Our garden is still a baby, really. It was all grass when we moved here 6 years ago, so the herbaceous border still has some growing to do.
The garden’s been done on a very low budget – most of the plants are grown from seed, received as presents, found cheap on eBay or rescued from the orphans section of garden centres. I splashed out for this beautiful Salvia x sylvestris ‘Viola Klose’, though. Its blue is so intense it sometimes hurts your eyes.
Exotic-looking Martagon lilies, which can actually be found growing natively throughout Europe, as well as Northern Asia.
Perennial wallflowers, great for insects…and colour-addict gardeners.
This Pink is not pink: Dianthus ‘Sooty’, the darkest of the pinks.
I just love the vibrant colour gradients in the red hot pokers of Kniphofia uvaria.
Even the spent flowers are interesting…
…and each little tubular flower could make a good summerhouse for an ant.
This is a cheat because I took this pic last year, in early July, but I wanted to share the beauty of the South African thistle, Burkheya purpurea, which grows really well from seed in our Shere garden.
The green primrose, Primula ‘Francisca’ – a Marmite plant – with Ajuga in the background.
I’ve never planted any poppies at Hillcrest but six different species pop up every year from the soil’s seed bank. This one is a mainly unspotted strain of the common poppy, Papaver rhoeas.
Succulent garden – good for gardeners with no garden.
It’s great to have a shady corner in your garden where you can plant things with totally different likes and dislikes to the familiar faces of the sunny herbaceous bed. I’d love to have a Gunnera here, but then we would have no garden left, so I’ve settled for large leaf hostas.
One of the early flowering spider daylilies, Hemerocallis ‘Desert Icicle’. Its architectural petals remind me of the shapes you get when zesting a lemon.
One of our native campanulas, C.persicifolia. A lot of us end up taking them out as weeds around here, but sometimes I leave a few.

And, finally, our Head Gardener, who gets paid crumbs. But don’t we all do it for the love of the thing?
Finally finally, another cheat: St James’ church in April. Just appreciating nature’s very successful attempt at an artistic splash of plant design

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