Sometimes when I get asked to do a planting scheme, my clients just want "some plants". Sometimes I get a list of requirements.
Today I went back in the rain to see a border I planted last Autumn.
There was a very detailed list of requirements that came with this border which included
A vision to have a stunning border with shrubs flowering at different times, the border has a prime spot at the top of the hill
Screening neighbours cars
Fast growing shrubs, trees and plants
Plants to deal with the slight slope, and the poor soil from the recently removed line of 40yr old conifers
Space for a small planting line of annuals next to our driveway
Easily maintainable from our side, although Neighbour is happy to have plants
Would like to buy maturer plants to start border +1m height.
Including one tall lime green conifer by the gate as a tall screen
I could have taken them at their word, but I always like to find out what's behind requests, so I went round to see their current back garden (amazing trees and foliage shapes including Liquidamber and Acers), and showed them my source folders to get opinions of which flowers, colours, style and shapes really took their fancy.
There was a difference of preferences about whether summer colour or all year round foliage colour was the most important, but the line of summer bedding has been replaced by colourful bulbs, and easy to look after perennials like Heuchera and Asters.
The conifer was to provide a permanent screen to hide the access to the back garden, - where the shed and bins are, - instead we've used variegated Pittosporums for evergreen cover, and Physocarpus for upright coloured foliage in summer. Because these and the shrubby honeysuckle that have been used as permanent evergreen plants, are fairly fast growing, we didn't need to buy large specimens, meaning that money was saved to ensure all the space was covered.
Before planting, the border looked a long bare strip, that was highly visible to everyone coming up the road, as the house is on a bend.
Initially when planted, although the autumn colours shone through, my clients wondered whether they had made a big mistake, ad should have gone for a hedge.
Now though with the shrubs filling out, and the bulbs and perennials adding a welcome splash of colour, the border is taking shape as it should.
Here's the view out to the road.