Landscape gardener Jacqui Brocklehurst - hot borders for your garden
PUBLISHED: 19:30 13 August 2012 | UPDATED: 21:44 20 February 2013
Landscape gardener Jacqui Brocklehurst is all aglow working on hot borders in her garden in Sale
For me the changing seasons in the garden can be identified by the colours they reflect. Spring is predominately yellow, such a gregarious colour, raised up on the trumpets of daffodils who herald the arrival of spring.
This vibrant explosion of colour is soon softened by the creamy, white blossoms that gently unfurl in the sunshine. As spring rolls into summer more colours begin to join in this great garden dance. Sugar pink clematis grows alongside soft lilacs, while pale blue geraniums scramble through the borders, complementing silvery lavender and pastel roses. These colours draw together, like paints blending on the artists palette, adding depth and vibrancy to natures perfect masterpiece.
High summer is the moment when carefully planted hot borders really come into their own. Crocosmia Lucifer is as fiery as its name suggests: rich, red flowers burst out from slender arching stems, a tall plant good for the middle of a border. In contrast Gaillardia bears masses of flowers, like crazy whirling discs, in yellows and oranges. Arizona sun and Goblin are both low growing varieties, perfect for the front of the border.
Foliage plants such as cannas and ricinus (castor oil plant) provide all important structure in the design. Multi-stemmed sunflowers are at their best in August. Velvet Queen reaches a sensible height of 5-6ft and is festooned with deep coppery coloured flowers. This multi-headed variety is ideal for the back of the border. Plant it close to a clump of bronze fennel and the effect is stunning and the plants will support each other in a natural and intuitive manner. The birds and bees will love this combination too.
Fennel is irresistible to a host of beneficial insects and, later in the season, ripening sunflower seeds will provide a banquet for birds. If you can get to the seeds before the birds why not try toasting them as a delicious and wholesome snack straight from the garden?
The edible garden will also be in full swing with many crops ripening at the same time creating a gardeners glut. Courgettes, radishes, beetroots and beans will be coming thick and fast, too many to eat but plenty to share.
For more ideas on planting a hot border visit Jacquis website