Seen at The Festival of the Tree

...if you would be happy all your life, plant a garden ~ Chinese proverb

Thursday, 14 June 2012

GBBD: Self Sown


When I first started to garden seriously, I felt most uncomfortable about having plants in my borders that are well-known for their self-seeding capabilities. It was a feeling of lack of control which unsettled me. However, nature has a way of presenting unplanned planting combinations which are so much better than my own. This has helped me to feel a bit more relaxed about the whole thing.

Here we have this year's foxgloves. They've leapt from the bottom border into the gravel path, which means I'm also confessing I've not cleared up that part of the path for 2 years. I'm intrigued by the variety of colours and heights of the plants. Those with the darkest pink flowers are closest to their parents, but there's a rather pleasing array of softer pinks, light mauves and even a few white in the mix.

I don't know whether the height variation is due to local conditions or genetic variability. I suspect the latter seeing they're all in a similar place. No matter, the bees love to visit them all, irrespective of colour and height.

Since Karen came to stay almost 2 years ago I've been pondering sacrificing some or all of our lawn for more plants. Unfortunately NAH and I continue to differ in our opinions. He wants to keep the lawn even though it means he still keeps the job of cutting it. I thought the foxgloves might show him the possibilities, but no. Can you clear the weeds from the path? has been his unprompted cry over the past few weeks.

I rather like the effect as they're providing a much needed jolt of colour in that part of the garden at the moment. However, they do block the 'journey' which NAH and I agreed was needed when we first planned the garden together. I shall collect the seed and scatter it elsewhere. I wonder if the next generation will be as variable as their parents?

Garden Bloggers' Blooms Day is hosted by Carol at May Dreams Gardens. I'm sure she won't mind I've posted this a day early because of my regular Friday salad slot this year - they'll look the same tomorrow only wetter!

10 comments:

  1. I haven't much use for lawns, as a general rule. They seem to take up so much room for so little return. Lovely blooms ;)

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  2. Your foxgloves are beautiful - a real picture...

    I've just sacrificed some lawn, and it was definitely worth it (and that was Karen's influence, too). There's been a bit of moaning, but tough...

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  3. Gorgeous foxgloves...I am hoping my seed themselves around...

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  4. Petoskystone - thank you!

    Diana - exactly. However, our soil's clay, so can't walk on the lawn that much, otherwise lots of aeration is needed when it gets too compacted.

    Kate - I might just do it and see how long it takes for him to notice!

    Donna - I'm sure they will if they like your place :)

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  5. I wish I had so many foxgloves in my garden. I love them! As for the lawn, well we keep cutting into ours to make the borders bigger.

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  6. I do love to see natural foxgloves like this but can confess to pulling them up too. I grew many from seed a few years ago but then they filled a border a little too much and I wanted a change and to grow other plants.

    I love foxgloves for the height they afford and seeing the bees feed from them. Being honest (sorry NAH) I think you have them in the perfect spot. You could suggest to NAH that you do the lawn edges and trim a tiny bit away every time you edge. I take clumsy cuts all the time – then again, I cut the grass too ;-D

    I’ve recently planted foxgloves back in the same border from whence they started and I can’t wait to see them bloom. I’m trying to be a patient gardener for now… I’ve just planted the chocolate variety and together with heuchera and deep red Astrantia this is going to grow to being a very yummy border in time:-D

    I’m guessing you’ll remember the Chelsea FS flower of the year – I loved that foxglove and ordered some plug plants of it. Again, I need to be patient – they won’t arrive until October so will spend some time in my greenhouse before getting to the border space I have already cleared for them :-D

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  7. They really are lovely I have a masse of them in my garden - if that is what self-seeders can do I am all for it.

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  8. Margaret - our lawn has brick edging so nibbling away at the edges isn't an option. If we do it, it'll have to be bolder ;)

    Shirl - that foxglove is proving to be very popular!

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  9. Happy surprises in the garden make for pleasing combos. I smile at the self seeding of your foxgloves because they are so hard to grow here. I must put them in partial shade in the wettest areas. Weird isn't it?~~Dee

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