A few weeks ago I had a lucky find whilst browsing in a local antiques centre. I had been musing about the possibility of finding some sort of centrepiece for a rather drab garden bed for a few months and was delighted to spot this fellow tucked away behind piles of other vintage items.
He is solid stone and extremely heavy, so I was not hugely popular when I arrived home with him in the boot of my car! Surprisingly he was also very cheap and fits his space perfectly.
His new home is backed by a curved yew hedge, which was just a few sparse bushes when we moved here four years ago. I nearly took them out, but am glad I decided to keep them as the thick tall hedge is now quite a feature.
The bed in front of the hedge does, however, give me problems. The combination of the yew hedge and the large surrounding trees means that the ground is very dry and shady (the gardeners nightmare!). To make matters worse a number of rabbits live under the trees and have eaten just about everything I have tried to grow here. After living with the rabbits for four years I am now confident that they do not eat japanese anemones, ferns or roses so these will form the simplified planting plan for this bed.
The roses are already in the bed – a combination of two climbers on obelisks that predate my arrival and three Rosa White Gold, which I planted a few years ago. There are also a couple of tall unnamed grasses adding a nice airy feel. The remainder of the space will be filled with autumn flowering white japanese anemones, the hardy fern Dryopteris that will grow well in very dry conditions and a selection of white tulips for impact in the spring.
I am hoping that this will provide a lush and relatively maintenance free planting scheme that will not be a delectable dinner for the rabbits!