Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Garden Diary: The Planter and the Pond

The raised stone planting area on the left was intended to work as a visual extension of the linear pond. I can't yet say whether that concept is working. Two weeks back we cleaned out most of the growth, exposing the pond's edge for the first time since spring. I think a rough rock edging will improve things and help establish a better visual link between the two areas.

The raised planting bed will be mainly box (balls of Buxus sempervirens 'Green Mountain' with smaller Korean box) and Bergenia 'Bressingham Ruby', with a large Oakleaf Hydrangea at the pond end. When trimmed and grown for a couple of years, the box should make a single undulating mass, similar to the wavy box "clouds" I've seen in photos of Jacques Wirtz' home garden (may as well aim high). I know I should have used a single box cultivar, but these are what I found at my local nurseries.

The far end (below) is much closer to the look I want to achieve, with the Bergenia acting as a ruffly ground cover. The self seeded iris is questionable; I'm not sure whether to move it over or just take it out. Probably the latter.

In winter the box will remain green (I hope) and the Bergenia will turn a deep burgundy. It should make an interesting winter feature, even if the box browns a bit.

Yes, I need more Bergenia. Finding it is rather hit or miss in this area.


  1. Please post a picture in winter, I would love to see the green box and burgundy bergenia. It should be stunning! I too, have planted box in a little line, wanting the unsheared cloud effect, but it seems like it will take years, since it grows so slowly.... I'm hoping to see photos of yours filling in to give me the idea.

    Already your design is a lovely combination!

  2. How delightful it is to visit this magnificent garden and read your thoughts as you create it.

  3. L Sostman, I will, and I'm still hoping to find more bergenia to fill out the planting before winter.

    Wild Flora, thanks for your kind words.

  4. I found your blog and was very attracted to this idea. I idolize Jacques Wirt, he is a very talented designer. His work is so sculptural, and even more difficult when it is living. I look forward to seeing what happens with this.

  5. Deborah, I do too. I need to trim the box soon. First cut since planting!

  6. I love Bergenia but half the known world hates it..I have used in large quantities ..must take a snap and send it to you!
    William Martin

  7. William,

    I'd rate it among my favorite plants. I could care less about the flowers, it's the texture of the leaves, the rosette form, the way they bunch together, the red in winter that attract me. I want to touch it.



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