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Simply Thriving in the Garden in 2015 — 36 Comments

  1. Just lovely and lush! You are a dedicated gardener and I wish I had the talents to create a border as lovely as yours. Thank you for your posts!

  2. Thankyou Alistair for the inspirational photos, despite the glum weather outside, your website sure is cheering. Going to make a list and copy you, might have to some ‘shoe horn’ planting cos my garden is stuffed, I’ll manage tho!!!!!!

  3. Your garden is absolutely beautiful. How do you manage to keep your gravel so clean.Ours is covered in leaves and not so easy to tidy without removing some gravel too.

  4. I think reviewing plants at the end of a year is a good idea. Interesting comparing how they do in Cheshire compared to Aberdeen … as you say, it’s about getting a match between the soil and the needs of the plant. Sometimes you can get an unexpected result, good or not so good! Plant labels aren’t predictive, are they? Your garden is looking great, Alistair.

    • Its very true, you cant depend on the plant label. Couple of years ago I sent away for a specific astrantia which was flavour of the month, it had a very distinctive feature. They just sent me maxima which had the same colouring.

  5. The wind is howling and the rain is horizontal but looking at your pictures has really cheered me up Alistair. I am looking to introduce a few dwarf Acers in pots this year including the seedlings that have come off the established trees as I do love them but I am short of space. It’s great to see the Aruncus, I think they are underrated and I would never have thought of growing them in a pot.

  6. Wow, looking good already! I love that Thalictrum hewitt’s double – I’ve never seen that before! Maybe some of those plants like poor soil? You never know!

  7. Wow! So many plants did well; I wonder if you had any that were unsuccessful. I especially admire the red astilbe and the Kniphofia Ember Glow. You are a master at combining all the wonderful textures and colors. Congratulations on a fabulous garden!

  8. Fabulous…wow! So many plants thriving in your garden….aruncus and echinacea are native here and favorites of mine. And I was so happy to see all your fabulous lilies. But the Anthemis sancti-johannis is one I am less familiar with and really caught my eye!

  9. Hi Alistair, lovely to see a round-up of your best performers. What kind of soil issues do you have? I realise now how spoilt I was with the soil in my previous garden, here in the new garden the soil would have been perfect for pottery, not so good for gardening….It is incredibly heavy to dig in and during the summer almost like concrete. Not sure how to garden in this yet!
    Your list is a delight and I have made a note of several plants for my wish-list, Thalictrum delavayi ‘Hewitt’s Double’ was new to me and is now on the list, Nepeta Nervosa was already there from last time you profiled it.
    I think I asked you last time (when my comment went into your spam folder) – but the question is even more relevant in this post I guess: have you found any plants that coped better and performed better for you in Aberdeen than in Cheshire?? Just being curious, now that you have been there this long and have had time to compare 🙂

    • Hi Helene, the soil is very heavy and clay. I dug in loads of garden compost to free the soil up a bit, it still doesn’t feel good but as I say the plants seem happy enough. I used to do the same as you, prepare a planting hole and add compost to it, recently I have read that this is unadvisable as we are preparing a sort of sump which retains the water even more, cant really say I was aware of any problems. Plants that do better in Aberdeen. Well, starting with those which perform better in Cheshire, the fantastic Thalictrum Hewitts Double definitely does better here as does the Cala Lily. Camellia generally performs better here but the Rhododendrons were way better in Aberdeen, due to the acid soil, the Acers seemed to prefer Aberdeen. To be honest, most perennials settle in quicker in Cheshire and although I used to think our plants bloomed for longer in Aberdeen because of the cooler weather I have found this is not the case, in fact most plants flower for several weeks longer here and you are more likely to get a second flush by cutting back. Must emphasize our soil in Aberdeen was very acidic. Doesn’t half rain here though. Off to see if I can stop your much welcomed comments from going in the bin.

    • Got it Helene, they are actually going into the bin folder which is easier to find than the 100s in spam. I will have to sort it out. Will respond to your comment a little later, builders just arrived, getting a conservatory built.

  10. So many plants exceeded expectations in your stunning garden, Alistair. I love your Aruncus which is about the same size as mine. Mine is in the border — never thought of growing it in a pot. Maybe I’ll plant another in a container, then I can move it around to fill in gaps as needed. P.x

  11. You really have a wonderful selection of blooms. I have Veronica spicata of a few varieties and find it a great plant, although in subsequent years it gets less and less uniform in shape and size. Love the lilies. My garden has lots of them too.

  12. Hi, Alistair! I’m here through Helene’s blog and I love your plants they’re wonderful. Many of them I can’t grow, have no idea why and others are the same as in my garden although the soil here is turf. I have Thalictrum as well in two colors: dark red and purple.
    Have a nice week!

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