Our gardens are flowering in their full glory during July and August, with all four competing with each other to grab your favour and attention. Take a stroll down the energetic and lively Hornbeam Walk with its vibrant Hot Bank adorning the foot of the pathway. Throughout the season our Traditional Perennial Border provides a classical take on the art of border planting. From the end of July our Dahlia garden erupts into a sea of colour as all our gardens strike their full potential.
Upon entry to Aston Pottery, the first garden you will encounter is the Hornbeam walk. Moving on from spring many flowers reach their peak during this season.
The Delphiniums set along the outside of the border, having doubled in size, open their eye-catching blue flowers. The border becomes an assault on the senses as the aromatic Monarda bears its first flowers and the foxtail lillys become alive with bees and butterflies.
Set against a backdrop of purple beech hedging and helianthus lemon queen, a sea of hot colour tumbles down the bank towards you.
Over 50 different varieties of plant combine to produce a vibrant palette of colour, with a strong accent of species from the Americas, ranging from carra lilies and dahlias from Guatemala, salvias from Mexico, alstroemeria from Peru and lobelia tupa from Chile. The latter reaches over 10 foot tall, with arching stems carrying bright red flowers which last all summer. It is the most difficult plant to grow in the garden and it’s Stephen’s (gardener and co-owner) favourite.
These are all mixed with North American species such as rudbeckias, echinacea, penstemon and agastache. It’s not only visual treat for us but a food bonanza for the insects.
Flowering starts in late May with alstromeria, knipphoria, salvias, papaver and fox tail lilies. It continues long into November, frosts permitting.
The Annual Border
This is the most recent of all the borders being created in 2015 to satisfy our craving for beautiful annuals, which could not be accomodated anywhere else in the garden.
The border is 80m long by 7m deep. It is planted up each lane with over 5,500 plug plants, which we start growing here at the pottery from mid April onwards.
The back row is created using 25 different varieties of sunflower, in front of which are over 140 different annuals, including cleomes titania, amaranthus, chrysanthemum, asters, nicotiana cosmos, zinnias, calendula, tagetes, salvias diascia heliotropium, rudbeckias, ageratum antirrhinum and many more.
Planting starts in the second week of June and it takes three of us 4 days to plant out all 5,500 plants. Do drop in and see us at work, and marvel at the growth and change that will occur in the following 6 weeks.
The Dahlia Garden
Traveling back down the Hornbeam Walk you encounter the path that takes you into the Dahlia Garden.
This Garden is new for 2013 and features a path with a stunning border either side to create a garden 26 metres long by 12 metres wide.
With the border either side of the path 5 metres deep, our Dahlia Garden is divided into a network of Dahlias and grasses, framed by a series of Agapanthuses. At this time of the year the plants are the star attraction with 112 varieties of Dahlia in four distinct styles and a multitude of colours.
The planting arrangement of flowers and grasses create a series of colourful flower-filled rooms running down the garden from top to bottom. Each individual room is planted with 4 varieties Dahila of the same form, whether it be cactus, ball, collarette and decorative.
Each room within the garden aims to create a focal point for each of our four selected Dahlia forms. Maintaining a consistent form, these ‘Dahlia rooms’ pick out the individual nuances of each plant, whether it be the strong vibrant reds of the ‘perfectos – cactus’ or the contrasting tones so apparent in collarettes such as ‘mary evelyn’.
Planted at intervals around the perimeter and along the path, the bell-shaped flowers of 6 varieties of Agapanthus – each with their own definite blue, hem the planting structure to complete the garden’s form.
Traditional Perennial Border
Leaving the Dahlia Border, you enter the garden by the country cafe and are hit by a huge ‘broadside’ of colour ‘fired’ by over 50 different perennials competing for you attention. This is a fabulous border to view whilst having tea and cake in the country café.
This was the first of our four main borders to be created in 2011, and was intended to be a very traditional Perennial Border measuring 6m deep and 42 metres long. It is planted to flower from late May until mid November.
Early summer will see Coreopsis ‘grandiflora’ flowering along with, amongst others, Salvia ‘Hot Lips’, a host of Penstemons and the Sedums ‘Spectabile’, and ‘iceburg’. By the time July arrives at the pottery, the Traditional Perennial Border will be full of life with all 50 varieties of plant in full bloom.
Following in the traditional approach to border planting, our perennial border is structured in a classic step-down form in 4 layers, ranging from towering Inula ‘racemosa’ all the way down to the delicate Daylilies.
Contrasts of colour and texture are central the design of our Traditional Perennial Border. Bright and vibrant flowers with a multitude of different foliage mix amongst one another as they flow across the border.
Although the unyielding patchwork of colour is what draws people in, this border aims to impress not only on a visual level. The likes of Plox ‘eva cullum’, as well as contributing to the dense tiers of colour on show, provide an aromatic depth to the experience of our border. Bees and hoverflies alike are also drawn into the planting by Helleniums, Sedums and Erummerous ‘fox-trot’ (fox-tail lilies).