I’ve been looking into planting a dry garden at the front of the house, where currently there’s left over rubble and weeds from building work on the house.
The whole front looks neglected (because it has been), so I’ve been hatching grand plans for spring 2019.
Whilst researching plants I kept coming across images of the dry garden at Beth Chatto’s, and seeing as it’s just down the road it seemed silly not to pay a visit. I already had a list of plants in mind, but what with the extreme dry weather this summer it seemed a good opportunity to observe first hand exactly how drought tolerant this type of planting can be.
With so many plants to choose from, and such rich inspiration, it will be difficult to make decisions about what to include and what will fit the space I have to fill. I decided to bring home a small selection of drought tolerant plants to live with over the winter, before buying anything in bulk.
I want to use a palette of purples, pinks and whites, with tones of green, possibly yellow, and the browns found in grasses to add contrast between the plants.
I already have a Feijoa sellowiana tree which I want to include in the scheme, so I will build the content of the beds around that as my key anchoring plant. With it’s penny sized leaves in silver green it will sit nicely with Stachys byzantina (something else I already have), and contrast beautifully with Bergenia ‘Morgenrote’.
The Feijoa can be pruned to grow like an olive tree, and will add the structural interest I want, while softer drifts of planting along the fencing and into the gravel will blur the boundaries.
I came home from Beth Chatto’s with a box of trial plants and a host of ideas. I can’t wait for next spring when the hard landscaping can be done and I can transform a neglected area into something unique and beautiful.