Lacking artistic flair

Published: August 31, 2022

Pyracantha 23

For many years I have bought plants purely because I have liked them, seen them in other gardens, on photographs or in nurseries.

Got them home and basically plonked them in the garden wherever I could find a space -in my book this is called haphazard cottage gardening.

It must be lovely to start afresh, using all the knowledge gathered over the years. Knowing, in advance, what the height, colour shape and texture of each would be a huge advantage.

In reality, very few of us could, or would want to start afresh. So, I will stick to the haphazard approach. It`s less work and keeps me happy -what more could I ask. Yes of course, I just love the clever planting in some gardens. The repeat colour planting looks very stylish and has that instant impact, but you are limited to the variety of plants that you can grow which would make me feel restricted! A bit like wearing a very tight corset!

I also like to grow very bright ‘in your face'plants. They make me smile as they are so over the top, but where would they fit into your stylistic borders.

A classic example being -so flamboyant, but I just love it. Then I love the plants which brighten up a darkish corner of border. Pittosporum ‘Irene Patterson'is wonderful and stands out in a crowd, and even better in my opinion is Pittosporum ‘Elizabeth', what a gem, nicer still with Clematis growing through them.

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Gladiolus cardinalis
Salvia20hotlips 32
Salvia ‘Hotlips'


My thinking has changed very little in the past 30 years. If a plant, at some point in the year, makes me smile then it can stay. Hopefully, it will not be moved or consigned to the compost bin for being thuggish, having said that, my Pyracantha is taking more than its allotted space this year. I am just waiting for it to finish flowering then will give it a short back and sides.

It's in the wrong spot, but happy, well who has the heart to move it and possibly finish it off.

The20Garden 100
The garden
The20Pond 73
The pond


I admit that I lack the artistic flair of some of my friends, but we are individuals and gardens can be won or lost by the enthusiasm of their owners.

Maggie Duguid

Text by Maggie Duguid, who is a member of the HPS North East Group.