Earlier in the year I planted a new crop of herbs into my middle raised bed. I planted mint, sage, chives, curled and flat leaf parsley and some dill. All but the dill have done really well, a little too well perhaps. The prolonged warm wet weather has made them bolt and while I like to put fresh herbs in my food I would have to be catering on an industrial scale to be able to use even half of them.
In the end bed I planted strawberries which have not produced a single fruit and in the front bed I put in some peas and courgettes which have surrendered to the snails.
These beds are something of a problem for growing vegetables in as they are just not big enough to produce anything on any sort of scale but they are fine for creating a display of flowering plants.
I have been reading Derek Jarman’s Garden and was quite inspired by his planting of flowers and bushes amongst the shingle at Dungeoness. Surrounding the raised beds we filled in the void with Yorkshire Gold stone chippings, one to keep the weeds down and two because they finished that area of the garden quite nicely. It got me thinking that maybe I could create a perennial garden in the raised beds, covered over with more chippings to create a striking but relatively maintenance free area.
This weekend, on Saturday afternoon, I set to taking out the failed strawberry plants, huge herbs and the root-y remains of the courgettes and peas. The herbs I split, some destined for the kitchen, some for the compost and some for the patio in clay pots.
I love pink so I decided on a colour theme of different shades of pink with some white and a small amount of orange thrown in. I also wanted some water in there. This part of the garden is not suitable for a large water feature and would require too much distruption to get it sited properly so last week I bought a bird bath in our local garden centre. Made of black clay with the inside of the bowl painted moss green it sits in the middle of the bed just waiting to attract the local bird to take a dip on a hot day. Around it I have planted some Salvia, Agastache and Penstemons. The Yorkshire Gold chipping have been brushed into a circle around the base of the bird bath to give a moat like appearance with another circle running through the plants like a ripple of water.
The beds on either side will be planted out symmetrically with more Salvia, some perennial Viola and Dianthus and finished with the stone chippings – at some point, when time allows.