Perennial Meadow by Michael King

Experimental Perennial Plantings

Perennial Meadow by Michael KingIt is in my two trial gardens in Amsterdam that I have developed my ideas of the creation of perennial meadows.

Perennial Meadow by Michael KingThis is one of two long thin borders in which many ideas have been investigated. Together they are 12 meters long and two meters wide. They are different and do not really show a typical perennial meadow in the sense that I now define it, but they do demonstrate one of the overriding principles – repetition.

These two borders contain far more different species of perennial plants than I use when designing a perennial meadow as it is here in my own backyard that I trial the plants that I use.

Early summer these borders are at their most colourful and later in the season grasses will rise up to give them a more naturalistic character. At the moment it is the umbellifer Cenolophium denudatum, salvias and early flowering cultivars of veronicastrum that give them their unity by being repeated throughout the schemes.

Perennial meadows are intended to be used as coherent blocks of planting within a garden’s design. Their form and situation will be defined by the spaces in which they are situated, but if well designed, they will remain clear and effective design elements throughout the gardening year.

Here follows a series of glimpses of these two linear borders as I walked along their length. Because of neighbouring plants I have recently added purple foliage to one of the schemes to serve as sort of embracing bookends. It seems to be working out and is yet another example of repetition to think about within the design process.

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