Archives for posts with tag: gunnera manicata

Italy –  a magnificent fortnight of  searing blue sky ,art, architecture and gelatos.

I was also lucky to spend a  weekend in Barcelona shortly afterwards, where the intense light brought perspective, pattern and colour into sharp focus.

As a gardener, this is the start of my favourite season.  Autumnal sunlight saturates  foliage and flowers as they commence their natural demise.  Long may the sun shine!









I have spent the last seven years designing and caring for the Wild’s family garden.

The two main borders are undeniably long – coming in at around 40 metres.   Planting is in  large-scale blocks, generally around 2 metres square.

Silver birch trees were planted as young saplings six years ago. Now, during winter  the  white stems provide good visual structure from the house.

A stream bissects the garden, leaving the soil naturally  damp.  I have planted swathes of many of my favourite plants that like  these conditions including  Gunnera manicata, Rodgersia aesculifolia, Ligularia denticulata, Flag Iris and Marsh Marigold,

Adjacent to this sits another long border containing many of my favourite  big perennials.

The white daisies and Rudbeckia herbstonne are still in tight bud at the moment, but it wont be long before they are in full flower.

Achillea millefolium Gigantea, Helianthus Lemon Queen, Cephalaria gigantea and  Globe artichokes are looking  stunning at the moment.  These are big plants, in a big border.

Do I consider this , or any other garden in my care complete ?  No.  I will shortly be planting  Veronicastrum virginicum  Album-  a truly  majestic white perennial.  I do feel  their presence should be in abundance in this  garden.104






I am finding it difficult to curb enthusiasm for my new camera.

016 I planted  Gunnera manicata in a  stream side border.  My intention was for  Eleanor and James to eventually witness the giant foliage from their kitchen window  (which is about twenty metres from the original planting).  The Gunnera will reach around 2.5 metres in height this year so my aim will have been achieved.   Due to recent ground frosts, some of the fresh foliage was damaged, however,  there is plenty more to come.

  I recently cleared out blocks of montbretia in the rockery for Judy and Martin.  Verbena bonariensis, Tithonia rotundifolia ‘ The Torch’  and Salvia viridis ‘Blue’ will fill the gaps.   I am intrigued to see how the combinations of orange, blue and purple work this summer.

026 I particularly enjoy walking along this pathway to Treasa and Simon’s garden in Spring, due to a carpet of primroses which stretch its entirety.    The foliage of Knautia macedonia Purpurea and Japanese anemones are presently pushing their way through and around the box balls, and so my pathway enjoyment continues.

038Patty’s Plum looked stunning at Diane and Dom’s

022Suree’s  garden at the award-winning King and Thai restaurant in Broseley.

Sheila’s garden with its heavy clay is a perfect place for poppies and peonies.

Next week – five days of Shropshire gardens followed by the Wicks sisters annual visit to RHS Chelsea Flower Show.  I cannot wait!

Late Autumn has proved to be quite a  trying time to be a gardener, with the soil  taking on the consistency of  uncooked christmas pudding.  It has definitely not  been my most productive period.october   2013 236This  week has mainly  been cold, and I have no problem with this,it is getting wet that I have a problem with.


my wet coat

Thermals on,  I can happily get on with the tasks in hand, with  shrub pruning and bulb  planting being my main  objectives.  Tulip Lasting Love and  Allium Purple Sensation have been my bulbs of choice today.

I tend to buy my bulbs from Parkers, I find  the quality  constantly good.  They  use to hand write on the  bags, which always made me smile.november   2013 125

November meetings with interesting  plants and bark follow.


birch bark


Gunnera manicata seed head.








I am hoping for monstrous growth  from this Gunnera manicata to enable the Wild(e) family to view it from the safety of their kitchen window – a mere twenty-five metre planting distance.

DSCN1065P1010166There is definitely no place for plants of a shrinking violet nature in this garden, maybe it is something to do with their surname – or possibly it is due to employing me as their gardener who likes nothing better than designing and then caring for gardens that pack  a punch. IMGP9417

DSCN1028Later this year Helianthus Lemon Queen will mingle with Cephalaria gigantea and giant achillea.

P1040552Rudbeckia Herbstonne will stand proud again in the late Summer.

New acquisitions for this year  include Pampass, Artichoke Violet de Provence and Rheum palatum Atropurpureum.   I  just need  to make some space in what was already a  full garden in 2014.   I think  plant  donations to other gardens may well be a good idea.freyas   2013 514

I would love to include Gunnera magellanica – however it might well become lost in the undergrowth..

Spring is pretty full on. There  are some magnificent flowers (and bracts) about at the moment.   Fritillaria Imperialis Rubra looked stunning today. 129

127Euphorbia myrsinites with  their sulphur yellow bracts are making  quite a statement at the moment.

111 Gunnera  manicata will  be celebrating their third year of being in Eleanor’s  garden.  I am hoping for monstrous growth to enable them to be seen from the kitchen window – a mere 25 metre distance.

118Scilla Spring Beauty are romping away.

124 Narcissi Trena, which has the effect of making me feel  instantly happy.

P1050124Euphorbia robbaie and a self seeded Hellebore looking pretty good in Ironbridge.

P1050165Monbretia and more self seeded Hellebores. The freshness of the foliage has to be seen to be believed.

Plant life in the Spring garden is definitely not beige, enjoy.