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Transforming the Courtyard

April 30, 2017

Two years a ago, inspired by a magazine showing a lush green space visible through a kitchen window,  I greened up the paved area outside our kitchen. It went from this…

to this…

and this…

The rose is Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’ and it was very easy to propagate from the existing one that covers the main arbour.  I peeled off two young branches and pushed them into the small bed by the drain pipe in early Autumn and they took off. It’s described by all the rose growers as yellow yet remains creamy-white in my garden but I can vouch that it is thorn-less and has a delicate scent and it flowers early.

In the opposite corner Euphorbia mellifera has revived after a severe attack of frost bite and is looking very lush with masses of honey-scented flowers and new stems at ground level.

Take a look at Christina’s gorgeous view from her kitchen window in Italy.

Ajuga reptans ‘Atropurpurea’ is a very useful plant for Spring colour. It’s evergreen and has the advantage of remaining upright so is great for edging a bed near a path.

This Angelica is in its second year so is producing flower-heads. It’s short-lived and may not come back next year so it will be lifted and the root divided into several more in early Autumn. A sharp knife will cut through the base and then the pieces of root will be re-planted immediately 40 cm apart to create several new plants.  I love the form and can imagine it with other tall plants maybe Stipa gigantea or Verbena bonariensis. The leaves are good in salads or even crystallised for cake decorations and the bees are loving the flowers.

Wild garlic has taken over the parterre at the end of the garden but it’s easy to manage and disappears in a few weeks time. I steamed a bunch of leaves and flowers for four minutes then  chopped them up and stirred them into mashed potato. It has a subtle garlic flavour and I shall try it next cooked and added to pasta recipes.

The Welsh poppies are back and these had their stems seared on a gas flame and this is day three…

7 Comments leave one →
  1. May 1, 2017 12:12 pm

    There is a single white Banksia as well as fiore plena which is white. Is yours scented? A friend has the single white and the perfume was divine and the rose was huge, filling a tree; I hope I remember to ask for a cutting in autumn. Your courtyard is lovely and green now.

  2. May 1, 2017 12:16 pm

    It is scented with a lovely old-fashioned rose scent and it is seriously huge requiring metres of pruning every summer.

  3. May 2, 2017 4:43 pm

    You’ve made a lovely intimate green space there, without it being too dark. I’ve seen several posts that have included Rosa banksiae ‘Lutea’ recently and think it looks wonderful. I am on the lookout for it now. Also, I will be interested to hear how you get on with your angelica root cuttings. I’ve grown it from seed several times, but every time they get planted out, they disappear (slugs? Lovage survives though). BTW Have you crystallised angelica before?

    • May 3, 2017 8:38 am

      It’s a stunning rose but needs space and support. It’s growing over a huge arbour and I am reducing it gradually from that to replace with an Akebia. With the new cuttings rampaging up the front of the house to the first floor balconies and down the railings on the steps I plan to keep these new stems in the corner bed. It’s found support by winding itself in behind the drainpipe and journeyed on upwards unaided by me! It seems to know my somewhat ruthless plan to reduce it’s presence and has excelled itself this year.
      The root cutting of angelica is not something I have done before so will blog it later in the year. Slugs love it so it will need to be established in a pot before going into the ground. And I have never crystallised it but might look into the possibility.

      • May 3, 2017 12:07 pm

        Thanks for this information size and vigour of the rose. I am now not sure where I would put it, so I will pause for thought.

  4. May 2, 2017 11:23 pm

    Some great tips there, Sue. I wonder if your method of propagating roses works with all climbers? Also, I didn’t know the roots of Angelica could be divided. I have one growing next to Achillea and V. bonariensis. The bed is fairly crowded so I hope it manages to thrive there although I haven’t had any flowers yet; it’s also in its second year.

    • May 3, 2017 8:19 am

      Hi Caro

      I would guess so on the basis that my mum used this method on all shrub roses. If it works on those then it should work on climbers and should be quicker because it’s in their DNA to take off. The Angelica should soon show signs of a flower head bursting out – I like the mix you’ve planted it with. The advice is from the RHS and I plan to divide the roots into plant pots until there is evidence of new growth then they will go in a border.

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