my own might not be too easy :{ but I shall persevere - I want one!

Attractive and unusual pink catkins on this Corylus maxima 'Purpurea'

Far better, although considerably more difficult to plan and get right, are the beds at Great Dixter where mixed planting gives interest all year round, and plenty more places for wildlife to live. It's a great risk to be influenced by the work of "Christo" - not for him low-maintenance gardens with easy-care planting plans. We shall see ...

Another gardener whose work I admire is Carol Klein and I finally got why she raves about Miscanthus sinensis. This is 'Griziella'.

I do like little touches such as this - a drain cover in the Alpine House.

Never been one for alpines - anything this small would be lost at Bag End and our winter rainfall is not conducive to these plants. Very attractive though, if you like that sort of thing.

There was more, but that will do. You'll have to visit yourself to see everything else!


  1. Hi Bilbo, A lovely reminder of our day and I definitely need to go again to see the bits that you saw before I arrived. Some gorgeous pics and you managed to make the long borders which simply looked untidy in the flesh, look interesting. I wish I had taken more pics now, especially of those pink catkins which were lovely. Jill

  2. Nice to see you made the most of your sunny day. Oddly enough we nearly went to Anglesey Abbey near Cambridge to see the snowdrops and their winter garden but the weather wasn't so good.

    Maybe next week, and I will remember your advice from last year on packing if I pick up another bundle of Galanthus for you.

  3. Oh, and they too have vibernum, sarcococca and witch hazel. Love the scent of the sarcococca and the witch hazel is so pretty and its delicate sulphur yellow flowers contrast so brilliantly with the stems.

  4. Maytenus boaria - Larch Cottage are listed as stockisits..... and you don't even need the internet to go there, AND there's a friend handy for coffee not so far from there too!

  5. Thanks Jill & James, glad you enjoyed the show

    CB - bless your little heart! Hadn't even occured to slow, tired Hobbit to check Larch Cottage ..... now "all" I need to do is prepare a site for it, and that can't be until John and his trusty digger have done some major earth-moving and that can't be until the weather improves and the ground dries out a bit. But let's not wait that long for a coffee?


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