White Martagon Lilies

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This is the white Marathon or Turk’s Cap Lily (Lilium martagon var. album). I grow these bulbs in the dappled shade of a cherry tree in my Woodland Permaculture garden. It is a notable late-flowering (June) woodland plant, creating bright highlights at a time of year when most other shade loving plants have finished flowering. It’s narrow profile enable it to be planted between lower growing plants which it rises above before flowering. Continue reading


Shady corner bed planting

(April 2018)

This little bed is about 8ft wide and 5ft deep. It sits below a window next to my desk at the front of our house. It is nestled between the porch (to the right) and the neighbours house (to the left), making it pretty shady, although it receives afternoon sun for an hour or so in the afternoon.

Despite being small and snug it provides plenty of texture and interest throughout the year. Most of the plants are evergreen or semi-evergreen (ferns), with the exception of the tree peony which is deciduous. Continue reading

A Tapestry of Shade-Loving Plants

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This is approximately one third of one of the three rectangular raised beds in my woodland garden at the front of my house. It contains a number of shade loving plants that provide a continuously changing tapestry of interest throughout the year. The slideshow above tells you what each of the plants is and its season of interest. Continue reading

Spring arrives in the woodland garden…

The snowdrops have been showing for more than a week, but today – (Feb 17th) – the watery sunshine is making the air throb…

The fine bunched fingers of snowdrop foliage, lush blue-green, chime with the hellebores’ apple-blossom-blushes.

Evergreen fronds of Korean rock fern (Polystichum tsussimense) provide a contrasting lacy stiffness ~ they always fit in here. Nearby, variegated arum lily and cyclamen create a tapestry of winter foliage that will die back before the summer. Jostling them, vibrant green Narcissus buds, fit to burst, threaten a change of tempo. They’ll shake up the colour pallet and give the whole scene a second life…

…but that’s a few days away.

Ten ways to plug the August gap

The result of some late summer TLCBelow I’ll show you ten tricks that refreshed my woodland garden and transformed the¬†drab late-summer muddle of seed heads and dying foliage¬†into a crisp, minimalist space, calm and¬†stylish…

By late August many of the plants that have provided colour throughout the spring and summer have finished, and their seed heads are brown, their leaves tatty: The¬†garden looks tired and uninspiring. It generally stays that way until the autumn tidy-up. This ‘August Gap’ is particularly notable in¬†the shade garden as most woodland plants flower in the spring before the canopy closes and light levels fall. There are very few shade plants that flower in autumn. Continue reading