Monday, 3 November 2008

The line of beauty

The main borders combine traditional herbaceous perennials with swaths of ornamental grasses and plenty of roses. I have inherited my mother’s love of old-fashioned roses, so I squeeze in as many as I can. I am particularly interested in designing planting with the relaxed painterly look of a traditional herbaceous border without the intensive maintenance – and this is where I try out my ideas to see what really works.....

Photo by Jenny Lewis

This year, we have been attacked by slugs in their thousands and I have taken the opportunity to experiment with aromatic substitutes for some of my favourite border perennials. As a result, I have discovered a new favourite in Teucrium hircanicum, which has, this year, replaced Salvia nemorosa ‘Schwellenburg’ in the Nottingham borders. I am becoming almost evangelical in my promotion of Agastache. But my best discovery this year is a waste product from the rooibos tea industry, called Fine Naturals, that is brilliant at deterring slugs.

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