Plants I am definitely going to grow in 2015

It’s a brand new year! And I’m starting to plan. I’m always making lists of plants I like, both on Pinterest and in my garden notebook (yes, on real paper; old-school).

Having the allotment means that I have a bit more space in my back garden now, even after I replace all the lawn that I dug up to make space for all the veg. I do need to put it back because the trampoline and swing set don’t leave much space for actual walking. But anyway, I am going to extend my shade garden and do a new border from scratch- yay! I get excited about this but the truth is that once everything is in, I will change my mind and want to start a new border somewhere else.

I am trying to narrow it down a bit, partly because of costs and partly because having one of everything will look rubbish (garden design 101), so here is a short list of some of the things I’m going to grow in 2015 (how exciting is 2015? Hoverboards and flying DeLoreans at the ready):


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Alstroemeria: These were a favourite of my Grannie who passed away earlier this year. She always had a vase on the windowsill, and she loved gardening, so growing my own for cutting seems like a good way to remember her. I’ve just redecorated my living room in red and white so I’ll probably go for this pure white one. I can’t wait to have a vase of homegrown (well, allotment grown because Alstroemeria is poisonous) flowers and of course I’ll take some to my Granddad as well.


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Salvia nemorosa ‘Caradonna’: This will look perfect in my pale pink/deep purple/lime green border that is going where my courgettes were last year. It won’t be a massive space because my garden isn’t that big, but I’m hoping that it will work well with some Alchemillas dotted in between.


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Iris ‘Magic Bubbles’: I have been reliably informed by my children, who are both rubbish at keeping secrets, that they have ordered me one of these as a present. I’ve been trying to get hold of one for ages, so I’m really pleased that they found one. This will go on my cat’s grave, because his name was Bubbles. He wasn’t magic though. He was pretty dim actually, but very cute.


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Roses: I think I might need more. In this post I bought 4 roses for my back garden, but I’m fairly sure I can squeeze a couple more into the front. I’ll probably take another trip to Harkness Roses and treat myself to a couple of these.


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Gaillardia × grandiflora ‘Burgunder’: Gaillardia is another of my Grannie’s favourites, she had some lovely ones in her garden that she grew from seed. I’m planning to grow some of these lovely red ones for cutting.


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Lychnis flos-cuculi: Otherwise known as Ragged Robin, this pretty little native will slot in perfectly to my not-very-big bog garden. Bee friendly, yay!

2014 was a bit of a weird one. I lost my Grannie, who I was very close to, and my favourite cat. I had a lot of problems with my mental health. And then at the end of the year, I found someone who can help me. So I’m going into 2015 feeling a lot more positive even though I now know there aren’t going to be any easy solutions. I’m ready for the challenges! Except digging over the allotment, I’m not looking forward to that at all.


August gap


Nothing to see here

I’ve shared a few of my gardening triumphs and now I’d like to share one of my gardening cock-ups. If you’ve never heard of the August gap, it’s that period towards the end of summer and the beginning of autumn where nothing happens. And my front borders are really suffering from it (more like August crap actually).

I re-did the two biggest borders earlier on in the spring; I had plenty of perennials but they all needed dividing and the whole thing needed replanning. So out everything came, and nearly everything went back in in smaller clumps and in different places. I removed a lavender that had got too large and woody, and the goldenrod because it was too big and unruly for the space. Then I chucked a load of nigella and calendula seeds in to plug the gaps until the perennials bulked up a bit, but it’s still somewhat a work in progress (isn’t it always?!).

So, last month I was very pleased with the profusion of nigella with the bright orange calendula peeking through. My day lilies were going, the red hot poker was going, even some of the Sisyrinchium was still going. And then NOTHING HAPPENED. Just LOOK.


Nope, nothing here either


There’s only this:


This is happier than it’s ever been and it’s made me fall in love with roses

So I’m going to start trawling the garden centres in a few weeks when they start selling everything off really cheap and see what I can find. My front garden is a bit of a problem area, being a south-facing slope with very rubbish clay soil. I’ve been improving it with chicken poo but it gets baked in the summer so I really need some drought tolerant plants.

I love a bargain so I’ll grab whatever I can, but these are my ideal choices:

Nepeta racemosa ‘Walker’s Low’ I haven’t got space for Six Hills Giant, but this one is half the size. My cat has never shown any interest in cat mint before so hopefully he won’t flatten it.

Echinops ritro ‘Veitch’s Blue’ A ‘small’ variety, apparently, although as you can see on the RHS diagram, it is still half the height of an old man in a hat.

Rudbeckia hirta ‘Indian Summer’ We passed a garden today with masses of Rudbeckia in full flower and my eldest proclaimed ‘Mummy, that’s my favourite.’ ‘Mine too,’ agreed the littlest one. I CAN’T SAY NO.

Also I’d like to add some more roses since the one rose I have is the only thing that doesn’t look a bit rubbish. I’ve seen some really amazing bright orange ones so I think one of those (a bit like the one I dug up 3 years ago and gave to my mum. Bugger.) and maybe another yellow one would be good. Is it me though, or is ‘rose’ like a completely different language? I don’t understand half the things in the descriptions. I might need to find a rose geek.