If you are like me and peruse the gardening magazines at this time of year, it is because we simply cannot wait to “dig in” to the next growing season. But alas, the calendar says Feb 28th and although it actually feels like late March, we need to recognize the opportunity before us. We need to use this time to set some priorities for our gardens. We need to “stage the show”, and as any good director will attest, that means an investment in picking our cast .
Creating a perennial garden is a lot like putting together a high school musical, tall kids go to the back, short in the front and the key players are front and centre. Think about your existing perennial garden, or dream about your new one as if it were a great ensemble of colourful characters. After all , the garden should be a reflection of yourself , so think about your plant selections, draw out your garden if you will and now you have your script upon which to apply the personality of the show.
Species such as tall Agastache ( hyssop) in the sunny garden or Bugbane , for the shade , for example, could be the bass notes in the rear while shorter selections such as tickseed (coreopsis), cranesbill would occupy the front . A mass of your favourite character ( be it Shasta daisies, tall garden phlox or Echinacea) sings solo at centre stage.
Just as it important to cast perfect partners for the leading man and leading lady, it is important to choose perfect plant partners in the garden. Ornamental grasses, and Russian sage are perfect in the late Summer garden, while peonies and giant allium are so dramatic in a mid June garden flush.
Never underestimate the importance of the refrain ( chorus) of a key song in the production. The repetition enhances the overall melody and is pleasing to the audience, especially when you can sing along! In the garden, repetition is all important , for repeating a similar species in a long border ( for example, every 4- 8 feet) ensures a constant flower of colour, it creates a bold effect with less planning and worry .
So do come and see us when you are looking for those colourful cast members for the show – your garden for 2017! We look forward to sharing some wonderful background ( planting advice) on all of them with you!