Actea simplex with Calamagrostis brachytricha

A New Grass Border Design

Inspiration for any planting plan is needed and in this case it came when I “accidentally” planted a seedling of the grass Calamagrostis brachytricha next to a patch of Actea simplex (Syn. Cimicifuga simplex) in an existing grass border, their flowers complementing one another perfectly. When designing a perennial meadow I look for five appropriate …

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naturalistic perennial meadow

Pictorial Naturalistic Perennial Meadow Planting?

Naturalistic style planting is a modern approach to creating pictorial perennial meadow planting schemes. These schemes combine garden plants into stable plant communities. Mixtures of herbaceous perennials, ferns and flower bulbs are put together that will grow well in existing garden conditions. Fore example, we consider shade, sun and soil type as factors that will …

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Winter Garden

Winter in Amsterdam is wet and warm. Bulbs are rising out of the ground and many grasses that should have turned to straw are still green. Clearly there is nothing to do in the garden but wait for crisp cold weather and then maybe start thinking about clearing away last year’s debris. Looking around the …

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Christmas Chaos

I am enjoying the new border in front of my home. It has yet to get really cold in Amsterdam this winter, but now the plants are dormant. I am drawn to the repeating patterns and complex textures it contains, with its muted tones blending with the parkland in the background. Can you appreciate the …

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Schutterstoren, Amsterdam

Wet Grass

Grasses flop when wet which is why it is best not to plant them too close to narrow paths. However, today, fine rain turned this border in front of my home into a glistening spectacle of textures and light. The fine flower stems of Sporobolus heterolepis arched under the weight of a thousand water droplets …

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Elements of Naturalistic Planting – Repetition

Traditional planting schemes set blocks of perennials and shrubs next to one another in order to develop harmonious or contrasting effects that build a picture comprising forms and colours. The contemporary trend for informal, naturalistic planting schemes uses plants in ways that mimic the natural patterns that occur in native plant communities. Such patterns typically …

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