I have recently scrutinized all the borders in my care.  My love for Asters in all their autumn glory is my downfall,  I tend to forget how skilled  they are in making a solid mat of roots that swamps anything in their path, allowing little else to flourish. The same can be said  for crocosmia,ladies mantle, lysimachia to name but a few.

I made a plan  in autumn and  stuck to it. Garden by garden  border by border I have removed rampaging perennials by the wheelbarrow load to make space.  From now on in  winter will find me pruning ,mulching, and planting new trees and shrubs in those new spaces.

I  had the opportunity to revamp an entire double border from spring to this autumn.  If  there is  space in your  garden then the creation of two adjacent parallel  borders is a worthy addition.   There really is something quite special about walking  along a pathway where you are totally immersed on either side by perennials, shrubs and trees. Personally, it can and frequently does promote a sense of satisfaction with life, peace and calm.

Over the last three years  I have watched plants bulk up in a customers double border.  Action was needed by this summer as it was all getting a little out of hand (particularly the alstromeria)P1050462

I began by thinking about what was already in the rest of the garden that I could  possibly use.  Early  spring 2016  I  split up and replanted  hundreds of snowdrops. Followed in  Late Spring  by  buying  around £25.00 worth of new perennials in 10 cm pots, which  have grown  away  really successfully, the plants in question being  spanish daisy and  Aster lateriflorus Lady in Black . One of which has the capacity to self seed prolifically, and the latter is likely to spread.  I will keep an eye on them..

In Autumn I dug out swathes of crocosmia,  monbretia,  alstromeria  and ladies mantle and some oversized hebes .  I pruned back the Magnolia as it was  casting too much shade. I moved peonies (with great care) and  divided  a primrose yellow nepeta govaniana, which is fast becoming one of my favourite perennials.  I still need to buy some more Russian sage, as it looks stunning with the nepeta.009

There was a  huge Miscanthus  Morning light, which was prime for dividing.  These off sets are now at 2m intervals  on both sides of the border which  provide  definition, symmetry, and rhythm.

This border has taken nine months to renovate. In its new form it will  be a collection of primrose yellow, perovskia purple, pale pink, I am looking forward to its new lease of life.

My recommendation,  make some time  and think what you would like to see in your garden next year, there is a whole winters worth of deliberation  time ahead of us, it will be worth it.