Magnolia Grandiflora - first flower of the year
Quick Composting Nirvana. Top marks tumbler.

Border Planting - Hiding those 70's concrete features


Sometimes when you inherit a large mature garden. What you want to do isn't always possible or practicable within budgets and timescales.

This was the case in this lovely Surrey Hills Garden. Where the backdrop of mature Conifers and Woodland trees was masking a sea of concrete paths and pools, - long since empty of water and fish, and now covered in weeds.


The longer term plan for this garden is a complete redesign, but for this year, we needed plants to give colour in Spring and late summer, that won't be eaten by the Rabbits, and that will cover the concrete as quickly as possible.

With a very sandy free draining soil, the defunct ponds, did mean that we could create damper planting pockets, so we could use Astilbe's , Hemerocallis and Lobelia Cardinalis which would not normally survive in this garden.

The border was planted a week ahead of the earliest snows for 19 years, but by April, even though the concrete was still in evidence, the plants were starting to show off


By June, the plants are now taking over and starting to blur the hard lines


and the eye is drawn to the flowers, not the concrete


Of course when the lions have finally had their day, and all this concrete is removed. All the plants can be used in the new garden design.


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The lions are great! I think I would keep the lions. I have some amazing 1970s concrete crazy paving and I struggle to hide the hardness and craziness of it. I really liked this post - thanks.

Claire, Plantpassion

Well the lions certainly look better now they are softened, than when they were surrounded by weeds. it's actually meant to be a birdbath.


This was the case in this beautiful garden of Surrey Hills. When the bottom of mature trees and conifer forests masks a sea of ​​concrete paths and swimming pools.

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