Perennial Border One Year Old

We set out the plants for this new perennial meadow border exactly one year ago.

The cylindrical residential tower on the outskirts of Amsterdam is in a natural green parkland setting. The planting scheme uses grasses to link the residence with the adjacent park.

Ribbons of the stiffly upright grass Molinia caerulea ‘Moorhexe’ bring structure to the design linking the convex perimeter of the round tower with the concave edge of the pavement at the front of the building.

The intervening areas are planted with a mixture dominated by the arching grass Sporobolus heterolepis. Euphorbia and Echinicea occur throughout with small blocks of salvias and asters each in their turn bringing seasonal colour.

By the end of the first summer the flowering grasses and asters were dominant and remained effective throughout winter.

Tidied up in late winter the border became effective from April with the flowering of the first tulips. Gradually they were joined by Euphorbia polychroma which continued to be effective long after the tulips finally faded.

Allium and Salvia are currently flowering and these will shortly be joined by Scuttelaria and Echinacea throughout the summer.

When the grasses flower, starting next month they will bring a mellow, natural atmosphere to the scheme mixing with the remaining seedheads of alliums, euphorbias, salvias and echinaceas.

The scheme is still developing and it will be at least one more year before it begins to approach maturity. To date the results are pleasing and maintenance is moderate. As the grasses grow together this will become progressively less and less.

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