Crab Apple Border

We have two crab apple trees in our garden - one (Malus Profusion) is planted in the lawn in front of the Willow Screen Border, the other is a John Downie (an edible crab) which is planted at the back of a fairly wide flower border.


Originally this area was just a lawn which was overlooked by a huge berberis. Back in 2006 we decided to reduce both the size of the lawn and the berberis. The berberis was cut back almost to the ground in the certainty that it would regenerate - try stopping them.


We decided on a curved border, the turf was removed and the resulting bed dug over.






We then had to decide how we wanted to plant up the bed. To allow time to ponder in the first season we planted out lots of annuals including a teepee of sweet peas. We also planted a small Sambucus Nigra bought at Gardeners’ World Live after seeing small plants used in bedding schemes. We later learned not to trust everything that you see in show gardens.












We also created a very small pond that would provide drinking water and bathing for birds and hedgehogs. Being small this was named ‘The Puddle’







The two groups of photos were taken in 2006

By the following season 2007, the sambucus had made quite a lot of growth but we though that we would be able to control in but hard pruning each year. We decided to plant a medlar and to fill the bed with perennial to create a cottage garden type of effect. We ordered plants from Barnsdale Nursery taking the opportunity to visit the gardens and collect the plants at the same time.

Above groups of photographs taken in July 2008


In 2009 it became apparent that no amount of pruning was going to keep the sambucus to a size that was appropriate for the position and so it had to go. This wasn’t before cuttings were rooted and planted on the allotment plot where we now have a couple of beautiful large specimens. (Since one plant - cuttings root easily - has found its way back into the garden and several people have large shrubs that came from cuttings)

In the 2010 season things were beginning to fill the bed out a little. Some plants didn’t survive and other were moved from other areas of the garden or where they were growing on at the plot. To be honest I have never had a particular plan for this are - just popped things in where there was a space - moving things then if things didn’t work out.

In autumn 2010 I planted some tulips to add a bit of early colour. There was already a clump or red and yellow parrot like ones that we have had for years and have been well travelled around the garden. The irises had spread and were taking up too much room and so these were split.

The border isn’t yet exactly as I want it to be - whenever is any flower bed and so it will remain a work in progress. I keeping adding plants as I find gaps - we maybe need a few more spring bulbs and plants will die and need replacing but in 2012 this is how it looked.

2017 and the border is in need of attention again!


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