The West View from the Terrace

The main difference in the view this week is the distant view outside the garden. The hay has been cut and wound into huge rolls; the uncut grass is now golden yellow – the colour of the countryside in summer.

Inside the garden Stipa tenuissima is also showing its golden locks.

Last week I described how the borders on either side of the path were begun, this week I’ll give you a list of what’s planted in the Upper Drive Border. I have a spreadsheet of the plants I have and where they are in the garden with some notes. When I looked at my list it seems this is one part of the garden that I haven’t been so meticulous about adding the names as things were planted.

From the terrace looking west, ideally the cypruss wouldn't be centre shot!

From the terrace looking west, ideally the cypruss wouldn’t be centre shot!

Achillea also seeds itself into suitable spots, there is a mix of colours in this border

Achillea also seeds itself into suitable spots, there is a mix of colours in this border

Verbena bonariensis, Madonna lilies and waving Stipa tenuissima

Verbena bonariensis, Madonna lilies and waving Stipa tenuissima

I like seeing the bales of hay in the fields beyond the garden; the lily buds in the foreground are regal lilies in pots

I like seeing the bales of hay in the fields beyond the garden; the lily buds in the foreground are regal lilies in pots

Looking slightly left but from the same position, the other field hasn't been cut and so is still green; they actually started cutting this afternoon after I took the photographs

Looking slightly left but from the same position, the other field hasn’t been cut and so is still green; they actually started cutting this afternoon after I took the photographs

Trees: Italian Cypress and Malus ‘Everest’. I think that now the vegetable garden has been extended on the other side of the drive (with the removal of an olive) there is a need for something tall to hide the tomato canes etc. Possible contender would be another Arbutus grown as a standard – it would cope with the drought, it is evergreen and has lovely bark.

Shrubs: Ceanothus repans, Lonicera fragrantissima, Eleagnus x ebbingei, Nandina domestica, Abelia grandiflora (this is a plant that I struggle with. It should like the conditions but this is the third one I’ve tried in the garden and I think this one is dying just like the others.) There is a holly that doesn’t produce berries because it doesn’t have a mate. Various Cistus which I’ll highlight in a post soon, Phlomis suffruticosa (which seeds itself about quite a lot, I should move them to the slope), Hibiscus syriacus and a large prostrate rosemary.

Groundcover: Various thymes and Verbena

Grasses: Stipa tenuissima and Pennisetum villosum.

I’ll leave the perennials for another time.

The wild lupin is setting seed, I’d like to collect the seed and broadcast them in the back border as I think they’d work well there, flowering after the tulips.

The wild blue lupin is producing fat seed pods

The wild blue lupin is producing fat seed pods

Ground-cover Verbena with wild lupins growing through

Ground-cover Verbena with wild lupins growing through

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18 thoughts on “The West View from the Terrace

  1. Christina your garden view is lovely and looking so different now with purples and white….I adore the far view of the hay fields as a backdrop!! I am hoping to have a better record of what is planted where in the future.

    • I have a much better record of the other areas of the garden, I think that because I didn’t have a strong plan in my head things have been put in randomly and I haven’t added them to the list. Using this view is really making me think about how it is planted and how I would really like it to look.

  2. I must admit I am a little envious of your Verbena bonariensis flowering already… mine is only just forming buds! I also like to see the bundles of hay in the fields… in the mountains they have to cut by hand on steep slopes and the traditional hay stacks are a sight! Lovely view Christina!

  3. I enjoy seeing your wide views of this area as well as closeups of the plantings. The combination of Verbena bonariensis, Madonna lilies and waving Stipa tenuissima is nice. Having wild lupines sounds like a dream. I purchased one lupine at a garden center this spring and planted it in the wrong place. Thought it would be very tall and should go in back of the border, but it was actually hidden during its entire bloom time and I had to make a point to find it. I’ll have to look for the seed pods.

  4. It’s all looking good. What views you have! I like the pink Achillea – not one I’ve seen before. You have your work cut out, logging all that. Your attention to detail is incredible!

  5. it’s interesting how the change of background outside your garden changes how the view looks, these memes can be useful for working on an area, the verbena looks lovely, especially with the grass, Frances

  6. I was amused to see that at least a part of your view is one that is very familiar to me – the farmer on the headland cuts the hay down each summer and leaves it in those same cylinders, and it forms the backdrop to my front garden. Months apart in timing but a funny coincidence nontheless. I really must bring my records up to date, it is always so frustrating to forget what went where, and I have been doing a flurry of planting to get things out of pots, almost none of it appropriately recorded. Well, apart from the scribbled plans, that I always change anyway once I see things laid out.

    I really like the soft pink achillea, I need to sow some more myself, and using thyme as ground cover is a lovely idea, all that fragrance as you brush past. I’ve tried growing thyme from seed but it never seems to work, I think cuttings will be the way to go.

    I’m really enjoying learning about this area of your garden Christina, always fascinating to learn the anatomy of somebody else’s borders, it inevitably provokes thoughts about one’s own.

    • Usually the farmers get three cuts of hay, I’m not sure they will this year. I grew thyme from seed this year (Jekka McVicar seed), it needs to be planted out, I’ll let you know if it is successfull. Pulling basal cuttings is probably the best way if you have something special. Where it is growing next to the drive it speards over the concrete and I can take some of this as it has some roots, you could put a paving slab next to one you like and see what happens.

  7. The lilies appear to enjoy your garden. I rarely see Madonna lilies here but I’m sure they are growable. Do they go dormant after blooming? If they do maybe that’s a good enough reason to avoid them, most people around her want the same generic landscape which doesn’t change much… I on the other hand look forward to the changes more than anything else!

    • I look foreward to the changes too; I couldn’t stand a scene that never changes, I think you stop looking! The lilies do go dormant after flowering and start into growth early in spring or even during the winter if it is mild. I don’t think they give as much pleasure as the Regal lilies though so because they attract the red lily beetle more than the other lilies I have I am considering removing them.

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