Planting Scheme: Summer in the City
I’ve been putting together a planting plan for a small garden in Kensal Rise today inspired by summer in the country – which is, I suppose, rather ironic considering I am in the middle of the city during what seems like a relentlessly cold and grey winter. But we can all dream.
I was trying to capture the evening light after a summer day – so there are bright greens, dusky oranges, and soft pinks. To mimic poppies, cow parsley and fields of corn I put in Pimpinella major ‘Rosea’, Papaver orientale ‘Patty’s Plum’ and Calamagrostris x acutifolia ‘Karl Foerster’. Then there is a vine with sweet grapes Vitis vinifera ‘Fragola’, the rampant but fabulous for fruit wineberry plant Rubus phoenicolasius and a strip of juicy strawberry plants. After all, you can’t do a faux-country garden without the fruit. And I couldn’t resist the dramatic sunset colours of Alcea rosea ‘Nigra’, the darkest hollyhock and Sambucus nigra ‘Black Lace’ – an elder with purple black foliage and cream flowers stained pink.
I’ve underpinned the garden with some evergreens – a giant cube of Taxus or Buxus, and some half-standard lollipop Photinia plants and clutch of pink single Camellias – the latter trying to look like roses that flower in the winter. Will my client share my escapist summer dream and approve the scheme? We’ll see.