Gardening is often a question of balance. Between landscaping and plants; colours and shapes. Often it takes only a very subtle change to tip that balance.
Take the scene above, which had been setting my teeth on edge for days with its jarring colours, triggered by the self-seeded forget-me-not romping at the back – glorious in other parts of the garden, but here causing me to clench my teeth each time I looked upon it. Dark purple, green, gold and sky blue do not make a restful combination for me.
Ten minutes with a hand-trowel, and harmony was restored. The forget-me-not was extracted, and the heucherella in the foreground moved to a new location. I had been intending to shift this heucherella for some time, but it was not until the forget-me-not tipped the balance that I was spurred into action.
An interesting demonstration of how much impact one or two plants in the wrong place can have upon the mood of the garden.
The heucherella (Stoplight), which came with us from our previous garden, and as I recall was a Malvern purchase a handful of years’ ago, is a little tricky to place in our borders, with its strong gold leaves and red veins. Particularly as meaningful shade is rather hard to come by here.
However, I found it a spot further along the border in front of the hostas, where partial shade does soften the glare of the sun for a few hours a day. I moved the rather dishevelled-looking golden grass with it; a Milium effusum I believe, which also accompanied us from our last garden, languishing for some years in a pot until last year when we began to reclaim this garden from the building work.
I had planted the two together in their original position, but the grass had been all but smothered by an excitable clump of Gaura, which has not only survived the winter admirably, but is even looking rather full and indeed quite becoming. The re-location of its golden-hued neighbours will also be a relief to the pink-tinged whirling butterflies of this plant in the months to come.