Category Archives: October borders

Another busy day clearing and time for reflection…


Spring on the Moat Walk






and finally today.

We cut down an old fallen Berberis (that was still alive) at the back of the border. It provided a year round dark green back-drop to the vibrant plants in front and a warm, contrasting , orange glow of flowers in Spring. Taking it down has made way for fresh new growth at the base.

Immediately it has given us more space to rearrange the planting in front and given us an opportunity to refresh and renew.

It gives me a sense of renewal too.  To see how deep this border actually is and realise its potential.

Alix and I have been working in this garden together now for 7 years. Every year we discuss, move, divide and replant different areas in the autumn and the excitement to see the changes the following year keep us going through the darkness of the winter months.

This is the biggest change we have done so far and it coincides with Alix moving to pastures new next Spring.

We didn’t know each other very well when we first started out but have shared the highs and lows of our lives in intimate detail ever since that first day. There is always plenty of time to chat during a session in the garden.

Performing tasks together we have recognised our strengths and hardly needed to communicate at all, as we read each other like  books.

My highlight was seeing Alix weeding whilst on all fours at 9 months pregnant, determined and confident that it was good for her and the baby. She was right, as 24 hours later she held her beautiful baby in her arms, at home, having had the easiest of births.

We will always have great memories of wading through the pond trying to catch escaped fish, laughing as we balance as much as we can on the wheelbarrow so we need only make a single journey, chasing away the  squawking Guinea foul, eating yoghurt with a plant label as neither us had a spoon and sitting in the van watching the rain dribbling down the windscreen, waiting for our chance to start again. Going home at the end of a day weary, mucky but almost always happy.

Our loss is Gloucestershire’s gain. I’m sad she will not be here to witness and wonder at the border once more with me next year and enjoy our vision together.

The end of the gardening year and an end of our era together.

Here’s to Spring and optimism and new beginnings… This is what gardening is all about and what, as gardeners, we become very good at.



Herbaceous border versus Mixed border

Firstly, the feature photo was taken on my way to work this week… just saying 😉


and Euonymus alatus spends the whole year in the background until NOW!  Woohoo, now we can see you. It is situated in my mixed shrub and herbaceous border for Autumn colour and this following photo is the rest of that border:


There is Sedum spectabile, Hebe, Miscanthus, a Rose, Salvia, Willow, Hydrangea, Dahlias (Thomas A Edison, Karma chocolate and Hillcrest royal) and a Phormium. Still Looking good and packing a punch.

Alternatively in another garden, a mainly herbaceous area of the garden:


Well it still looks ok but most of the leaves are raggedy, some plants have toppled over and I decided not to delay the inevitable…


Yes,  it is now on the compost. This is what we cut down:


Aquilegia (I think we have cut this back at least 3 times already this year)


Polyganatum biflorum or Soloman’s seal


Macleaya microcarpa


Iris, yellow flag


Hemerocallis (Day Lilies)


Asters – Still flowering but blown over in the wind so some are now in a vase with white Dahlias

All have been cut back to ground level. What we have left:


The adorable Arum italicum


and lots of tiny Digitalis pururea (foxglove seedlings)

which we will leave until they are big enough to transplant around the area.

In another part of the garden we also cut back the Hosta leaves:



All very therapeutic if you ask me.

Back to the deep brown beautiful earth again.

My heart is singing.