In January I wrote and listed perennials suitable for a dry sunny border and in February about plants for a dry shady border. This month we are concentrating on how to design a border arrangement with plants that thrive in a heavy clay limestone soil and able to handle Burgundy’s hot summers and icy winters.
Choosing your structural plants for a sunny border
For the back of the border, choose big eye catchers from the list. Showy plants that keep a good structural shape after flowering and throughout the winter. From the sun lovers January list, starting at the back of the border I have chosen: Achillea filipendula ‘Parkers Variety’, Panicum virgatum ‘Shenandoah’, Perovskia abrotanoides ‘Little spire’ and Phlox amplifolia. This Phlox is known to be the best to endure droughtness.
Now we move on to planning the middle and front area of the border. Plants that have good shape and all round interest: Salvia nemerosa ‘Caradonna’, Hemerocallis ‘Sammy Russell’, Sedum telephium ‘Matrona’, Rudbeckia missouriensis, Amsonia orientalis and Aster oblongifolius ‘October Skies’.
The backbone of our border is now complete with special attention paid to the structure and species variety, next we concentrate on colour.
Plants for the ‘in-fillers of the border
For the ‘in-fill’ between our structural plants, choose flowers of a flowing and long flowering period, such as Geranium ‘Rozanne’ (flowers from May until October) and Asclepia tuberosa. And as an extra, I love the Aquilegia; ‘Ruby Port’ is particularly attractive. This plant is a short living perennial and will self seed, dying back after flowering allowing the perennials to take a more prominent position.
To learn more about border design, I recommend the books ‘Designing with Plants’ and ‘Planting Design’ by plants men Piet Oudolf and Noel Kingsbury.
Dahlia and Perennial Market
I live in Burgundy at Le Pontot in Fontenille, near Brosses and am able to supply plants of your choosing. Please do not hesitate to get in touch before the 1st April to discuss and make an order for collection at our ‘Dahlia and Perennial Market’ the 18th, 19th, 20th and 21th April. Do check out our blog and website for further ideas or get in touch directly for ideas of planting design for a shady border.
Inspired by the article ‘Stappenplan voor biotoopbeplanting’ of Ruurd van Donkelaar Tuin&Landschap 8 December 2005