The Knot Garden

In a previous post, (The Garden Through the Year, December 8, 2007), the knot garden was introduced. It was one of the first and only elements of my garden put on paper before put in the ground. Everything was laid out with string, then outlined in old bricks. I wanted that English garden look, neat and orderly. It looks more like a riot than a tea party in this photo.

This is more the vision. But the four heaths, erica darleyensis ‘Mediterranean Pink’, planted in the loops of the center died the first year. They were replaced with calluna vulgaris ‘Sunrise’. That was the first of several planting adjustments.

Time marches on. The callunas turn a rosy pink in winter. All is well.

Next spring things are getting out of control. Violas are everywhere, seeding wildly. The dianthus gratianopolitanus ‘Firewitch” is taking over. It gets a hard trim several times. Note the calluna turning yellow.

By fall the violas are gone but the black mondo grass, ophiopogon planiscapus ‘Nigrescens’, seems too large. Salvia coccinea ‘Lady in Red’ has seeded around a bit.

Winter again. The calluna reddens. Thymus citriodorus ‘Doone Valley’ becomes variegated. The blue fescue, festuca glauca ‘Elijah Blue’, is looking suspiciously large as is the dianthus and mondo grass.

Next summer the dianthus is out, the mondo grasss is out, the fescue is out and gaillardia grandiflora ‘Goblin’ is in. I should have known that was a bad idea but there were these seedlings everywhere, free plants.

By the fall it became obvious the plantings needed rethinking. The gaillardia is way too large.

Early spring 2007 shows nice red calluna joined by lavender ‘Hidcote’, lavandula angustifolia ‘Hidcote’, cuttings. Bamboo stakes are placed to keep the planting line straight and the squirrels from digging there.

In mid spring the grape hyacinths , muscari armeniacum, are blooming, the sedum spurium ‘Red Carpet’ is red and the calluna is changing from red to yellow. The baby lavenders look good.

Mid summer shows yellow calluna and those pesky violas are back.

I like it. Taken this week, the photo shows the lavender filling in. It may grow slowly enough to be kept the proper size. There go those callunas turning red again, but more to come later about that.


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9 Responses to The Knot Garden

  1. tina says:

    What a great way to show the progression of the garden-super commentary with it too!

  2. Frances says:

    tina…thanks for visiting.

  3. Lisa at Greenbow says:

    What a nice tour of your knot garden. I have a small one myself. I will post when I get a snowfall to show it off better. teehee. It hasn’t lived up to my expectations as yet.


  4. Pam/Digging says:

    How a garden changes over time! Your photo series really illustrates the challenges that gardeners struggle with, I mean, play with, in the pursuit of beauty. Your knot garden is charming. I look forward to seeing its evolution next spring.

  5. brokenbeat says:

    ah, the knot garden. i admire your willingness to get out of your comfort zone to make a formal garden. for me, the most formal i’ve come up with is two squares of dirt on either side of the front porch. it still catches me off gaurd when i see it. the cringes don’t last long though because i say to myself, i won’t let it become cheesy. it seems that you’ve said the same thing to yourself about the knot garden. maybe i’m wrong.

  6. Frances says:

    lisa…thanks. snow does beautify everything.

    pam…let’s hope this spring offers some good photo ops.

    brokenbeat…cheesy is not the word for what is being avoided here. more like out of control.

  7. Mr. McGregor's Daughter says:

    Now that’s a garden with good structure. It looks as great under a blanket of snow as it does filled with flowers. The bench is sublime!

  8. Frances says:

    MMD…thanks. The bench looks good in that spot. It is starting to biodegrade though and will have to be replaced sometime. I love the shape and will try and find one, maybe metal that same shape and size.

  9. Pingback: What Looks Good Now-For Future Reference | Fairegarden

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