Monday, 21 January 2013


The herbaceous garden at South Acres Farm gives a special performance during January and February.    Unlike any other part of the garden,  the colour-scheme is apricot, pale yellow, cream, bronze and red.   Gertrude Jekyll who designed over 400 gardens in her time used these warm colours in many of her designs.  This colour scheme is not usually a popular choice with most people preferring blue, pink and white.  

When planting up the border,  I struggled at first with plant choices and it was when I decided to compliment the old stone wall of the cottage which looks onto this border and has similar tones,  that everything fell into place.  The border lies to the west of the house, exposing it to very hot afternoons,  and the plants have coped very well,  proving Gertrude's theory that "hot colours" do very well in these conditions!      

Surprisingly, this area of the garden doesn't really require much work as it is densely planted,  not allowing much space for the weeds.  As with any herbaceous border,  there are usually two big "cut-backs" a year - a task I really enjoy!  

When first planting up the border,   we had huge problems with clay and water-logged soil  and had to re-plant and dig these beds over a few times before  the plants began to thrive.  The hero in this part of the garden is undoubtedly the David Austin's climber - Crown Princess Margareta.  John has managed to get this rose to climb up the stone wall and it really is a magnificent sight  to enjoy while walking up the garden path to the front door.  

The beginning - Eight years ago -  the stone wall of the old cottage and the new addition to the right of that.

Last summer

The first re-dig and re-plant!
All grown up!

The first successful summer 

The beautiful climber - three years old!

And now.. 

Early summer when the Iris bloom

Roses from the border


  1. Crown Princess Margarita has outdone herself and the Irises are stunning. Such a lovely way to see the development of a garden.

    1. Thanks Liora... there is a definite benefit to having thousands of photos on my computer.... even though they are so badly organised and it takes me ages to find old photos to use!.xxx

  2. How beautiful your photos are Jenny! I love the colour combination, and you're right, most people go for the white garden, or the blue and white garden, or the soft included!! I'm trying to get more adventurous with colour in the garden, and I suppose that's why I've been fairly fearful of reds and oranges. Lovely inspiration xx

    1. Yes Heidi... and what's really interesting is that these "hot" colours really survive well in the heat and full sun! I adore the other colours as well and will probably use more of these in the next garden, but it has been fun seeing this border develop so well. xxx

  3. Hi Jenny,

    Absolutely stunning and such an inspiration! Could you tell me please which rose is the orangey coloured one in the middle of the border?

  4. Hi Susan... thank You!! I have two orange roses - I think the one you are referring to is a Hybrid T called "Ashram". The other orange rose is "Pamela Austin" - by David Austin. Ashram is a magnificent rose... tall and strong and I love the colour!!. Thinking of you and little Daisy! xxx

  5. The garden is gorgeous Jenny. We have lots of stone walls in our gardens and warmer colours would pick up the stone beautifully. I am being a bit cautious in my planting at the moment as a lot of plants struggle with the heat in our summers. I got home from my holidays to find that a lot of my David Austin's had crispy leaves although they are still alive. I think it was a combination of very hot winds and the reticulation losing pressure for a day or so. They are salvageable though. Your thoughts on hot colours surviving well in full sun is a good one.

    Thanks for visiting my blog the other day. Yours is gorgeous and I will definitely be back!

    1. Thank You Farmer's wife!. I love stone walls and David Austin roses. The past two summers have been very wet here resulting in a very poor show from my roses. They have flourished this year, despite the heat waves!xx