Achillea 'Inca Gold' 001 Wm

 

Achillea ‘Inca Gold’ and Campanula lactiflora ‘Prichard’s Variety’

 

How did I manage to get so behind? Better a week overdue than not at all, allow me to present the End of Month Plus a Bit View of progress on the Precipitous Bank.

The weather was mostly to blame. That and having been pulled hither and thither by everything else that has been going on. In the interests of total disclosure, and because Mike has recently subscribed to the blog, I must admit to not actually having laid hand upon a wallpaper scraper as yet. But there is still the total reorganisation of living arrangements required by such an epic undertaking, the “can you just take down the landing curtains” and “could you work out how many BTUs the new radiators need to produce” etc etc. Not to mention the supervision/briefing of the merry band of tradesmen who turn up at regular intervals. If we’re lucky that is.

But I digress. As ever. For progress has been made. Oh yes indeedy.

 
 

The bank 057 Wm

 

May

 
 

The bank 058 (2) Wm

 

Early July

 

What a difference a bit of rain makes. The early plantings have started to fill out. But the real change is largely hidden from this view. We’ll need to move further up the hill..

 
 

The bank 059 Wm

 

Last month this area was a tangle of stinging nettles and thistles taller than me.

We’ve also dug up another two huge clumps of day lily from here. They were not the tasty little named varieties which add so much to the summer garden. No, these were triffids. They arose to their mammoth proportions in the Spring rains, of which we’ve had plenty this year, and in previous years have bloomed sporadically over a disappointingly short period. As we know, each flower only lasts a day and as such they benefit from frequent deadheading. Did the Head Gardener actually think about this before placing them in what was possibly the most inaccessible location in the whole plot? Of course not. Well at least this year they’ve saved me the trouble by declining to bloom at all. And all that lush foliage had already started to collapse, as it always does, over everything else around it. Enough is enough.

The trio of plants to the right of the Achillea are Rudbeckia ‘Goldsturm’. There are obviously still gaps more planting opportunities and I want to get some shorter grasses such as Stipa tenuissima. To enable Mike to return to the wallpaper stripping I tackled the berberis in the foreground myself. The results are not pretty, neither my arms nor the plants. I’ll spare you any photos of the former. The vivid red spots bore all the hallmarks of some horribly contagious tropical disease but will no doubt heal in the fullness of time. With a following wind the berberis should sprout back too and my aim now is to curtail their lofty ambitions and keep them to a quarter of their previous height. The idea is to be able to see into the border from the drive. Which as it turns out is rather nice.

 
 

Achillea 'Salmon Beauty' 001 Wm

 

Achillea ‘Salmon Beauty’

 

I do love Achillea. It hasn’t done so brilliantly for me up to now but I’m hoping that a position on the sunny and well drained bank will suit them better. In the background my favourite Eryngium..

 
 

Eryngium x zabelii 'Big Blue' 003 Wm

 

Eryngium x zabelii ‘Big Blue’

.. which looks just as striking from the other direction with the Cornus ‘Wieting’s Select’.

 

Of course, being a week late with the progress report means that I’ve now only got three weeks to go before the next one.

 
 

The bank 060 Wm

 

The new front line

And yes, there’s another berberis in there too..

 
 

Linking with Helen’s End of Month View at The Patient Gardener. Click through to see what other gardeners are up to this month.

 
 
 

Berberis Takes On Arms. Mine.

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