Wednesday, 18 March 2009

Dusky delights from a memorable garden

I am in the middle of one of my favourite jobs; creating the planting plan for a client's new garden! An oval green oak arbour is to be a major features, and as it mellows with age it will turn a silvery grey.

I have a vision of claret vines scrambling up the pillars and over the top; large, dusky, dark, velvety leaves turning crimson in the autumn; and all the while, stunning with sunlight shafting through the gaps and backlighting the leaves. Peachy, apricot roses such as A Shropshire Lad might provide contrast inbetween them.

For extra special interest, the double Clematis called 'Mary Rose' Clematis viticella flora plena, will clamber up as well.........such softness, almost indescribable colouring somewhere between blue and purple. We have grown it here at Stevington for a number of years. But at Wollerton Old Hall in Shropshire I saw it in early July eighteen months ago, trained over a low oak structure fence. I was mesmerised.

The silvery oak and dusky flowers was a partnership made in heaven. The garden's owner Lesley Jenkins, has a wonderful painterly eye. I hope I can capture this combination again; on the arbour. Its certainly worth a try.

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