Already an established flower bed, this raised area was covered with overgrown azalea bushes which tended to stifle everything else. The first job was to dig these up and dispose of them.
Like many of our gardens, this one is looked after by one of our Secret Gardeners who has responsibility for designing, planting and maintaining it. The vision was for an English country garden with lots of colour, tall plants in the centre and smaller ones to the side to create a sloping effect.
Wild primroses, nasturtiums, wild poppies, purple iris, geraniums, lavender, peonies, delphiniums, clematis, daffodils, crocus and hollyhocks were initially planted. To quote: ‘Oh and a spiky evergreen thing to give a sculptural effect’! (If you’d like join us, enthusiasm and a JDI attitude are more important than horticultural knowledge! Ed.) Lavender near the benches provides a delicate aroma for those eating lunch or simply passing the time of day.
More colourful perennials will continue to be added to give added height and structure creating a wild, unruly effect (a bit like our volunteer)! Bedding plants around the edges with different colours will create contrast.
The underlying plan has always been to make this garden as natural as possible. Each gardener has their own vision around which they work, which helps to explain why there is so much diversity between them.